NAIROBI, Kenya May 22 – Tharaka Nithi Senator Abraham Kithure Kindiki is the latest casualty in the ongoing purge of disloyal members in the ruling Jubilee Party.
Kindiki was ousted Friday, after a long acrimonious debate during a Special Sitting convened by Speaker Kenneth Lusaka to dispense off a Motion of No Confidence tabled by Majority Whip Irungu Kangata.
It was supported by 54 Senators against 7.
There was drama in the Senate, with Senators from either side occassionally throwing jabs at each other, as Kindiki’s supporters–led by Kipchumba Murkomen of Elgeyo Marakwet and Nakuru’s Susan Kihika–demanded to be told his charges.
Kindiki is accused of being disloyal to President Uhuru Kenyatta by failing to attend a Parliamentary Group meeting at State House, Nairobi where a decision was reached to dismiss Murkomen and Kihika as Majority Leader and Majority Whip respectively.
They were replaced by Samuel Poghisio of West Pokot and Murang’a Senator Kang’ata respectively.
“Professor Kindiki is being crucified for nothing,” Murkomen charged, occassionally accusing Speaker Ken Lusaka of failing to follow the law.
Kihika on her part said it was a sad day for Kenya and the democratic gains made since independence.
During the voting session, drama ensued after Murkomen protested that members who were absent for the vote had been allowed to vote through their respective House leaders.
“Let us not rape the Constitution, this is defilement which cannot be allowed to go on,” he protested to the Speaker.
But in the end, only votes for Senators present were considered.
“The results that I am going to read just for the avoidance of doubt are for those Senators who were in the precincts of Parliament and voted. Having concluded the business of the day the House stands adjourned until 26, May 2020,” the Speaker ruled.
It was the vote for nominated Senator Beth Mugo read out by House Majority Leader Samuel Poghisio that irked Murkomen who rose on a point of order but his pea was immediately suppressed by Speaker Lusaka who ruled that voting should proceed.
Kindiki, in his speech, vowed to soldier on with his political career and cautioned his tormentors that he will bounce back in the coming days ahead.
Murkomen had earlier during the session led his colleagues, mainly those opposed to the ouster motion in casting aspersion in the move by Jubilee Party to de-whip the Tharaka Nithi Senator.
As soon as the debate started the Murkomen demanded for evidence on the charges which were leveled against Kindiki to warrant his removal from office.
“The country has been waiting with bated breath to know what is this big mistake that the son of Meru has done and it will be wrong for the House to rush and vote,” he said.
Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika wondered why the process was hurried and at one point referred the House as “useless” and being used as an extension of the Executive.
“It is immoral and a traversity to remove Kindiki without the House being given sufficient reasons,” she said.
Meru Senator Mithika Linturi accused the leadership of Jubilee party of being petty and “politically assassinating” Kindiki whose competency was unmatched.
“It is a shame and Jubilee Party should be ashamed,” he said.
The mover of the motion, House Majority Chief Whip Irungu Kangata however, defended the move by Jubilee Party not to provide reasons for Kithure’s removal insisting that no law states so.
“I look at the law as it is and not as it ought to be and the law as it is that is the Constitution and also the Standing Orders they do not provide at all for a procedure for giving reasons and therefore if I could have done that it would be illegal and null and void,” he said.
Minority Leader James Orengo reminded Kindiki that his predicament was occasioned by politics of numbers and power and that it is not his competency that was on trial.
“Senator Kindiki is not under trial and he should accept his fate,” he said.
Poghisio asked the Tharaka Nithi Senator to accept his fate, encouraging him that his political career was still on course.
“The party requires strengthening and unity and after the vote Kindiki should be thankful that the party offered him the opportunity to serve,” he said.
Kindiki, who absolved President Uhuru Kenyatta of being behind his troubles, vowed to remain loyal and continue serving his constituents diligently.
“The trumped-up charges are baseless and it is unfortunate that I am being removed from office unconstitutionally,” he said.
The focus now shifts on Kindiki’s successor with the party expected to retreat to choose a suitable replacement.