Out: Kithure Kindiki loses Deputy Speaker seat after heated Senate debate

In Summary

• Those who voted against the impeachment motion  were seven.  

• Earlier, Kindiki expressed disappointment at Jubilee Party's decision to call a special sitting to debate his impeachment at a time the country is battling serious issues, including the coronavirus pandemic, a struggling economy and the locust invasion.

Embattled Deputy Speaker Kindiki Kithure during special sitting to debate his impeachment on May 22, 2020.
Embattled Deputy Speaker Kindiki Kithure during special sitting to debate his impeachment on May 22, 2020.
Image: ENOS TECHE

Embattled Senate Deputy Speaker Kindiki Kithure has been impeached.

This follows a four-hour debate in the Senate on Friday.

A total of 54 senators voted in favour of Kindiki's impeachment.

Those who voted against the impeachment motion  were seven.  

Speaker Kenneth Lusaka left out two votes of senators who had wanted to vote in absentia after Majority Chief Whip Irungu Kang'ata advised he do so to avoid any repercussions.

The two, including nominated Senator Beth Mugo, had been within the precincts of Parliament but left before voting.

Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen had opposed the addition of the two votes, saying it was unconstitutional.

Earlier, Kindiki expressed disappointment at Jubilee Party's decision to call a special sitting to debate his impeachment at a time the country is battling serious issues, including the coronavirus pandemic, a struggling economy and the locust invasion.

“I bow in shame to note that we are here today for such an elitist triviality powered by petty, divisive and vindictive politics as the country hurts from the lethal combination of a nearly collapsed economy, a ravaging pandemic, floods…” he said.

"How I wish this meeting, with the haste in which it was convened, was to discuss the millions who are living in poverty."

 
 

Kindiki spoke as he gave his defence as he faces an impeachment motion.

 
 

Kindiki on Friday said it was unfortunate he was being viewed as being disrespectful to Jubilee party leader President Uhuru Kenyatta.

He said he has nothing but respect for the Head of State as the leader of the country.

 

"I hold him in the highest esteem and veneration.... I will support him loyally until the end of his administration... I wish him all the best," Kindiki said.

The senator emphasized that his detractor is neither Uhuru nor senators.

"There are those who thought I could be cajoled or even threatened in engaging in what in my view is a treasonable project that would destroy this country. .. Humility is not a sign of weakness," Kindiki said.

"However dark it gets, the sun of freedom will soon shine in Kenya... I rejoice in my tribulations... Harbouring hate would work in their favour. I forgive those who crucify me."

 
 

Kindiki quoted rights activist Martin Luther King.

Senate Majority Whip Irungu Kang'ata moved the motion for Kindiki's removal.

He said Kindiki failed to attend a Jubilee party Parliamentary group meeting and made a controversial ruling that was counterproductive to Uhuru's agenda.

“By not attending the State House meeting that was a Parliamentary Group meeting, the party lost confidence in the deputy speaker,” Kang'ata said while moving the motion.

Kanga'ta said the party had no confidence in his leadership because he failed to attend the State House Parliamentary Group meeting on May 11.

He also said the deputy speaker erred when he ordered that a Senate committee investigate the transfer of functions from Nairobi county to the National government.

“The deputy speaker was forced to rescind his decision when the Minority Leader raised a point of order the following day. He did that knowing well that the President and the party leader is passionate about transferring functions to the national government,” Kang'ata said.

Earlier, temperatures flared in the Senate as the motion got underway.

 

Senators allied to Uhuru and opposition chief Raila Odinga exchanged harsh words with lawmakers allied to Deputy President William Ruto.

The highlight of the stormy session were the numerous points of order being advanced by either side of the divided as temperatures flared.

 
 

Ousted Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen (Elgeyo Marakwet), and Minority Leader James Orengo have torn into each other's academic qualifications.