Ruto opposes censure of Kenya PM

December 1, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya Dec 1 – Agriculture Minister William Ruto is opposed to the planned vote of no-confidence against Prime Minister Raila Odinga terming it as “an unnecessary diversion from the real issues.”

His position sharply contrast views held by a cross section of Rift Valley MPs who are fronting the censure Motion after the PM came under fire for carrying out what the lawmakers term the “inhumane eviction of squatters from the Mau forest.”

Mr Ruto said the controversial eviction of the settlers could be settled through deliberations between both parties rather than by politicising the matter.

“The motion of no-confidence in the Prime Minister is uncalled for and unjustified. Disputes like that we have had over the Mau can be resolved in a more consultative manner than resulting to a motion of no-confidence,” Mr Ruto stressed.

The Agriculture Minister further cautioned his colleagues over the planned Motion arguing such a move against the PM could have negative implications on the country’s political landscape.

“A motion of no-confidence is a very critical tool used on very rare occasions especially when it is targeted at an office such as that of the Prime Minister,” he said.

Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Mutula Kilonzo has already described the planned motion as ‘petty.’  He said if successful, the motion against Mr Odinga will frustrate reforms in the country.

Mr Ruto has instead urged his Rift Valley colleagues to focus their attention on serving the Kenyan people who he said have long been frustrated by lack of leadership.

“We should not divert the attention of the country to side shows and instead focus on delivery of what we must do as a nation on the program we have placed before us,” he said.

At the same time, eight Members of Parliament working under the parliamentary caucus on reforms have called for a cease-fire between the Prime Minister and Mr Ruto over the Mau evictions.

The lawmakers led by Danson Mungatana said the row could derail the Constitution making process.

They said the disagreement between Raila and Rift Valley MPs would polarise Kenyans and could frustrate the review process.

Ikolomani MP Bonny Khalwale said even though they were unhappy with the government’s handling of the evictions, they did not support the planned motion of no-confidence against the PM.

They say the Premier is merely acting in accordance with resolutions passed in Parliament to evict squatters from the water tower.


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