The impeachment of former Kiambu governor Ferdinand Waititu has opened the lid on William Ruto’s diminishing fortunes in the senate.
The impeachment brought to the fore the fact that Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga control the senate and have the numbers to indict any governor backing the deputy president.
It also means that a motion to impeach the head of state cannot succeed.
Before the March 9 2018 handshake between Uhuru and Raila, Ruto had total control of the senate where the Jubilee Party has an overwhelming majority.
The deputy president had at his beck and call elected Jubilee senators Abdullahi Ali (Wajir), Margaret Kamar (Uasin Gishu), Michael Mbito (Trans Nzoia), Golich Wario (Tana River), Samson Cherargei (Nandi), Ephraim Maina (Nyeri), Mwangi Githiomi (Nyandarua), Susan Kihika (Nakuru), Johnson Sakaja (Nairobi), Kimani Wamatangi (Kiambu), Maalim Mohamed (Mandera), Godana Hargura (Marsabit), Mithika Linturi (Meru), John Kinyua (Laikipia), Aaron Cheruiyot (Kericho), Phillip Mpaayei (Kajiado), Yusuf Haji (Garissa), Peter Ndwiga (Embu), Kipchumba Murkomen (Elgeyo Marakwet), Kithure Kindiki (Tharaka Nithi), Christopher Langat (Bomet) and Anwar Loitiptip (Lamu).
Kirinyaga senator Charles Kibiru who was elected as an independent also allied himself to the deputy president.
But after the handshake, most Jubilee senators have abandoned Ruto for the Uhuru-Raila camp as demonstrated by the voting pattern during Waititu’s impeachment.
Only 11 senators voted against the former Kiambu governor impeachment. They are Murkomen, Cherargei, Cheruiyot, Kihika, Langat, Loitiptip, Linturi, Kinyua, Godana and Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetangula (Bungoma) together with nominated senators Mary Seneta and Millicent Omanga.
According to highly placed sources, Uhuru and Raila plan to impeach governors Samuel Tanui (Narok) and Moses Lenolkulal (Samburu) to cut off Ruto’s links as they politically finish the former Eldoret North MP.
Their plot is to replicate what the senate did last week when 28 senators, most of them from the opposition, convicted Waititu on all three counts levelled against him by the Kiambu county assembly and voted to remove him from office.
In the first count of violating the constitution, 27 senators voted to impeach the governor while 12 voted against it.
However, in the second count, in which the governor was accused of violating national laws, 28 senators voted for his ouster while 11 opposed it, with the same pattern being repeated on the third count of gross misconduct.
Within minutes of his impeachment, the speaker of the senate Ken Lusaka signed off a Gazette notice paving way for the swearing in of deputy governor James Nyoro.
The emergence of the Gazette notice caused panic among Waititu’s supporters after it emerged that his deputy was to be sworn in at a time his lawyers were preparing to move to the High Court to challenge the impeachment process.
The Gazette notice was printed at night by the Government Printer, Mwenda Njoka, who was seconded to the department by Interior cabinet secretary Fred Matiang’i. The first swearing ceremony backfired on technical grounds only to be done later after the court failed to stop it.
And as the preparations to swear the deputy governor were going on, Waititu was cooling heels at Milimani Law Courts battling graft allegations, a move that split his lawyers – some with him in court and others preparing to file a notice to challenge the impeachment process.
The Judiciary had indicated that Justice John Onyiego was to preside over the scheduled swearing-in of the deputy governor before another dispatch in the afternoon stated the process had been postponed to a later date.
According to press reports, Kiambu county speaker Stephen Ndichu postponed the swearing-in of Kiambu deputy governor after the presiding judge failed to turn up.
Those who had trooped to Kiambu to witness the swearing-in included woman representative Gathoni Wamuchomba, Maina Kamanda and nominated senator Isaac Mwaura.
According to sources, Uhuru has now trying to turn into a dictator as predicted by former Jubilee party vice chairman David Murathe, who in 2016 stated that the president needed to be a dictator to impact any meaningful development for the country.
Murathe, a close ally of the president and who is sent to test the waters, while speaking during an interview in a television station stated that countries like Rwanda and Uganda are stable because of the type of leadership they had.
A benevolent dictatorship refers to a government in which an authoritarian leader exercises absolute political power over the state but is perceived to do to benefit the population as a whole, standing in contrast to the decidedly malevolent stereotype of a dictator who focuses on their personal welfare and self-aggrandisement.
Examples of benevolent dictators include Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore and Albert-Rene of Seychelles.
Yew implemented laws that were seen as dictatorial and completely weakened the opposition and had a total grip of the country.
But his rule saw Singapore achieve the American dream, becoming a prosperous country just 40 years after the war-battered British port on an island off the southern tip of Malaysia was on the grip of total economic collapse.
Today, Singapore’s economy has grown tenfold and the percentage of families living in poverty has dropped to a mere 0.3pc of the population while the average life expectancy is 71 years and no one is homeless.
Waititu removal comes days after Mwangi Kiunjuri, a key Ruto ally, was dropped as Agriculture cabinet secretary. MPs targeted are Moses Kuria, Kimani Ichugwa, Alice Wahome, Laikipa women rep Kate Waruguru. Her husband’s law firm is being investigated on failure to remit payment awarded by the court to a client.
According to sources, Kirinyaga women rep Purity Girici family is being investigated on matters relating to international drug trafficking. She and her husband have been sued for failure to pay an aviation firm fee for choppers they used to campaign in 2017.
Already, state is withdrawing security and firearms to anti-Uhuru faces in the region as MPs face misuse of CDF. Kuria the Gatundu South MP is likely to land in court on corruption charges just like sacked Agriculture minister Kiunjuri.
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