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Duale faults Atwoli over calls to remove him from key House slot

By Hillary Orinde | May 24th 2020 at 10:23:16 GMT +0300

National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale at a past press conference in April 2020. [File, Standard]

National Assembly Majority Leader has asked Cotu Secretary General Francis Atwoli to keep off parliamentary matters and allow those who understand the workings of the August House to discuss the performance of its current leadership.

Aden Duale said his position is properly constituted under the law and his removal cannot therefore be a subject of speculation by people who may not appreciate Article 108 of the Constitution that creates his office.

"Is he a member of the Jubilee Parliamentary Group and who is he acting for? My record speaks for itself," Duale said. He was responding to calls by Atwoli to have him removed forthwith from the Majority Leader slot in the ongoing purge in the Jubilee Party.

Atwoli’s call came just days after Senate Deputy Speaker Kindiki Kithure was removed due to alleged disloyalty to the Jubilee Party as rifts widened between allies of President Kenyatta and those of Deputy President William Ruto.

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Just last week, Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen and Whip Susan Kihika suffered the same fate in what allies believe was a process squarely targeting Ruto allies.

Speaking at his Ildamat home in Kajiado Central at the weekend, Atwoli praised the changes at the Senate, saying the political ‘bloodbath’ should extend to the National Assembly. Duale and Jubilee Chief Whip in Parliament Benjamin Washiali are believed to be allies of Deputy President William Ruto.

"It will be of no value to vote out Kindiki and leave another in Parliament holding a key position in government when it comes to legislation," Atwoli said, adding that he would intensify campaigns to have Duale removed.

"Does he think I care much? I have a history of fighting for change. Atwoli has no locus to decide who occupies what position in Parliament," Duale said, adding that Cotu which Atwoli heads is not an affiliate of Jubilee Party to pronounce itself on parliamentary matters.

Speaking in Nairobi, the Garissa Township MP said by virtue of his age, Atwoli should be seeking to unify the country rather than create divisions. "He should be thinking about retirement instead of abusing elected leaders."

"Elders of his age are spending more time in mosques praying to Allah to give us peace and to keep at bay Covid-19. They do not engage in politicking like Atwoli. Duale will be the last person to be scared by his utterances," Duale said.

Ruto allies have since protested against changes at the Senate, saying due process hasn’t been followed. Last week, Jubilee vice chairman said Duale's performance had been impressive since he had succeeded in pushing government agenda in the House.

Francis Atwoli Aden Duale Jubilee Party Succession Politics
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