POLITICAL PING-PONG

Ruto orders allies to abandon Matiang'i sacking bid

The Star has established that the DP on Tuesday night told his troops to drop the Matiang'i ouster bid.

In Summary

• The claims have triggered a ping-pong game among the political class with each side appearing to be using the Matiang'i removal ideafor political capital.

• Some say Ruto is behind the 'plan', some say it's his rivals, some say there is no plan.

Deputy President William Ruto
Deputy President William Ruto
Image: FAITH MUTEGI

Deputy President William Ruto has told his allies planning to impeach powerful Interior CS Fred Matiang'i to abandon the idea.

The Star has established that on Tuesday night the DP told his troops to drop their bid to remove Matiang'i.

The DP, who is said to be at odds with Matiang' i, warned that the plan would undermine his 2022 presidential prospects. Matiang'i has been elevated as the 'first among ministers', a move seen to be an attempt to cut Ruto down to size.

 

A key Ruto ally who is aware of the DP's instructions told the Star that the "boss" was categorical that the plot would destroy his chances of winning the crucial Kisii vote.

“As much as we have the numbers to impeach the CS, the boss (DP) was clear that we keep off the matter. We were ready to move on with this but he told us he is building friendships with the leadership of that region and he wouldn't want us to antagonise the journey,” an MP from Rift Valley told the Star.

However, National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale said there is no plan in the National Assembly to censure Matiang'i.

“There is no impeachment process going on within the precincts of Parliament as per the standing orders on any CS or PS for that matter, including the CS of the Interior,” Duale said.

Speaking at a press conference in his Parliament office, Duale appeared to blame his minority counterpart John Mbadi for politicising the war against corruption.

“Our advice is that they (the opposition) should not politicise and drag people’s names, including that of CS Matiang'i, into the ongoing gold scam investigations,” he said.

Some MPs were said to use the presence of security officers at a gold-holding house in Kileleshwa as the basis of a charge of gross misconduct against Matiang'i.

 
 

Meanwhile, the alleged impeachment plot has triggered a ping-pong game among the political class, with each side appearing to be using the idea for political capital.

Interviews with MPs from across the political divide exposed the raging games amid claims they are fronting the Matiang'i removal debate as well as the gold scandal issue to divert public attention from what some call the flagging war against corruption.

Some Jubilee lawmakers and those allied to Opposition leader Raila Odinga — whose name has been dragged into the gold scandal — claimed Ruto is behind the  Matiang'i removal plan to deflate the anti-graft campaign.

They argued that the DP, whom critics call the architect of graft in Kenya, has been cornered in the crackdown and has devised a scheme to divert attention through an orchestrated plan to purge Matiang'i from government.

Nakuru Town West MP Samuel Arama (Jubilee) claimed Ruto is behind the Matiang'i impeachment plan to slow the fight against corruption.

GRAFT

Some Jubilee lawmakers and those allied to Opposition leader Raila Odinga — whose name has been dragged into the gold scandal — claimed Ruto is behind the  Matiang'i removal plan to deflate the anti-graft campaign.

They argued that the DP, whom critics call the architect of graft in Kenya, has been cornered in the crackdown and has devised a scheme to divert attention through an orchestrated plan to purge Matiang'i from government.

“It is the DP who is behind the people pushing to impeach Matiang'i just because he is the one leading the war on corruption. We can't allow the best performing minister to be sacrificed on the altar of corruption,” Arama told a press conference yesterday 

Alego Usonga MP Samuel Atandi said Harambee House Annex is the heart of the impeachment plan but urged Matiang'i to stay put.

“We know who is behind all this. We are aware the likes of Ichung'wa (Kikuyu MP) have been instructed to start the removal plan with clear instructions from Ruto,” he said.

The Deputy President's lieutenants, however, said reports on the 'plans' to kick out Matiang'i from the Cabinet were a ploy by the opposition leaders to shield those involved in the gold scandal from action by Matiang'i.

They said the Raila-led opposition had crafted a strategy to put the country off balance with the gold scandal revelations in which Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang'ula dropped Raila's name in a leaked audio.

Kikuyu MP Ichung'wa who has been mentioned as being among the architects of the impeachment plot told those fanning the debate to desist.

“I have no time for idlers. I am busy with the budget. Those are just claims by busybodies,” the MP laughed off the claims.

Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua said there was no plan at all to impeach Matiang'i and asked the minister whom he described as a workhorse to remain focused.

“This is a ploy to shield Raila Odinga from being questioned on his role in the gold scam. The impeachment claim is a creation of [ODM national chairman John] Mbadi,” he said at a press briefing in Nairobi.

He went on, “We want the minister to continue with his good work and we want him to have his eye on the ball to ensure that the gold fraudsters are arrested and charged in court." It was a thinly veiled attack on key opposition figures.