President Ruto reprimands Kericho MCAs over chaos as UDA summons speaker

Ruto at Bomet Green Stadium

President William Ruto and Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua at Bomet Green Stadium during a Thanksgiving prayer rally in Bomet county on January 15, 2023. The President called out Kericho MCA over chaos that erupted at the Assembly over leadership changes.

Photo credit: Vitalis Kimutai | Nation Media Group

The leadership wrangles at the Kericho County Assembly have attracted the wrath of President William Ruto.

Dr Ruto publicly reprimanded Members of the County Assembly who fought on Friday at the chambers as the house leadership changed for the fourth time in four months.

To demonstrate the seriousness of the matter, Dr Ruto made his opening remarks by directly addressing the MCAs during a thanks giving rally at Bomet Green stadium in the neighbouring Bomet County on Sunday.

“Kericho MCAs must stop the nonsense. shame on you.The people of Kenya voted for us to implement development projects and not to fight over positions,” said Dr Ruto.

A fight broke out at the Assembly over leadership changes in the house with Mr Vincent Korir being picked as majority leader replacing Mr Paul Chirchir.

Hardly two hours after the President spoke, the UDA party Secretariat summoned the Speaker, Patrick Mutai to appear before a disciplinary Committee on January 20, at Hustlers Plaza, Nairobi.

"You failed to guide the house in giving effect to the party's clear direction on the matter (house leadership changes) as a result there arose confusion , confrontation, violence and commotion in the house as extensively covered and published in the media," the letter reads in part.

Meddling with MCAs

The assembly leadership tussle has sucked UDA Secretary General Veronica Maina, Senate Majority Leader Aaron Cheruiyot and Kericho Governor Erick Mutai who have been accused of meddling with the MCAs’ affairs for their own political gain.

A section of MCAs have also vowed to instigate a motion to discuss conduct of the Speaker, Mr Mutai, following the house leadership coup on Friday.

Dr Ruto is understood to have told the MCAs at Eldoret State Lodge on December 27, 2022 to sort out the leadership wrangles and focus on service delivery to the voters in their respective wards.

The meeting brought together Governors Erick Mutai (Kericho), Hillary Barchok (Bomet), Bomet Senator Hillary Sigei, Members of Parliament from the two counties and MCAs.

Ms Maina had endorsed a list of new house leadership team that has Kamasian Ward MCA Mr Philip Rono as the new Majority Leader replacing Mr Chirchir, the Kapsoit MCA, who had been in charge from November last year.

Ms Fancy Korir, a nominated Member of the Assembly was picked as Deputy Majority Leader in the changes effected after a meeting in a Nakuru hotel last Sunday.

Kapsuser Ward MCA Peter Kemoi was picked as the Chief Whip while nominated MCA Bavina Serem, a former radio journalist was nominated as the deputy Chief Whip.

Ms Maina wrote to the Speaker on January 9, stating that the UDA party had ratified the leadership changes agreed upon by 27 MCAs in Nakuru last week.

"Please note that the party has no objection to the changes on the unanimously agreed Kericho county Assembly House Leadership position as was discussed, agreed and presented to you by the Honourable members as per the minutes from the Empalos hotel (Nakuru) held on January 8,2023" said Ms Maina.

But house Speaker Dr Mutai adopted a High Court order reinstating Mr Vincent Korir, the Kipchebor ward MCA as the Majority leader taking over from Mr Chirchir, in effect pulling the rag under the feet of the Ms Maina-backed team.

In a consent entered at the High Court in Kericho on February 12, 2023, before Justice Asenath Ongeri, Mr Chirchir ceded his ground for Mr Korir.

The surprise turn of events resulted in chaos at the assembly chambers with MCAs from the two camps going for each other's jagular with a few of them being injured as the session ended in disarray.