Kalonzo faults Ruto for retaining Linturi in Cabinet despite fake fertiliser saga

Agriculture CS Mithika Linturi before the Select Committee on his Proposed Dismissal of the at the Mini Chambers in Nairobi on May 7, 2024. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Azimio leaders have taken President William Ruto to task for maintaining Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi in Cabinet even after 149 Members of Parliament voted in support of the proposal to have him removed from office.

Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka and DAP-K leader Eugene Wamalwa said that the President should have acted immediately when Parliament pronounced itself concerning the conduct of Linturi over the fake fertilizer scandal that has shaken the country.

The two Azimio principals who were speaking during a church fundraiser at the Victory Breakthrough Centre at Tassia Estate in Nairobi yesterday said that the President’s silence over the CS’s conduct raises questions over his commitment to fight corruption in the country.

“If I was President Ruto I could have sacked Linturi immediately after Parliament pronounced itself over his conduct on the fake fertiliser scandal, but we know he is between a rock and hard place since he has to look at political interests which may turn out costly for him,” said Kalonzo.

The Wiper leader decried the rising cases of corruption in the country and high taxation under the Kenya Kwanza regime saying Ruto has lost touch with the interests of citizens who are facing hard times.

The former Vice President said the late President Mwai Kibaki's government zero-rated taxation on boda boda transport creating jobs for millions of youths but the Kenya Kwanza regime has increased tax in the sector pushing up the cost of transport.

The Wiper leader said that an increase of taxes on essential commodities like bread will deny the average Kenyan family a decent breakfast which shows the highest level of insensitivity of the Kenya Kwanza leadership.

“During the National Dialogue Committee talks at Bomas of Kenya, the Azimio team wanted the high cost of living given the highest priority but our Kenya Kwanza colleagues rejected that knowing very well that they intended to increase taxation for Kenyans this year,” he said.

Kalonzo criticized President Ruto for dismissing the Meteorological Department report on El Nino rains only for the country to experience heavy flooding.

He said if the government had listened to weather and put in place necessary contingency measures the loss of lives and property witnessed during the flooding in various parts of the country could have been minimised.

The Wiper leader accused the government of ignoring to the plight of doctors leading to the loss of lives saying the crisis in the health sector should been given the priority it deserves.

“It is ridiculous that one arm of government seems not to know what the other arm is doing, we have seen how the issue of school reopening has been handled with an order being issued at midnight to postpone school opening which inconvenienced many,” he said.

Wamalwa said if the government continues with this trend citizens might resort to civil disobedience.

He asked religious leaders to check the excesses of the Kenya Kwanza administration which were spiraling out of control.

The DAP-K Party leader said that the same way that the church prayed to have this government in power they should also pray to have it removed from power since it has failed Kenyans and there was no likelihood that it is going to perform any better with the current trend.

Wamalwa assured that the opposition will remain intact even as Azimio leader Raila Odinga eyes the Africa Union Commission Chairmanship position and will keep the current government in check to ensure it delivers on its promises.

“I would like to assure Kenyans that the opposition has enough foot soldiers to continue with the course even as our leader is set to assume the Africa Union Commission Chairmanship, we will not allow the Kenya Kwanza regime to practice impunity,” he said.

The DAP-K leader said that Kenyans will be keenly watching how Parliament will handle Linturi's impeachment motion to see whether they have their interests at heart.

Embakasi South MP Julius Mawathe said Kalonzo has high chances of being the sixth President of Kenya since he has the necessary experience and demeanour and urged Kenyans to rally behind him as Raila exits the political seen to join Africa Union.

“Kalonzo Musyoka is well placed to be the sixth President of Kenya in 2027, he has the necessary experience, a clean track record and the support of Kenyans to take over the political mantle from Raila Odinga,” said Mawathe.