There is anxiety in the National Assembly as President Uhuru Kenyatta (pictured) moves to effect another ruthless purge in the House after a similar one left a trail of political casualties in the Senate.
Uhuru is said to have convened a Parliamentary Group (PG) for members of the National Assembly on June 2 to make another round of changes in the House leadership and committees.
The meeting comes on the heels of a purge in the Senate that saw key allies of Deputy President William Ruto – Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen, Susan Kihika (Nakuru) and Kithure Kindiki of Tharaka Nithi – kicked out of Majority Leader, Majority Whip and Senate Deputy Speaker positions, respectively.
Sources indicate that the PG meeting has generated anxiety among erstwhile critics of Uhuru in the House, many of whom are now eager to show their loyalty for the President.
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Only a few defiant MPs allied to Ruto are still talking tough.
Yesterday, DP’s confidant, Soy MP Caleb Kositany, said Ruto's allies will attend the meeting if they are invited and skip it altogether if they are not.
“If they do not invite us and it (the meeting) is convened at State House, there is no way we will attend," he said.
He said during the meeting, the MPs will push for a vote on every resolution, and that they will not simply rubber-stamp every resolution.
Kositany, who is Jubilee Party's Deputy Secretary-General, has been on the warpath with his boss, Raphael Tuju, challenging every communication the Secretary-General makes.
This time, Kositany queried why notices for the PG meeting were not being sent through the whips office.
“Cabinet Secretaries, Chief Administrative Secretaries and Principal Secretaries from certain regions have been calling MPs from their areas to ask them if they will attend the PG,” claimed Kositany.
Jubilee vice chair David Murathe said the PG will be convened before the National Assembly reconvenes. He warned that MPs who skip the meeting will have themselves to blame.
“Before the resumption of the House, we will have new leadership. Those who have refused to toe party line have no business holding positions in Parliament,” said Murathe.
Sunday Standard has learnt that those targeted for removal include Majority Whip Ben Washiali (Mumias East), Deputy Whip Cecily Mbarire (Nominated) and Budget and Appropriation Committee chairman Kimani Ichungwa (Kikuyu).
A senior party official indicated that Majority Leader Aden Duale could be removed since Uhuru's wing was not in the "mood of forgiving" members perceived to be disloyal.
"Duale's fate is a matter of an ongoing discussion, but I can tell you the mood for forgiving is not there. Anyone suspected of having allegiance elsewhere else will be shown the door," said the official.
But Murathe said Duale had been instrumental in pushing government agenda in the House and has so far not disappointed the party.
“The PG is very crucial for this agenda. If anyone snubs, that is where their troubles will commence. We will not tolerate anyone out to undermine the party leader,” stressed Murathe.
Sunday Standard has learnt that party officials, State House senior staff and MPs allied to Uhuru, including a vocal opposition legislator close to ODM leader Raila Odinga, have been meeting to strategise on how to reduce the DP’s influence in Parliament.
“The meetings are ongoing. They should not be deceived by numbers. We will replace them in a legal way,” said one of the officials aware on the happenings.
Another Jubilee official said to be among those targeted for removal warned that the planned purge will be costly for the party.
“They had it easy with the Senate. The National Assembly is a whole different ball game. It is the engine of the Jubilee administration. Let them tread carefully or it will turn nasty,” said the official.
Langat MP Nixon Korir recently declared that Ruto's allies would stick with him.
“We will stand with you (DP) until the end. No amount of intimidation will shake our resolve. We will revisit,” he said.
Belgut MP Nelson Koech faulted the Uhuru camp saying: “After consultations with colleagues, we have decided we shall start going round the country. Vultures are flashing the coronavirus card to confine us to our compounds as they have a field day in town wrecking the party, cutting political deals and looting the country dry,” he said.