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SENATE PURGE CONTINUES

Kindiki’s removal looms as sack motion filed

Tharaka-Nithi senator targeted for skipping President's meeting at State House last week

In Summary

• Senators to vote on the motion by Majority Whip Irungu Kang'ata on Thursday

• At least two-thirds or 45 members must support the motion for Kindiki to be removed. 

Senate Deputy Speaker Kithure Kindiki
Senate Deputy Speaker Kithure Kindiki
Image: FILE

 

The Jubilee Party has started the process of kicking out Tharaka Nithi Senator Kithure Kindiki from his position as deputy speaker of the Senate.

Majority Chief Whip Irungu Kang’ata on Tuesday filed a notice of motion to remove Kindiki from the seat.

 

Kang'ata interrupted the House’s plenary session to file the impeachment motion on Tuesday afternoon.

The motion has been scheduled for debate on Thursday where a vote will be taken to decide whether Kindiki retains his position.

Kindiki has been accused of insubordination after he skipped a Jubilee Senate Parliamentary Group meeting called by President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House last week. Uhuru is the Jubilee Party leader.

If voted out, Kindiki will become the third casualty in the ongoing purge targeting Deputy President William Ruto’s allies who hold leadership positions in the Senate.

Last week, Senators Kipchumba Murkomen (Elgeyo Marakwet) and Susan Kihika (Nakuru) were de-whipped as Senate Majority leader and Majority chief whip respectively.

They were replaced by Kanu’s Samuel Poghisio (West Pokot) and Kanga'ta (Murang’a) respectively.

 

Five nominated senators allied to the DP are also facing expulsion for snubbing the President’s meeting. They are Millicent Omanga, Iman Dekow, Waqo Jillo, Victor Prengei and Mary Seneta. 

On Tuesday, it emerged that some Jubilee senators have been lobbying the party to spare Kindiki.

“I have been involved in trying to salvage the situation but with the notice of motion, we will now have to wait for Thursday,” nominated Senator Isaac Mwaura said.

Kindiki was at some point touted as Ruto's 2022 running mate. His fall would deal a staggering blow to the DP's 2022 presidential ambitions.

According to Article 106 (2) of the Constitution, 45 senators or two-thirds of the House will be required to endorse the motion to remove Kindiki as deputy speaker.

Kang'ata will likely bank on the senators leaning towards the President and ODM leader Raila Odinga to remove Kindiki.

Jubilee, Kanu and PDR have 37 senators, out of which more than 20 – going by the recent voting at State House to change leadership positions – are leaning towards the President.

All the 21 ODM, three Wiper and one CCU senators are likely to support the motion.

On Monday, Kang'ata told the Star that Kindiki had a 'case to answer for snubbing the President's meeting.

“He is among the senators who did not attend that parliamentary group meeting at State House and no reason was given for that non-attendance. We followed up asking for that reason or even a written apology but it was not forthcoming,” Kang'ata said.

Kang'ata argued that meetings convened for members by the party leader must be taken seriously and politicians with reservations are meant to raise them there.

The purge will also happen in House committees where senators perceived to be disloyal to the party leader are expected to be axed.

The Star has learnt that Kang'ata and Poghisio have already finalised a list of members to sit in various committees. The changes may take effect as soon Kindiki’s ouster motion is dispensed with on Thursday.

Among those targeted are Finance committee chairman Mohamed Mahamud (Mandera), Devolution committee chairman John Kinyua (Laikipia) and their Justice and Legal Affairs counterpart Samson Cherargei (Nandi).

Christopher Lang'at (Bomet) who chairs the Education committee, Naomi Waqo (Cohesion and Regional Integration), and her vice-chairperson Millicent Omanga are also targeted for removal.

 

Edited by P.O