Why speaker Muturi is a marked man
National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi was yesterday a man in focus following revelations that there was a plot to kick him out of the plum position.
Members of the Speaker’s inner circle were holed up in a meeting most of the day yesterday to deliberate on a secret campaign to have him removed from office.
The meeting, it was understood, was convened after it emerged that the initiative to kick out the Speaker over his perceived links with Deputy President (DP) William Ruto was being spearheaded by top Jubilee Party leaders in the National Assembly.
The leaders were said to be collecting signatures from MPs mainly allied to
the Kieleweke wing which supports the Handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga.
“We know the move to collect the signatures is currently going on and they are targeting the Kieleweke team which supports the President. We are ready for them,” said a senior member of the Muturi campaign group who sought anonymity.
Ouster plan Muturi, who had himself coronated as the Mt Kenya spokesman earlier this year, has declared that he will contest the presidency next year.
According to the Speaker’s handlers, who requested not to be identified for fear of backlash, the move to kick him out is because of speculation that he was secretly dining with Ruto; who has fallen out with his boss, President Kenyatta.
“We know why they want him out of the position; it is because of his association with the Deputy President. However, we are not worried about this because we are sure this will help him shed off the tag that he is a project of Uhuru and Raila,” added the source.
The thinking, according to sources privy to the ouster move, is that the position could be used as a carrot in the ongoing alliance-building efforts ahead of the next election with one of the One Kenya Alliance (OKA) leaders being linked to it.
Reached for comment, most Jubilee Party leaders in the National Assembly were cagey and unwilling to discuss the matter.
National Assembly Majority leader Amos Kimunya said he was not aware of
any scheme to remove the Speaker and neither had he received instructions from the party or its leadership.
“I am not aware of any attempt to remove Speaker Muturi. I suspect the peddlers of the story are trying to shift attention from the Jubilee revitalisation and NDC,” Kimunya said from Nigeria where he’s attending a meeting.
However, Jubilee insiders who confided in People Daily said that the plot to kick out Muturi had been mooted and was awaiting a nod from the top party leadership.
Kieni MP Kanini Kega, who is in the US, distanced himself from the initiative, saying his main focus was the planned Jubilee National Delegates Conference (NDC) that is expected to kick out Ruto.
Kega, who said he would propose the motion to remove Ruto from the party, told Jubilee rebel MPs not to expect invitations to attend the convention scheduled for November 30.
“You know me very well, it is not a question of just saying when I want to do something I am committed to it. On the removal of Muturi, I am not a party to it, I have not been approached by anyone on this and
neither will I take part in it,” he said.
And speaking to People Daily yesterday, Ndaragwa MP Jeremiah Kioni also said he was unaware of the ouster plan.
“I am not aware of such a thing. I don’t think it is necessary. It is too late in the day to start impeaching anyone including the Speaker and even Ruto. It will end up destabilising the country and distract us from the main agenda of growing the economy and creating jobs,” said the Ndaragwa MP.
In September, Muturi besides attacking Uhuru’s leadership style faulted the Jubilee Party for the purge of rebel lawmakers. He termed the ouster of a section of legislators allied to Ruto from House leadership
and committees as “dictatorial”.
“A party should write to the member and notify the Speaker, then give the member a chance to defend themselves. You don’t just wake up and say ‘we are throwing you out. You are out in the cold.’ That is a dictatorship,” said Muturi.
In May, Speaker Justin Muturi was controversially coronated as Mt Kenya region spokesman at the Mukurwe wa Nyagathanga shrine in Murang’a County.
Muturi has announced his intention to vie for the presidency
on a Democratic Party ticket.
Speaker Muturi has in recent months been traversing the country selling his agenda.
Sensing a backlash, Muturi ate humble pie and termed it as a “choreographed narrative” that he was fighting President Kenyatta and which, in his view, was an “evil agenda” to drive a wedge between him and
The Speaker said he remained satisfied that political parties in the current Parliament, including Jubilee and ODM, had followed due process in the removal of some of their members from positions of
“I elucidated on the elaborate provisions in the Standing Orders to support
the removal of members from positions of leadership. I am a strong opponent of political party dictatorship, which position I affirmed in the interview.
However, in no way did I disown, or castigate the discharge
of members from leadership in the National Assembly,” Muturi said.
He was speaking in reference to the removal of Ruto’s allies Duale as Majority Leader and Mumias East MP Benjamin Washiali as Majority Whip in the National Assembly.
Other allies of the DP were also kicked out of the chairmanship of key
The Jubilee Party has now opted to kick Ruto and all other rebels out of the party.
In a move aimed at restructuring the party ahead of its planned merger with Raila’s ODM ahead of the August 2022 elections, the Jubilee Parliamentary Caucus said the party was targeting all individuals
who have publicly resolved to take a different political path, in a move that could see Muturi face the axe?