Kenya: Purge in Jubilee is Justified, CCM Chief Ruto Now Says

Chama Cha Mashinani (CCM) party leader Isaac Ruto has described the Jubilee purge in the Senate and National Assembly leadership as a normal party disciplinary process.

Mr Ruto said President Uhuru Kenyatta did not break any law in kicking out lawmakers from House committees.

"A President cannot run a government with a Parliament that is not disciplined, a party with members who openly defy him to the extent of abusing him in public," Mr Ruto said yesterday.

The former Bomet governor said it is a standard practice the world over for lawmakers to collectively protect party positions in parliament.

"I don't understand why an MP should not know the working of political parties. The parties are given a lot of latitude by the Constitution and laws to discipline errant members," he added.

"It was in order for Jubilee to crack the whip in the Senate and National Assembly leaderships. You cannot be abusive to the leadership that has put you in a position of trust."

He added that democracy does not mean lawmakers "create a house of Babel in Parliament".

"If the MPs have problems with the party, there are structures to turn to. Parliament is a House of order. It is an age old practice in the assemblies all over the world," the CCM boss said.

The ongoing purge has been interpreted in many quarters as the result of a fallout between the President and his deputy William Ruto.

Dr Ruto's allies have been targeted in the changes that have seen Senate Deputy Speaker Kithure Kindiki, Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen, Deputy Majority Whip Kihika Kimani and Education Committee chairman Christopher Langat being replaced.

West Pokot Senator Samuel Poghisio has taken over from Mr Murkomen while his Murang'a counterpart Irungu Kang'ata is the new majority whip.

Mr Poghisio, a cabinet minister in former President Mwai Kibaki's administration benefited from the purge as a result of his party chairman and Baringo Senator Gideon Moi leading Kanu into a post-poll coalition with Jubilee.

Jubilee will formalise a coalition deal with CCM after the party leadership approved the decision during a virtual meeting on Saturday.

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