DP William Ruto’s hand in ending Central MPs’ plot against Aden Duale
By Job Weru and Lydiah Nyawira | August 12th 2015
NAIROBI: Intense lobbying by Deputy President William Ruto and the fear of a fallout in the Jubilee coalition led to the withdrawal of a censure motion against National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale, The Standard has established.
Although the MPs behind the move to censure Duale insisted a decision was arrived at through consensus, leaders in the coalition say Kieni MP Kanini Kega was pressurised to drop the motion or face sanctions from the party.
Multiple sources confirmed a series of meetings between Nyeri MPs behind the motion and their counterparts from North Eastern, as well as two high-level consultations with the Deputy President led to the dropping of the motion.
The first meeting with Ruto at his official residence in Karen did not yield much since those who attended, including the Kieni MP, immediately declared that the planned censure was still on.
“The legislators canvassed a myriad of issues affecting the region. They put across their grievances, which they want the Jubilee administration to tackle,” said an MP from Central region who was privy to the happenings in the meeting.
“We cannot continue losing our people to Al Shabaab,” said another legislator during the meeting.
Duale did not take the matter lying down, and is said to have shared his reservations with President Uhuru Kenyatta and Ruto. He even threatened to quit the Jubilee Alliance Party, if the Jubilee leadership failed to contain the situation.
The matter quickly degenerated into a tussle between President Uhuru’s The National Alliance (TNA) and Ruto’s United Republican Party (URP) of which Duale is a senior member. URP MPs rejected the motion and said any move to oust Duale from the position amounted to an affront against Ruto and his URP brigade.
Legislators from Northern Kenya had also threatened to reconsider their support for Jubilee if the motion went ahead.
Kega and other Nyeri TNA MPs found themselves isolated as other parliamentarians from Central Kenya failed to support the move, an indication that the motion would be defeated on the floor of the House.
Leaders from Meru and Embu were first to disassociate themselves with the censure motion, with majority of them Tuesday saying from the word go, “the motion was a Nyeri affair.”
Tuesday, Kega spoke exclusively to The Standard for the first time about the underhand games that caused him to drop the motion.
“The motion was aimed at discussing Duale as the MP for Garissa Township, but people started bringing in Central and North Eastern and TNA and URP politics,” said Kega.
But even after the decision to drop the motion, Kega is confident that he got more than he bargained for, noting that the families of terror victims would benefit from a Sh5 million compensation and leaders from both regions will also be conducting visits to the victims.
The MP said the motion was meant to discuss Duale’s utterances, noting that the leader of majority had been quoted threatening to table a list of Al Shabaab financiers, collaborators and sympathisers.
“These are the details we wanted. We wanted to compel him (Duale) and the Government’s security apparatus to get serious about terrorism,” he said.
Though he acknowledged they met the deputy president, Kega did not discuss at length the outcome.
But the withdrawal of the motion drew different reactions from leaders in Mt Kenya.
Mwea MP Peter Gitau said it was regrettable that Kega had been coerced to drop the motion, yet the answers he was demanding from Duale were not forthcoming.
Gitau said the Kieni MP should have been allowed to prosecute his motion in the House and the MPs given an opportunity to make an informed decision.
But Mathira MP Peter Weru said MPs from Nyeri reached a consensus to drop the motion because their concerns were being addressed by the relevant authorities through dialogue.
Weru said there was no pressure on Kega to drop the censure motion against Duale because the issues in the motion were not about an individual but rather about policy.
But opposition to the motion originated from Nyeri where Kega hails from.
Leaders under the Jubilee Alliance Party (JAP), the party on which Uhuru and Ruto are expected to contest their seats in 2017, were the first critics. The leaders, led by Patron William Wahome and Wambugu Nyamu (Chairman) launched the fight against MPs supporting the motion, saying they should disassociate the party and the people of Nyeri from the unwarranted and unprovoked attacks on Duale.
“The party fraternity has total confidence in Duale and the able manner in which he has discharged his duties and responsibilities as the Leader of Majority in Parliament,” Wahome said.
And Nyamu observed although Nyeri had lost more than 30 lives to attacks in North Eastern, leaders should stop personalising the war on terrorism.
At the same time, opposition to the motion gathered steam when MPs from Marsabit, Isiolo and Samburu dismissed their counterparts from Nyeri County.
MPs Joseph Lekuton (Laisamis, ODM), Ali Rasso (Saku, URP), Joseph Samal (URP, Isiolo North), Raphael Letimalo (Samburu East, TNA) and Abdullahi Banticha (URP, Isiolo South) dared their colleagues from Nyeri to go on with their threat to censure Duale, vowing to defeat them on the floor of the House.
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