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MPs develop cold feet over bid to sack Duale

By Standard Team | July 28th 2015

Central Kenya MPs Monday backed down from a motion to censure Leader of Majority Aden Duale for failing to produce a list of Al Shabaab sympathisers and financiers as promised.

The MPs now say they will discuss Duale as the MP for Garissa Town and not as leader of Majority in the National Assembly. Kieni MP Kanini Kega, the proponent of the motion, while denying that it was against Duale as the majority leader, said he was ready to give notice.

“I will give the notice on Tuesday, after which it will be presented before the House Business Committee. If it goes through, we will discuss the conduct and utterances of Duale within three days,” said Mr Kega on phone.

“Nobody said the motion is meant to remove Duale as majority leader. The motion is meant to discuss his conduct and utterances relating to Al Shabaab sympathisers, financiers and collaborators, in his position as Garissa Town MP," said Kega.

He said Standing Order No. 87 gives any MP powers to move a motion to discuss another member in the House.

This change of heart is seen as a response to opposition from Duale's party, the United Republican Party (URP).

Seven URP members from the South Rift opposed Kega's move terming it as ill-informed and meant to divide the Jubilee coalition.

Bernard Bett (Bomet East), Ken Kiloku (Narok East), Moitalel Kenta (Narok North), Patrick Ntutu (Narok West), Joseph Limo (Kipkelion West), Benjamin Langat (Ainamoi) and Paul Bii (Chepalungu) said Duale has performed well as the majority leader. They asked Kega to withdraw the motion.

The MPs said Duale's role is confined to Parliament, and his job description does not entail collecting intelligence.

Mr Bett said the grounds under which Kega wanted Duale removed had no bearing whatsoever to his performance and stated that should they make good their threat, then it will confirm use-and-dump suspicion that other leaders have among the Central Kenya leaders.

"Duale is not obligated to provide a list of terror financiers and their sympathisers. The Interior ministry is well equipped to do that. We read this as an attempt to bring in divisive politics. They are out to spoil the mood that US President Barrack Obama created during his visit to the country," said Bett.

Mr Kiloku said URP MPs had full confidence in Duale because he had efficiently and effectively defended the Government policy in the National Assembly.

"Duale has done us proud as Government MPs. Let the proponents of this motion know that it is not a single individual who can fight terrorism. We need all our efforts to win this war," said Kiloku.

Mr Kenta said the motion if not handled well, had the potential to tear apart the ruling coalition.

"This motion has the potential of creating an unnecessary rift between Somalis and other Kenyan communities. We, as leaders ought to watch against turning this country into a witch-hunting nation," said Kenta.

Mr Ntutu had said he would lobby the Pastoralist Caucus, which has over 85 MPs, to rally against the motion, while Mr Limo called for tolerance among leaders and termed Duale's promise as a slip of the tongue.

But according to Nyeri Town MP Esther Murugi, Duale has an obligation to mention those behind Al Shabaab by producing the list he promised.

"I have not seen the content of the motion, but I believe the MPs driving it have a genuine concern because the killings are directed towards people from one county," said Ms Murugi on phone with The Standard.

The calls for Duale's censure started two weeks ago during the burial of 11 victims of Al Shabaab attacks in Chaka.

Leaders present at the burial included Kega (Kieni), Peter Weru (Mathira), Priscillah Nyokabi (Nyeri County), Ndung'u Gethenji (Tetu) and Dagoretti South MP Dennis Waweru.

They all hit at Duale for his delay in submitting the list, which he had promised.

They challenged the leader of majority and all elected leaders from the North Eastern region to walk the talk and produce the list of sympathisers, financiers and militants.

"We are fed up. We will now be mentioning them by name so that they act and stop these killings," said Kega.

He said if the motion prevailed, it will give way to a Jubilee Parliamentary Group meeting, which has powers to remove Duale and replace him.

But this did not go well with a section of leaders in Jubilee who launched a scathing attack against the MPs supporting the motion.

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