President Uhuru Kenyatta’s men have hatched an elaborate plan to remove William Ruto as the Deputy President.
According to a report by the The Star, the plot to impeach DP Ruto will be rolled out in stages.
The first step will be to expel him from the Jubilee by removing his name from the party membership register. This would render him partyless.
“Once the Registrar of Political Parties scraps Ruto’s name from the party roll, then we will move on to kick out Ruto as Deputy President,” a highly placed source aware of the plan told the local daily.
Already, Jubilee Secretary General Raphael Tuju has publicly announced plans to remove Ruto as the Deputy Party Leader over after what he termed the DP’s attempted “power grab” at Jubilee headquarters.
Ruto last week stormed Pangani-based Jubilee Headquaters accompanied by at least 30 MPs. He said he’d operate from his party office once or twice a week.
The DP also earlier protested against Jubilee’s move to withdraw from the Msambweni by-election in favour of Raila Odinga’s ODM.
“…the NMC (National Management Committee) has recommended to the NEC that the DP ceases to be Deputy Party leader after he opened the so-called Jubilee Asili offices that are reserved for him and his allies until such a time that this development of Jubilee Asili is discussed at the NEC,” Tuju said.
In what appears to have been a well-calculated plan to annihilate the Deputy President politically, President Kenyatta in March 2018 reached out to Raila in what is now called the Handshake.
Two years later, after protests and break up in Jubilee, Uhuru sanctioned a purge in the party and Parliament leadership, removing Ruto’s allies from key positions.
It now emerges that the move now makes it easy to remove Ruto from Jubilee as Uhuru allies have the grip of the decision making organs.
The second move will the shift to Parliament, when Uhuru placed his allies in the leadership.
To cut Ruto to size, Uhuru went ahead to form a post-election coalition with Kanu and later signed a cooperation agreement with Kalonzo Musyoka’s Wiper and ex-Bomet Governors Isaac Rutto’s CCM.
He removed Ruto’s footsoldiers Senator Kipchumba Murkomen (Elgeyo Marakwet) and Garissa Township MP Aden Duale as Majority leaders and replaced them with Kanu’s Senator Samuel Poghisio and Kipipri MP Amos Kimunya.
With the control of the House, and with the additional numbers from ODM, Ruto’s impeachment motion would be an easy ride. However, there are legislators who have openly defied their party leaders in ODM, Jubilee and Wiper to support the DP.
But being partlyless is no ground for impeachment.
Article 150 of the Constitution provides that Deputy President may be removed from office–
(a) on the ground of physical or mental incapacity to perform the functions of the office; or
(b) on impeachment–
(i) on the ground of a gross violation of a provision of this Constitution or any other law;
(ii) where there are serious reasons to believe that the Deputy President has committed a crime under national or international law; or
(iii) for gross misconduct.
Already, ODM politicians, who have turned to be key supporters of President Kenyatta, have since March been pushing for the impeachment of the DP over alleged gross misconduct.
About 40 legislators led by Siaya Senator and Raila ally James Orengo said the DP had disrespected President Uhuru Kenyatta and would go the constitutional way of impeaching the Deputy President.
But Ruto allies dared them to bring the motion.
The talk of “disrespecting the President” is back following the no show of DP Ruto during the National Covid-19 Conference.
Kieni MP Kanini Kega, a Uhuru ally, said Ruto’s actions showed “total disrespect” for the President as he continued to skip a number of important functions meant for the well-being of Kenyans.
“If Ruto is not able to do his duties as he vowed while taking the oath of office, he has an option of quitting instead of sabotaging what the President is doing,” he said.
“It is a shame for Ruto to skip a state function meant to give Kenyans hope, for no good reason. As the chair of the budget committee, I am at liberty to review what is allocated to his office,” he added.
Ruto is also being accused of staging a coup in Jubilee and the violence that greeted his visit to Kenol, Murang’a county. Additionally, he is accused of forming another political outfit – Jubilee Asili.
The expulsion from Jubilee based on the above would provide fertile grounds for the politically-motivated impeachment.
Article 145(1) provides that such a motion must be supported by a third of the members of the National Assembly — 117 MPs — and approved by two-thirds of the 349 lawmakers.
If two-thirds of senators vote to uphold the any impeachment charge, the deputy president shall cease to hold office.