Senator Kithure Kindiki’s fate as Senate deputy speaker had by last evening been sealed after 51 members signed to support a motion to kick him out.
Senate Majority Whip Irungu Kang’ata gave a notice of motion for the removal of Kindiki amid reports that at least two senators approached to replace him had declined the offer.
It was established that 51 senators – from Jubilee Party and Opposition coalition NASA – had signed to support the motion.
Jubilee Party kicked off the process of removing the Tharaka Nithi Senator days after dethroning Kipchumba Murkomen as Leader of Majority in the House.
Senators were divided on grounds advanced by Jubilee Party to oust the deputy speaker even as sources said senators from other parties felt that a position of deputy speaker should not be used to settle Jubilee factional wars.
At the time of moving the Motion, Margaret Kamar (Uasin Gishu) and Johnstone Sakaja had reportedly turned down offers to take up the position once Kindiki is ousted forcing Jubilee honchos to approach ODM’s Stewart Madzayo (Kilifi) and Judy Pareno (nominated).
Asked whether he had been offered the post, Sakaja replied: ”Yes. Not interested in the position.”
A senior State House official who is a close ally of the President in Parliament was seen in the morning before Kang’ata moved the notice in the afternoon.
His presence, according to inside sources, was to lobby senators to back the initiative. Sources also said the top official was there to convince Kindiki to apologise for his alleged ‘sins’ but he was adamant.
The impeachment motion is a continuation of Uhuru’s onslaught against allies of his deputy William Ruto as it comes hot on the heels of the dramatic ouster of Murkomen and Nakuru’s Susan Kihika as Majority Whip respectively, last week.
“I beg to move that this House resolves to remove from office of the Deputy Speaker of Senate, Prof Kindiki,” stated the motion by Kang’ata. Temporary speaker Prof Margaret Kamar, however, directed that the debate on the matter be re-schedule for another day.
According to Kang’ata, failure by Kindiki to attend State House meeting amounted to gross insubordination.
He is also accused by the party for going against Uhuru’s move to take over key operations of Nairobi City County through the Nairobi Metropolitan Service (NMS) by allowing a motion by Murkomen to challenge the decision.
But some senators reportedly felt the grounds spelled for his ouster were flimsy and merely pushed because he had skipped a Jubilee Parliamentary Group (PG) convened by President Kenyatta at State House.
The embattled Tharaka Nithi Senator is also faulted for ordering an investigation into the President’s conduct in the take-over process. The matter was committed to the joint committees of Devolution and Justice and Legal Affairs chaired by Senators Joseph Kinyua (Laikipia) and Samson Cherargei (Nandi), both Ruto allies.
The probe was, however, blocked by Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka, as the outcome was feared would have poked holes on the President’s decision in taking over the running of the county from Governor Mike Sonko, perceived to be another Ruto ally.
The Senate legal department has also halted the probe following Lusaka’s decision.
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