Six allies of Deputy President William Ruto have been ejected from parliamentary committees, as President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party continues purge on dissidents.
Yesterday, National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi announced the ejection of six members, five of whom were chairpersons of their respective committees who have since shifted their loyalty to Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance (UDA.)
Laikipia Woman Representative Cate Waruguru lost her position as vice-chairperson of the Agriculture and Livestock Committee. She has also been discharged from being a member.
Former ICT Committee chairperson William Kisang (Marakwet East) suffered the same fate, losing his membership to the committee as well.
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Kajiado South MP Katoo ole Metito will no longer chair or be a member of the Defence and Foreign Relations Committee, with Maara MP Kareke Mbiuki losing similar rights at the Environment and Natural Resources Committee.
Also discharged from committees they chaired are Nakuru East MP David Gikaria (Energy) and Bura MP Ali Wario (Select Committee on Regional Integration.)
“Having perused the documents through which the Jubilee Party transmitted the decision to discharge the said Hon Members, I am satisfied that the process leading to the discharge met the requirements set out in Standing Order 176,” said Muturi.
“I hereby direct… the Clerk of the National Assembly expeditiously conducts elections to fill the resultant vacancies,” he added.
The six were notified of the purge a fortnight ago.
The lawmakers had served only in the committees from which they were ejected and will be appointed to others by the National Assembly’s Committee on Selection, in accordance with a ruling by Muturi in June 2020. “Every member should have a fair chance to sit in at least one committee, without appearing to entreat or beg any other party for a reasonable opportunity,” Muturi said.
President Kenyatta has previously cracked the whip on Ruto-allied MPs since their fallout that followed the handshake with ODM leader Raila Odinga. More purges could be in the offing in the face of political realignments.
The purge in parliament begun in 2019 where Jubilee party cracked the whip on several MPs allied to Ruto including former National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale, Senate Deputy Speaker Kithure Kindiki, Kipchumba Muromen (Senate majority leader and his Nakuru counterpart Susan Kihika from Leader of Majority.
They were replaced by Kipipiri MP Amos Kimunya, Uasin Gishu senator Margaret Kamar, West Pokot Senator Samuel Poghisio and his Murang’a counterpart Irungu Kang’ata. Kang’ata would be removed a year later.
Others who were shown the door were Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei, Bomet’s Christopher Lang’at and John Kinyua of Laikipia, all chairmen of key Senate committees.