Muturi dares critics to kick him out

Lawmaker close to Speaker told the Star their camp will not respond until proponents formally file their grounds.

In Summary
  • Belgut MP said he is aware of the plans by Kieleweke to impeach the Speaker
  • Mbadi called the push mission impossible as Muturi says he will approve the motion
Speaker Justin Muturi during a media briefing in his office in Parliament.
MUTURI: Speaker Justin Muturi during a media briefing in his office in Parliament.

A fresh plot is being hatched to remove National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi whose recent installation as Mt Kenya spokesman unsettles a number of politicians from Central.

Insiders privy to the plans, which many believe will be a tall order, are said to be reaching out to many of their colleagues, especially from the minority side, to join the push.

They promise to reward them and support one of their own for the lucrative Speaker's position.

Already, some anti-Muturi lawmakers have been holding meetings in the home of a governor from Central Kenya where the plans on how to force him out are being discussed.

One proposal is to let the opposition to propose a name for the replacement Speaker replacement if their plan succeeds.

On Sunday, Muturi appeared unmoved fired at his critics, daring them to bring it on.

He said he would be the first to sign the censure motion

Speaking at the Ack St Marks Ena Day Secondary School in Embu, Muturi even welcomed the plot, saying he is unshaken.

"Let them bring the motion and I will be the first to sign. That is a very minor thing, it cannot shake me. Whoever thinks he can approach the threshold, let him try," the Speaker said.

Belgut MP Nelson Koech said the plot to kick out Muturi is being orchestrated by Jubilee's Kieleweke faction both inside and out of Parliament.

He said allies of Deputy President William Ruto will not support plans to remove Muturi, the third in command who is now serving his second and final term.

"We are aware of the plans being sponsored by powerful forces outside Parliament. Kieleweke have been tasked to execute it but because they do not have numbers, they have been sweet-talking former Opposition MPs," he told the Star on phone on Sunday.

He said, "The grounds we hear to be the reason for the intended removal are because he has started undermining the President who is the only spokesman of Mt Kenya."

"Kieleweke destroyed the Jubilee Party, they came to Parliament and destroyed the committees and now they have turned their guns on Muturi. To them, anyone who appears to stand in their way is an enemy.

"I assure you we will not allow that to happen. Muturi has led National Assembly very well. I want to tell Kieleweke and their financiers that they will not succeed on this one," Ruto said.

Muturi has been the target of some influential politicians from Mt Kenya who have not been happy with his recent coronation making him the region’s spokesman as well and placed him firmly in President Uhuru Kenyatta’s succession politics.

His perceived elevation has won him friends and foes both from the House and from the Mt Kenya community at large.

Last week, a section of the community elders conducted a cleansing ceremony of Mukurwe wa Nyagathanga shrine to nullify Muturi’s crowning, claiming the traditional ceremony was abused.

Elders from the Kikuyu Council of elders and Kiama Kia Ma say they have nullified Muturi's elevation as spokesman for the Mt Kenya region.

The daunting task of removing the Speaker starts with a petition to the National Assembly, detailing alleged gross incompetence or law violation by the speaker.

The petition can be filed by an MP or a member of the public. After being received by the clerk of the National Assembly, the petition is debated.

Proponents of the motion are given time to give views for the impeachment during a session presided over by either the deputy speaker or an MP.

The motion will then be subjected to voting by the members and the National Assembly Clerk will tally the results.

If the motion gets at least a two-thirds vote, then the Speaker will be removed from the helm of the National Assembly.

If the vote is less than two thirds, the Speaker will continue to serve.

ODM national chairman John Mbadi has dismissed the push, saying he is not aware of the plans to remove the Speaker.

Mbadi, who is also the minority leader in the National Assembly, told the Star there are no substantive grounds to back Muturi's removal, calling it a "mission impossible".

“Those people are just creating their own things. They are idlers who are seeking attention,” Mbadi said on the phone.

The Suba South MP said the minority side is neither part of any plot nor has it attended any meetings to impeach the Speaker.

“I am not aware of any censure motion. I have not been invited to any meeting to plan such a motion. Again, I don’t see any grounds to sustain such a push,” Mbadi said.

He added, “Whatever they want from Muturi, let them not drag the minority side into it.”

A lawmaker close to Speaker who spoke in confidence told the Star their camp will not respond to the push until proponents formally file their grounds.

“Yes, we have heard of such misplaced plans but we will counter them once they bring their grounds to the surface,” the lawmaker said.

ANC lawmaker Ayub Savula (Lugari) termed the plot diversionary and said it would only derail the National Assembly’s legislative agenda.

“It is too late in the day; we are remaining with less than 10 months to the end of this Parliament. It is an exercise in futility. It will just waste us on the issue of legislative agenda. Let just Muturi to clear his term,” Savula said on the phone.

“We don’t want division in the National Assembly; we are in the crisis of the budget-making process. We also have BBI which is in court; we don’t want another crisis in the country.”

In Embu, Kagaari MCA Robert Ireri warned against the leaders opposing Justin Muturi's position in Mt Kenya.

"We warn the Gema leaders opposing Muturi as the Mt Kenya spokesman that if they are not ready to unite in supporting Muturi, we will join with the rest of the people in other parts of the country and support him," he said.

"We have been uniting during voting in the past and on sharing the cake of the country," Ireri said. "We call for an end to this and join Muturi in a show of long-time unity."

(Edited by V. Graham)

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