Uhuru targets Ruto’s Mt Kenya allies in fresh purge

Monday May 18 2020
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Nominated Senator Millicent Omanga. She skipped a Jubilee parliamentary group meeting. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By IBRAHIM ORUKO
By JUSTUS OCHIENG'

As Jubilee Party MPs await their parliamentary group meeting with President Uhuru Kenyatta, the onslaught against Deputy President William Ruto’s men in the Senate continues with a shake-up of committees expected today.

The Nation has learnt that Dr Ruto’s allies from Mt Kenya are the target of the shake-up, as Mr Kenyatta consolidates his power.

According to the plan, senators from Dr Ruto’s Rift Valley backyard will be spared, in a move that observers say is a divide-and-rule tactic to totally isolate the DP.

The attack on the lawmakers comes just days after five nominated senators were issued with show-cause letters after they skipped the parliamentary group meeting in which a resolution was made to sack Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen and Majority Whip Susan Kihika.

“It is a normal house cleaning process. We must clean the house and have in place individuals who will promote and protect the interests of the party and government policies,” Jubilee Secretary-General Raphael Tuju.

Majority Whip Irungu Kang’ata denied claims that the decision to shake-up the committee is discriminatory.

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“Under the commonwealth practice and party rules, lawmakers have a specific agenda of pushing party positions, both in and out of Parliament. When they openly defy the party leader, the essence of democracy is killed,” he said, adding that there will be no let up until all rebels are pushed out of the party.

BENEFICIARIES

On the chopping block are senators John Kinyua and Mahamud Mohamed, who chair the Devolution and Intergovernmental Relations Committee and Finance and Budget Committee, respectively.

Others are nominated senators Naomi Waqo and Millicent Omanga, the chair and vice-chair of the National Cohesion Committee, Meru Senator Mithika Linturi, who is the vice-chair of the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee, and Lamu Senator Anuar Loitiptip, the vice-chair of the Trade and Tourism Committee. Also targeted is nominated Senator Victor Prengei, who is the vice-chair of the Lands Committee.

Others like senator Christopher Langat, who chairs the committee on Education and Mr Samson Cherarkey (Justice and Legal Affairs) will be spared because, according to a source, “they have no choice but support the DP for their own survival”.

Uasin Gishu Senator Margret Kamar and nominated senator Alice Milgo, both who attended the meeting, are the likely beneficiaries of the changes, with sources indicating they will be promoted to chair committees.

Already, five nominated senators are facing disciplinary action after they skipped the PG at State House last week.

DISCIPLINARY ACTION

And even as the onslaught continues in the Senate, it also emerged three nominated senators could escape the disciplinary action after they retreated and pledged their allegiance to the President

Ms Mary Seneta is the latest legislator to explain her absence. In a statement, the senator said she had planned to attend but fell sick “in the build-up to the meeting”.

“I was ready to give my full support but I was unwell. I, however, assure you that I do not diminish the decisions of the party,” she said in a letter to party chairman Nelson Dzuya.

A former Kajiado woman representative, Ms Seneta becomes the third nominated senator to express remorse over missing the PG.

Other are Ms Waqo and Christine Zawadi. Senators Omanga and Victor Prengei have remained mum since they received their letters on Wednesday.

Mr Tuju insisted that the process for expelling the lawmakers from the party is well on course and their fate now lies with the party's disciplinary committee.