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97 MPs support Keter’s Motion to oust Waiguru

by 08/10/2015 15:33:00 0 comments 1 Views

Cord MPs have joined forces with their colleagues from Deputy President William Ruto’s United Republican Party (URP) to support a Motion seeking to sack Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru.

Sources familiar with the list of the 97 MPs who have signed the Motion said that the majority were from the URP, ODM and the Wiper Democratic Party. ODM and Wiper are partners in Cord.

A section of MPs allied to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s The National Alliance (TNA) are said to be silently supporting the Motion sponsored by Nandi Hills MP Alfred Keter.

The perennial standoff between the Legislature and the Judiciary over the separation of powers could also feature in the matter, with the National Assembly indicating that it is ready to defy a High Court order barring impeachment Motions against Cabinet Secretaries.

While the Opposition has not taken a formal position regarding the Motion, some of its more vocal members have appended their signatures to help it start the process.

NOT WASTE TIME

Among them is ODM chairman John Mbadi, who told the Nation that he had signed up.

“I signed it. When I signed I signed just as an MP,” he said.

“As Cord, we felt we should not waste time as a coalition on Waiguru. Because it is the President shielding her. We felt we should go for the President.

One of the grounds against him is actually condoning corruption and selective treatment of Cabinet Secretaries,” he said.  

The Opposition’s antipathy towards the Devolution CS also appeared to influence other MPs.

Said Simba Arati (Dagoretti North, ODM): “As ODM we’ve left it to individual members to vote using their conscience, but the feeling generally is that if our party leader has been pushing a position that the lady should be held to account. This is the time to hold her to account”.

According to him, the general feeling within the National Assembly is that “Ms Waiguru must go”.

Makueni MP Daniel Maanzo has been leading MPs allied to Wiper in supporting the Motion. He has already indicated that he will second the Motion when it is debated in Parliament.

Mr Keter spent Tuesday afternoon lobbying MPs from Cord to sign the censure Motion just before Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete arrived for his special address to Parliament.

Moving from one seat to another and with the help of Homa Bay Woman Representative Gladys Wanga, Mr Keter approached ODM MPs George Oner (Rangwe), Opiyo Wandayi (Ugunja), David Ochieng (Ugenya) and Ken Okoth (Kibra). Igembe South MP Mithika Linturi has also reportedly responded positively to the Motion.  

Said Mr Wandayi: “I signed in my capacity as an MP because all along we have been asking Uhuru to make her step aside and he has refused to do so. Since Jubilee itself has filed the Motion to impeach her, I very willingly support it.”

Mr Keter is yet to make public the list of the 97 MPs who signed in support of the proposal, but he told the Nation last week that he had more than 20 URP lawmakers supporting him.

DISOWNED KETER

The Jubilee coalition’s leadership in the House has distanced itself from the Motion and disowned Mr Keter, but it is understood that some MPs have been sympathetic to his cause.

Some were unhappy on being told that some of their colleagues in the Opposition could have been beneficiaries, either directly or indirectly, of some contracts under the National Youth Service.

ODM lawmakers such as Mr Stephen Kariuki of Mathare and Kisumu Central’s Ken Obura supported Ms Waiguru when she met the Finance, Trade and Planning Committee in July to answer queries raised by Mr Wandayi. There have been NYS projects in their constituencies.

The biggest obstacle thrown in the way of the Motion earlier this week has been a court order issued by Justice Joseph Onguto at the behest of the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution. The CIC, whose chairman, Mr Charles Nyachae, swore an affidavit, applied to stop all impeachments on the ground that Parliament’s Standing Orders are unfair.

PROCESS IT QUICKLY

Yesterday, National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi said that neither the Motion nor the court order had reached his office. House rules require that a Motion is sent to the Clerk of the National Assembly.

“The Motion has not yet come to my office. If it would come I would process it quickly. I processed the one on myself, so why would I not process one touching on another person,” Mr Muturi told journalists after his meeting in Nairobi with Russia’s Senate Speaker, Ms Valentina Matvienko. 

“I have also not seen the court ruling. We might be speculating that there is a court ruling when, indeed, there is none,” said Mr Muturi. 

“It should also be understood that consideration of some matters is a reserve of the Legislature and nobody can tell Parliament what to do.”

House rules require that impeachment Motions be dealt with expeditiously. It means that should it come to the floor of the National Assembly, the Waiguru Motion could be dealt with in less than a week.

Additional reporting by John Njagi

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