President Uhuru Kenyatta sparked angry exchanges on Monday with the Opposition with a warning that Raila Odinga would be impeached by Jubilee MPs should he be elected president.
The President said his Jubilee Party has unfettered control of both the National Assembly and the Senate and would make it impossible for Raila to govern the country in the event the National Super Alliance (NASA) candidate beats him in the October 17 poll ordered by the Supreme Court.
Uhuru, who spoke at State House in Nairobi after a meeting with delegations of Kamba and Luhya leaders who have backed his re-election, said the fresh presidential poll was just a waste of taxpayers' money since Raila would go nowhere with it.
"Today, even if Raila is elected (president), tell me how will he govern the country? How? Jubilee has 41 senators, both elected and nominated. We can do business in the Senate without a single member of NASA present," said Uhuru.
The President went on: "With about 220 MPs we are only 13 members shy of the two-thirds majority in the National Assembly. Meaning we can even change the Constitution without a single member of NASA.
"Even if he is elected we have the opportunity in Parliament within two or three months to impeach him," said Uhuru.
But in a quick rejoinder, NASA co-principal Moses Wetang'ula, who was accompanied by Raila at a press briefing in Nairobi, termed the President's statement ill-advised. Wetang'ula said a sitting president can only be impeached for gross misconduct.
Wetang'ula termed the remarks as hypothetical and unattainable since "you cannot drive a vehicle in anticipation of an accident".
"President Uhuru Kenyatta seems to be ill-informed. The Jubilee party does not have a super majority in either of the Houses. He has no capacity or any moral authority to think about an impeachment. What are the charges being preferred?" said Wetang'ula.
A sitting president can be impeached on grounds of "gross violation of a provision of the Constitution or of any other law, where there are serious reasons for believing that the president has committed a crime under national or international law; or for gross misconduct."
And such as motion can only be successful if it gets the backing of two-thirds majority (233 MPs) in the National Assembly. Thereafter, the motion is presented to the Senate, which, by resolution, may appoint a special committee comprising 11 of its members to investigate the matter. If the committee finds the allegations have no basis, the president is off the hook.
If the committee finds the president has a case to answer, at least two-thirds of all the members of the Senate would be required to vote to uphold any impeachment charge.
Jubilee Party has 172 MPs in the National Assembly elected on its ticket but enjoys backing of several affiliate parties, including Kanu, Maendeleo Chap Chap, Economic Freedom Party, and independent candidates leaning towards it, bringing the number to about 220 members.
The remarks by the President are part of a continued war of words between NASA and the ruling Jubilee Party as they prepare for a repeat battle after Uhuru's re-election was nullified by the Supreme Court over electoral illegalities and irregularities.
Jubilee leadership has sustained a narrative that the courts subverted the will of about 15 million voters while NASA has termed the ruling a win for Kenyans whose will to pick their preferred leaders has been manipulated three times in a row.
Uhuru opened the new battle front with the Opposition at State House during a meeting with Ukambani leaders.
The President also dared Opposition MPs to boycott today's opening of the 12th Parliament, where he will address a joint sitting of both Houses.
The President said Jubilee MPs will not be cowed by the boycott threats, asserting that Parliament will start discharging its legislative role with or without NASA MPs.