It’s time to impeach Ruto for disobedience, say Raila allies

ODM leader Raila Odinga with Siaya Senator James Orengo at the funeral of Awendo MP Walter Owino’s father Peter Sirawa in Migori County yesterday. [Collins Oduor, Standard]

Siaya Senator James Orengo says it is time to impeach Deputy President William Ruto for reportedly disrespecting President Uhuru Kenya.

Even as the DP’s allies were quick to dismiss this, Orengo, a close ally of ODM leader Raila Odinga, yesterday said he would revisit the matter.

“I had filed a motion sometimes back against him for disrespecting the President. You cannot insult the government you are part of. Ruto sits at the National Security Council where he is getting all the intelligence briefs and therefore he cannot go against the wish of his government,” said Orengo.

He was speaking at the burial of Peter Sirawa, father of Awendo MP Walter Owino in Ombasa, Migori County.

Raila, who also attended the funeral, said he was not an insider in government but was working closely with President Kenyatta to resolve some of the of the social, economic and political problems facing Kenya.

Although Raila did not directly plunge into the impeachment debate, he made an indirect reference when he told mourners: “I am a better adviser to the President than Ruto. I am not in government but I advise the President on national matters.”

He said his relationship with President Kenyatta is rock solid and nobody can antagonise them.

But these sentiments drew swift reactions from Ruto allies who, in separate interviews, told off Orengo, daring him and his friends to bring on the impeachment motion.

“To impeach the Deputy President, you need two-thirds which they don’t have in the National Assembly. We want to tell them to bring it on because it will show who has the numbers and who has the backing of the majority poor,” said Soy MP Caleb Kositany.

Political ego

Kositany added: “The grounds of impeachment can never be political ego our competitors have resorted to. They are well spelt out. Why are they scared so much about this man? If they have the numbers why can’t they impeach him at the ballot?”

Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei was equally unimpressed by calls to impeach Ruto even as he poured cold water on such attempts.

“It is not the first time he is saying that. Let him bring it on. They don’t have the numbers neither do they have the grounds,” said Cherargei.

Raila, who had been accused by critics of sneaking into the government through the backdoor, said he was perturbed that some people were unhappy with his relationship with the President, which he said was only aimed at uniting Kenya.

Earlier, there was tension at the funeral after supporters of Migori Governor Okoth Obado and Senator Ochilo Ayacko jammed the home, with either side warming up to show their might.

Obado and Ayacko have not met for several months and recently clashed over ODM’s plans to impeach the governor.

Governor Obado supported the proposed expansion and leasing of the Sony Sugar factory, saying this could be the only solution to farmers’ woes.

“I am in agreement with all that has been said, and I fully support plans to revive the factory,” he said.

Obado ignored local politics and affirmed his loyalty and support to ODM and its leadership.

Fit to be president

“Jakom (chairman), some people have been coming to you with claims that Migori is pulling against your political establishment. I want to denounce that theory before you by reaffirming that we are firmly behind your political course and development,” he said.

Those in attendance included MPs John Mbadi (Suba South), Junnet Mohamed (Suna East), Tom Odege (Nyatike), Paul Abuor (Rongo),Tom Kajwang (Ruaraka), Babu Owino (Embakassi East), Lilian Gogo (Rangwe), Mark Nyamita (Uriri), Martin Owino (Ndhiwa), Peter Masarsa (Suna West), Elisha Odhiambo (Gem), Samwel Atandi (Alego Usonga) and David Gikaria (Nakuru Town East).

The legislators urged Raila to run for presidency in 2022. Gikaria amused the crowd when he said he had ran to Tangatanga and quickly retreated to Raila’s fold upon realising he was fit to be President.

“I want to reassure you of my unwavering support in Nakuru,” he said.

Ayacko told Raila that Migori residents were behind his leadership and were mark-timing to support the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) and his presidential bid.

”My humble appeal to you is to help us revive Sony Sugar factory to mill more cane and improve the lives of our people,” said the senator.