What you need to know:
- Ruto faction has reached out to key figures in Mr Raila Odinga’s ODM party in parliament seeking their support.
- National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi has to verify that the grounds listed in the motion meet the constitutional threshold.
Plans are underway by allies of Deputy President William Ruto to remove Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i from office.
Belgut MP Nelson Koech yesterday told Daily Nation he had been tasked with leading the collection of MPs’ signatures to back the impeachment motion.
Mr Koech further claimed the Ruto faction had already reached out to key figures in Mr Raila Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party in parliament seeking their support.
The development comes amid an uproar from the political class over claims of police heavy-handedness when dealing with opponents of Jubilee candidates in the recently concluded by-elections in Juja, Rurii and Bonchari.
Mr Odinga, in a hard-hitting statement on Wednesday, accused unnamed government functionaries of taking his March 9, 2018 pact with President Uhuru Kenyatta, dubbed the ‘Handshake’ ,for granted.
Mr Koech claimed like-minded leaders had already endorsed the drive that had the backing of 50 MPs yesterday. He, however, didn’t table any evidence. Another Ruto ally, Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi, said the collection of signatures will be finalised in two weeks.
“ODM were celebrating when the police were unleashed on us. Now they, too, were subjected to police brutality in Bonchari. They understand that it is a problem we must address,” Mr Sudi said on Wednesday.
However, proponents of the impeachment have to clear another hurdle — National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi has to verify that the grounds listed in the motion meet the constitutional threshold.
Should it be cleared, the motion will require the support of at least one-third of the members (116) for Parliament to establish a select committee to investigate the claims against the CS.
If an impeachment motion against a cabinet secretary is supported by a majority of the members of the National Assembly (175), the Speaker shall deliver the resolution to the President who shall dismiss the CS.
It’s because of that high threshold that the DP’s camp is enlisting the support of ODM. Yesterday, ODM chairman John Mbadi said there were no formal talks on the impeachment.
“If someone wants to discuss with us something as serious as an impeachment, you do not approach ODM through the media. Let them do it procedurally by reaching out to the party’s organs,” said the Suba South MP.
ODM secretary-general Edwin Sifuna also said there were no discussions on the impeachment, but nonetheless asked the President to fire Dr Matiang’i.
“The President must deal with rogue elements in his government who threaten his legacy,” he told Daily Nation.
Mr Sifuna had earlier tweeted: “Uhuru must sack Matiangi or send him to the ministry of wildlife. He will be at home.”