By: JUSTUS WANGA
Members of Parliament are now planning to impeach Speaker of National Assembly Justin Muturi in what they term as his acts of frustrating Nandi Hills MP Alfred Keter’s motion to impeach Devolution CS Anne Waiguru.
Yatta MP Francis Mwangangi, from the Jubilee affiliated Muungano Party, is spearheading the drive.
Mr Mwangangi told Sunday Nation: “The Speaker has become a prisoner of forces outside the National Assembly. He should allow the motion to go to its conclusive end not give excuses. He is a referee not a player.”
Mr Mwangangi accused the Speaker of bending House rules to strike out the motion by Mr Keter.
He said that after Mr Keter met the conditions set, Mr Muturi ruled that the motion had not reached the required threshold.
He claimed that close to 200 MPs have signed Mr Keter’s motion and will sign the new one to remove the Speaker.
The Sunday Nation has learnt that forces around President Uhuru Kenyatta were thrown into a state of panic the moment more Jubilee MPs signed up to sack Ms Waiguru, who has been in the eye of the storm over misuse of public funds in her ministry.
Mr Kenyatta is reportedly furious over the bold move by the MPs who are now concerned that a campaign of retribution could be launched to punish them for “making it appear like Mr Kenyatta is losing his grip in his mount Kenya backyard.”
MPs Wanjiku Muhia (Nyandarua Woman Representative), Kigo Njenga (Gatundu North), Alois Lentoimaga (Samburu North), Humphrey Njuguna (Gatanga), Kanini Kega (Kieni), Kabando Wa Kabando (Mukurweini) and 11 others endorsed a statement demanding the minister’s dismissal last week.
As proof that the State House strategy was working, a number of the MPs have so far reached out to the Sunday Nation seeking to “set the record straight” that they never said Ms Waiguru should be fired.
This is in response to a story we published last week with names of the MPs who wanted the CS to leave.
But perhaps more significant in the saga is the special place Mr Muturi occupies in terms of driving President Kenyatta’s agenda in the House, although ideally, Parliament is supposed to be independent of the Executive.
The Speaker has a long-standing relationship with Mr Kenyatta and it would be unlikely that he will be the man to disappoint the Head of State “at his hour of need”.
They are even known to frequently enjoy their favourite tipple together.
A senior Jubilee figure told the Sunday Nation that because of what appears to be a crack in the ranks of Jubilee, President Kenyatta will soon convene a parliamentary group meeting of Jubilee MPs.
Jubilee is keen to defeat the planned censure of Ms Waiguru because it sees it more as an Opposition onslaught on government than a genuine campaign against the graft, and they say it is not clear who would be their next target should they succeed in the CS’s case.
A toll order as it may practically be, the Opposition is already mobilising to impeach Mr Kenyatta.
The concern, however, is that with some Jubilee MPs wavering, it could prove to be an expensive experiment allowing the motion to proceed before “steadying the ship”.
Mr Muturi told the House that he had used his discretion, as provided for in the Standing Orders, to reject the impeachment motion initiated Mr Keter.
“These are your Standing Orders and not unless you change them, this is what they provide. The mover of the special motion has to provide the evidence and annexes indicating what violations the CS is alleged to have made and which sections of the Constitution were breached as a result,” he ruled.
But Opposition MPs accused Mr Muturi of applying double standards.
“The Standing Order Number One that he cited can only be used when there is a grey area in law which is not the case here. Why did he not ask for the same evidence when Education CS Jacob Kaimenyi was facing the same fate?” deputy minority leader in the House Jakoyo Midiwo said.
The Standing Order gives the Speaker sweeping powers over affairs in the House.
Mr Keter has since re-submitted it, for the third time after URP MPs withdrew their signatures in the first attempt denying him the requisite 88 signatures he needs.
The motion to impeach Prof Kaimenyi sponsored by Matayos MP Geoffrey Odanga was defeated on the floor of the House in July.
This is the second time Mr Muturi’s name is mentioned with regard to an attempted impeachment of Ms Waiguru.
In June last year, Igembe South MP Mithika Linturi, the first MP to lead an unsuccessful impeachment of Ms Waiguru, claimed the Speaker was among those who attended a meeting on June 7 in Meru, after the wedding of Buuri MP Gatobu Kinoti to try and get the minister off the hook.
I HAVE NO DOUDT
The chairman of Central Kenya and Nairobi parliamentary caucus Dennis Waweru defended Mr Muturi from accusations of bias.
“The Speaker stood by the House rules yet my brother (Mr Keter) has either by design or default chosen to ignore. The threshold must be met,” the Dagoreti South MP said.
The Speaker defended his track record during Parliament Week in September saying while he was independent of influence from the Executive, he has no qualms with whatever views and perception people want to hold about him.
“When you contest for the position of the Speaker, you must be supported by some party or coalition of parties but once you assume the position, you no longer owe your allegiance to those parties or coalitions,” he said.
Mr Muturi got 202 votes against Cord candidate Kenneth Marende’s 144 to become the Speaker of the 11th National Assembly.
On Thursday, Mr Keter presented documents to the office of the clerk, which would be forwarded to the Speaker’s office for approval.
SOURCE: DAILY NATION