Kenya: Odinga Wants DP Job, Ruto Allies Claim Amid Impeachment Talk

President Uhuru Kenyatta with his private secretary Jomo Gechaga and Deputy President William Ruto during their meeting at the DP's Harambee House Annex office in Nairobi, March 26, 2019.

The fight between Deputy President William Ruto and ODM leader Raila Odinga's supporters heightened on Tuesday, with MPs allied to Dr Ruto accusing the Opposition leader of scheming to take over his job.

Fifteen Jubilee MPs allied to Dr Ruto also dared their ODM colleagues to bring the impeachment motion against him, saying they are ready to meet them on the floor of the House.

Addressing the press at Parliament in Nairobi, the lawmakers claimed Mr Odinga is eyeing the deputy president position, and is using Siaya Senator James Orengo to achieve his goal under the guise of the impeachment motion.

Led by Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro, the legislators accused Mr Odinga of using his March 2018 handshake to rock Jubilee.

"We all know that Mr Orengo is Mr Odinga's spanner boy; and the main agenda of ODM is to push the DP out so that they can occupy the position through the backdoor," Mr Nyoro said.


Kuria West MP Mathias Robi told Mr Orengo not to be used by Mr Odinga to achieve his personal goals.

Sirisia MP John Waluke said: "President Kenyatta meant well through the handshake, but Mr Odinga came to abuse people and bring impeachment motions."

Other MPs present were Didmus Barasa (Kimilili), Sylvanus Osoro (South Mugirango), Purity Ngirici (Kirinyaga MP), Cate Waruguru (Laikipia MP), Nixon Korir (Lang'ata), Kipsengret Koros (Sigowet-Soin), Benjamin Mwangi (Embakasi Central), Joyce Korir (Bomet), Tecla Tum (Nandi), Gideon Keter (nominated) and Caleb Kositany (Soy).

Mr Barasa accused Mr Odinga of leaving a trail of destruction "in every place he goes", warning that his scheme to divide Jubilee will not succeed.

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Mr Osoro said the impeachment will fail miserably even before it takes off, and that the DP will serve his full term and be President in 2022.

"Jubilee controls both the National Assembly and the Senate in terms of numbers, and that's why the plan to impeach the DP will not work," Mr Osoro said.

The MPs challenged ODM to provide evidence that Dr Ruto has grossly violated the Constitution to warrant his impeachment.

They expressed confidence that National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi and his Senate counterpart Ken Lusaka will not be moved by the "political feelings" of ODM MPs.

"Mr Raila Odinga should not listen to people like Orengo who have misled him for years and even prevented him from ascending to power," Ms Waruguru said.


Speaking separately, Mr Kositany and his Baringo North counterpart William Cheptumo said the impeachment talk shows ODM is keen to cause a rift in Jubilee.

"The DP was not elected on his own, as he is conjoined with the President. It is now clear that ODM's motive is to destroy Jubilee and derail the legacy of President Uhuru Kenyatta," Mr Kositany said.

Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei said the plan will not succeed.

But ODM Secretary-General Edwin Sifuna said Mr Orengo's proposal is healthy for the party.

"MPs are allowed to express their thinking around issues. They are allowed to give ideas and share their thinking," Mr Sifuna said.

He said the party is ready to allow Mr Orengo to explain to them why Dr Ruto's impeachment is the best solution.


ODM deputy party leader Wycliffe Oparanya said the party had not discussed Dr Ruto's impeachment.

"Maybe that is a personal issue. Orengo is Siaya senator. His people have told him to do so. But as a party we have not discussed that issue."

ODM chairman John Mbadi said: "Many of us are frustrated with the behaviour of the DP especially in the fight against corruption which does not reflect his position as such. He is impeachable. However, as a party, we still want to give time and chance to the State agencies investigating these matters of corruption."

However, Maseno University don Tom Mboya dismissed the impeachment talk.

By Samwel Owino, Justus Ochieng', Wycliff Kipsang and Stanley Kimuge

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