Cracking the whip: Jubilee to axe five senators

Nominated Senator Millicent Omanga at a past event. She is among five senators facing expulsion from the Jubilee Party. [File, Standard]

The ruling Jubilee party is set to expel five nominated senators for skipping a Parliamentary Group meeting convened by President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday.

The five, according to party Secretary General Raphael Tuju, are liable to gross insubordination and misconduct.

Tuju holds that they received messages inviting them to the meeting but did not bother to respond back and send apologies for snubbing the State House meet.

The 'rebel' senators are now starring at a recall. They include Millicent Omanga, Falhada Dekow, Naomi Jillo Waqo, Victor Prengei and Mary Seneta Yiane.

Senator Christine Zawadi, who also did not attend the meeting, will, however, not face the party’s disciplinary committee.

In a letter seen by Standard Digital, she wrote to the new Chief Whip Irungu Kangata saying, "her nonattendance is because of transport and logistic barriers that have been erected by the government to contain Covid-19."

Ms Zawadi explained that she was out of the Nairobi Metropolitan at the time of the meeting.

"However, I do endorse the resolutions of the said P.G meeting," she said, adding that for avoidance of doubt she supported the new Jubilee Party Senate leadership.

President Uhuru Kenyatta, hot off bolstering the strength of his party with a post-election agreement with Kanu, called the meeting to change his party’s senate leadership among other businesses.

Minutes in possession of The Standard show that the meeting was attended by 20 senators with three others in attendance.

"Pursuant to demands made by Members of Parliament to the party secretariat on diverse dates for a parliamentary group meeting, this meeting was convened," the minutes read.

The minutes also quote Tuju as saying that the agenda was proposed by members of parliament themselves.

It went on: "Senate leadership was afforded the chance to rebut allegations made against them at the plenary but they chose not to attend."

The minutes lasted 45 minutes and left a trail of causalities among Deputy President William Ruto allies.

Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen and Majority Whip Susan Kihika were removed from their key positions in the Senate.

Senator Samuel Poghisio (West Pokot) took over Murkomen’s role while Kihika was replaced by Muranga's Irungu Kangata who had been her deputy.

Nominated Senator Fatuma Dullo Adan from Isiolo County was picked as the Deputy Majority Leader, and Nominated Senator Farhiya Ali Haji was settled on as the Deputy Majority Chief Whip.

Both Murkomen and Kihika said they were not invited to the meeting.