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No one is after Matiang'i, Duale assures

Thursday May 23 2019

Matiang'i, Duale and Uhuru

A file photo of Interior CS Fred Matiang'i with National Assembly majority leader Aden Duale and President Uhuru Kenyatta at Harambee House in Nairobi. PHOTO | PSCU 

DAVID MWERE
By DAVID MWERE
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National Assembly majority leader Aden Duale has denied claims that MPs are plotting to remove Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i from office after his name was dragged into the Sh400 million fake gold scam.

Minority leader John Mbadi (Suba South, ODM) claimed a section of MPs associated with Tangatanga, an amorphous political grouping supporting Deputy President William Ruto’s 2022 presidential bid, intended to sponsor a motion against the CS.

Mr Mbadi went on to claim that the legislators were using the gold issue as an excuse to punish Dr Matiang’i because the DP has not been happy since President Uhuru Kenyatta gave him more responsibilities.

Mr Mbadi also alleged that two MPs from Murang’a and Kericho counties, who neither denied nor confirmed the claims, were leading the mobilisation of signatures to force out the minister.

PROTECTION

On Wednesday, however, Mr Duale (Garissa Town) dismissed his colleague's claims, noting the threshold for removing State officers such as the President, DP and Cabinet Secretaries is very high.

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“Nobody has any plan to sponsor a motion of removal from office of Dr Matiang’i. If it ever came, I would be the first to defend the government official,” he said in his office within Parliament buildings.

As majority leader, Mr Duale is the official spokesman of Jubilee Party in the House and acts as the link between the Executive and the Legislature.

He noted that ruling party has structures and will not allow any of its members to come up with such a motion.

“If they want to remove the CS (s) in rallies or bars, I cannot stop them because they are not within the precincts of Parliament. Otherwise it is not a walk in the park. Mbadi should not lie because unlike him, I have the numbers in the House to protect the CS."

THE PROBE

A recording that went viral on social media has President Kenyatta, ODM leader Raila Odinga, Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula and Dr Matiang’i mentioned in the fake gold deal involving the Dubai royal family.

Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) boss George Kinoti, whose officers are investigating the matter, has since said that President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga are not persons of interest in the probe.

Director of Public Prosecution has also defended the three, noting such claims require the backing of proof.

Mr Duale urged politicians to let the DCI to do his job and those found culpable carry their own cross.

“I have confidence that Mr Kinoti will unravel the truth. It is only under his leadership that those involved in fake gold scams and those conning Kenyans of their hard-earned resources have been unmasked,” he noted.

"He only needs to expand his investigations outside the country.”

PRECEDENT

Never once in the history of Parliament, and since the Constitution came into force in 2013, has a State officer been removed from office but former Education Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi came close to being removed.

Mr Duale intervened in a move that saw Prof Kaimenyi survive by less than 13 votes of the 117 required to have an 11-member committee established to investigate him.

Attempts against Anne Waiguru (former Devolution CS), Henry Rotich (Treasury) and Adan Mohamed (Industrialisation) fell by the wayside.

Then Interior Principal Secretary, now Foreign Affairs CS Monica Juma, was also the subject of a removal motion.