Governor Tolgos hails Jubilee purge on Senate leadership

Monday May 18 2020
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Elgeyo-Marakwet Governor Alex Tolgos who has welcomed the changes President Uhuru Kenyatta made to the Senate Jubilee leadership, saying that those kicked out had publicly disrespected the party leader. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By JEREMIAH KIPLANG'AT

Elgeyo-Marakwet Governor Alex Tolgos has welcomed the changes President Uhuru Kenyatta made to the Senate Jubilee leadership, saying that those kicked out had publicly disrespected the party leader.

The governor, who was early this year appointed by the Head of State to lead the Building Bridges Initiative programmes in the North Rift, said it is wrong for members to show open disdain for their leader while they still expect to lead the government’s agenda in the august House.

REMOVED

Last week, Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen and Majority Whip Susan Kihika were removed from the lucrative posts in a parliamentary group meeting chaired by President Kenyatta at State House, Nairobi.

“I am not a senator. The decision to make the changes were made by them but what I know is we only have one party leader whom we should always respect. You cannot always be at cross purposes with what the party leader says and expect to push his agenda in the Senate,” the governor told the Nation.

Mr Murkomen, who is the Elgeyo-Marakwet senator, was replaced by his West-Pokot counterpart Samuel Phogisio.

Murang’a Senator Irungu Kang’ata replaced Ms Kihika, the Nakuru Senator.

The two have already challenged their ousting in court.

PARTY DISCIPLINE

Mr Tolgos said it was no longer tenable to have people speaking a different language from the President’s to lead the House business, adding that Mr Kenyatta was right to instil discipline in the ruling party.

“It is not right to disrespect your leader. You cannot always oppose the one leading you,” said the county boss who was among senior Kalenjin leaders who met Kanu Chairman Gideon Moi on Sunday.

Others who attended the meeting that focused on the current political situation in the country were MPs William Kamket (Tiaty), Joshua Kutuny (Cherangany), Silas Tiren (Moiben) and Musa Sirma (former Eldama Ravine MP).

A number of Jubilee nominated senators who skipped the State House meeting have already been served with show-cause letters. Reports indicate that they could be kicked out of the House if they fail to satisfactorily explain their absence.

SKIPPED MEETING

Mr Tolgos said it was unimaginable for them to skip a meeting summoned by the President who is the party leader.

“This should not be encouraged at all. We have some many other loyal members who can take their positions,” he added.

The governor spoke as one of Deputy President William Ruto’s closest allies, Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei, said he is aware that he is among those targeted for ousting following the fresh changes in the Senate leadership.

RUTO ALLIES

Mr Cherargei, who chairs the House Legal Affairs Committee, said although he has discharged his role without favour, he would not mind leaving the seat. He also asked the President to sack those he thinks are close to the DP if it will help him deliver the Big Four agenda and properly handle the coronavirus pandemic.

“The most important business for me is to serve the people of Nandi,” said the senator.

Other DP allies said to be on the chopping list are Bomet Senator Christopher Langat (Education committee), Trans Nzoia Senator Michael Mbito (Health) and Kericho’s Aaron Cheruiyot (member of Parliamentary Service Commission).

Dr Mbito is considered neutral and might survive the purge.