Finance Bill vote: Voters threaten to recall William Ruto Ukambani allies

Rachael Kaki

From left: MPs Mwengi Mutuse (Kibwezi West), Rachael Kaki (Kitui South), Nimrod Mbai (Kitui East) Fabian Kyule (Kangundo) and Vincent Musyoka (Mwala).

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Machakos Town MP Caleb Mule is in the early stages of being recalled by his constituents as his colleagues in the region requested heightened security in their homes for fear of attacks after voting in favour of the Finance Bill 2024, which was later withdrawn by President William Ruto following widespread protests against the tax plan.

Two Machakos Town residents, Joseph Mutinda Thomas and Thomas Mutuku Wambua, initiated Mr Mule's recall process by notifying the legislator of their intention to recall him under Article 104 of the Constitution.

“We have been instructed by our above clients to write and address you as hereunder. That by dint of Article 104, our clients do hereby issue a notice of intention to recall you as a Member of Parliament for Machakos Town Constituency. This is precipitated by your failure to heed their call to reject the Finance Bill, 2024. Consequently, our clients shall be filing the requisite petition to initiate your removal,” reads a June 24th notice to the MP by lawyer Daniel Mutinda of DM Mutinda Advocates.

The first term MP elected on a Maendeleo Chap Chap Party (MCCP) ticket is among six MPs allied to President Ruto in Kitui, Machakos and Makueni counties who have found themselves in the soup for supporting the planned tax hike.

At the same time, security agencies were on high alert this week amid rumours that anti-tax protestors targeted rural homes and businesses operated by MPs Nimrod Mbai (Kitui East), Rachael Kaki (Kitui South), Vincent Musyoka (Mwala), Fabian Kyule (Kangundo), and Mwengi Mutuse (Kibwezi West).

Masinga MP Joshua Mwalyo who was absent when MPs voted for the controversial bill, revealed that protestors had threatened to set his house on fire.

“The bill has made our lives difficult. I am among the MPs who faced direct threats of arson. We went to the State House and discussed that with the President. We are glad he is a listening President. He has withdrawn the bill,” Mr Mwalyo told reporters. Mr Mbai has reinforced his security detail at his rural home Matia Village with vigilantes armed with bows and arrows.

Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka, whom analysts say is keen on riding on the wave created by the anti-tax protests across the country to assert his authority in Ukambani, is to address a series of rallies at Mr Mbai’s backyard on Sunday, June 30, 2024. On Friday, a showdown between Mr Musyoka and Mr Mutuse played out during the burial of Magdalene Kalembe, the widow of former Kibwezi MP Kalembe Ndile.

Until her death following a short illness a week ago, Ms Kalembe was a Makueni MCA nominated by MCCP. The first-time MP who is the MCCP leader found himself in a tight spot after allies of the Wiper leader supported demonstrators who had brought business to a standstill at Emali, Kibwezi, Makindu and Wote towns in calling the MP out for supporting the Finance Bill, 2024.

In a bid to reduce damage after President Ruto withdrew the Finance Bill, 2024, Mr Mutuse avoided discussing politics even as pressure mounted on him to apologise for supporting the bill. But chaos rocked the event. Mr Ndile’s children wailed as goons associated with local MPs fought.

The MP was whisked away as clerics guarded the casket.

“We expected him to apologise for going against our wishes to support the proposed increase of taxes. We shall not relent,” Urbanus Wambua, a Wiper nominated MCA in Makueni County Assembly, said.

Makueni Governor Mutula Kilonzo Junior condemned the skirmishes and apologised to the bereaved family as his predecessor Kivutha Kibwana rallied politicians in the region behind the youthful anti-tax protests.