President Uhuru Kenyatta is today set to fire key allies of his deputy William Ruto as the separation between the country’s two top leaders snowballs into a messy divorce.
Details of the purge in the Senate emerged just days after President Kenyatta signed a post-election deal with Gideon Moi’s Kanu, setting the stage for major changes in government.
Set to be shown the doors are vocal Majority Leader and Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen and his Nakuru counterpart Susan Kihika who is the Majority Whip.
The welcoming of Gideon – the scion of the late former President Daniel Moi – is seen as a replacement for Ruto who has become an outsider in his government.
Ruto and Gideon do not see eye-to-eye and are both scheming to succeed Uhuru in 2022.
Sources said that Jubilee could also sign a similar deal with Wiper’s Kalonzo Musyoka paving way for major Cabinet changes as soon as Wednesday.
However, the Jubilee side was said to be uncomfortable with Kalonzo’s demand that he joins the Cabinet.
Talks between Uhuru and ODM leader Raila Odinga are said to have collapsed as he demanded a substantial stake in government.
It is only with ODM’s backing that Uhuru can withstand a political assault by the restless Ruto wing in both Houses of Parliament.
The Star has established that President Kenyatta is this morning set to chair a Jubilee Senate Parliamentary Group meeting where the changes to the leadership would be made.
“Mweshimiwa, I wish to invite you for a Jubilee Coalition, Senate Parliamentary Group Meeting at State House Nairobi, tomorrow, Monday 11th May 2022, at 8.30am,” a message sent to Jubilee lawmakers by State House reads in part.
Murkomen is a top member of Ruto’s 2022 strategy team and his ouster from the key position will be a staggering blow to the DP.
Kihika is also a close confidant of the DP from the Kikuyu community whose backing Ruto desperately needs.
There are indications Ruto and his allies may snub the meeting to deny Uhuru a quorum to spearhead the changes.
Uhuru needs more than 50 per cent of Jubilee Senators to make the changes.
However, Gideon will lead his troops to the meeting as he formally becomes part of the government. Kanu’s other senators are Abshiro Halake (Nominated) and Samuel Poghisio (West Pokot).
Sources said Murkomen’s job would either be given to Gideon, Uasin Gishu Senator Margaret Kamar or Poghisio.
Kihika’s job could be taken over by Muranga Senator Irungu Kanga’ta or Nairobi’s Johnson Sakaja. Kangata is Kihika’s deputy.
“Yes, we have been called for a meeting but I don’t know the agenda but I have just received the message. I don’t know about that [leadership changes]. There have been talks but I have not heard about that,” Sakaja told the Star.
Nominated Senator Isaac Mwaura said only Uhuru, who is the party leader, knows the PG’s agenda.
Murkomen’s planned ouster has been on the cards for months after he turned into Uhuru’s number one critic, opposing nearly every move the executive makes.
Just recently, he declared that Parliament is dead.
“I can confirm that Parliament is dead. It’s an extension of Executive and the opposition is causing stampede trying to be more government than the government itself,” he said.
He opposed the takeover of Nairobi county accusing Uhuru’s administration of spearheading trumped-up charges against governors to get them arrested, charged in court, barred from office, and subsequently impeached.
“It is now evident that this has now moved to the next level where the functions of a county government can be largely, and more or less in whole, transferred to the national government. The county government is literally left as a shell with no functions to perform,” Murkomen protested.
In the Jubilee-Kanu post-election deal, the two political parties have named several policies and objectives which seem to be borrowing from the handshake.
These include promoting and maintenance of security and safety of all Kenyans, fostering national unity, reconciliation and healing as well as fostering the equal distribution of national resources.
Yesterday, Wiper executive director Jared Siso confirmed that his party held a national executive meeting last Thursday where Kalonzo was given a free hand for a political deal.
“It was a video conferencing in line with the new reality. We reiterated what has been there that the party leader is at liberty to engage like like-minded partners to forge alliances going forward,” he told the Star.
He added, “Essentially the resolution is that the party leader is free and at liberty to negotiate formations on behalf of the party upon which he comes for ratification… What I know is that we are in constructive engagement with the President, Kanu and all the main parties, that one I know.”