More than 50 MPs Wednesday laid out charges against Deputy President William Ruto, including gross misconduct, grave malpractices and violation of his oath of office. The leaders then went ahead to declare that “the centre cannot hold” citing Dr Ruto’s actions undermining President Uhuru Kenyatta.
A statement by the lawmakers allied to Uhuru and ODM leader Raila Odinga appeared to be making a case for his impeachment, given the choice of words to describe his alleged transgressions referred to grounds stipulated in the Constitution for removal from office like “gross violation” of the Constitution or any other law, having “committed a crime” or “gross misconduct.”
In his recent attacks, Ruto has not spared the Head of State either “with a crude and sinister reference to the purported existence of a Deep State,” they said, referring to the DP’s claim that the system was scheming his downfall.
“The attacks have now peaked with the creation of a team that is directly loyal to Ruto within the ruling party, intending to insidiously erode the prestige and honour of the President and leader of his party and to fight government from within. This is unacceptable and ultimately renders government dysfunctional and divided,” the leaders said.
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“In these circumstances, the centre cannot hold, unless action is taken against these egregious malfeasances against democracy, the rule of law, accountability and good governance… With this state of affairs, Ruto must shape up or ship out. He needs time and undivided attention to pursue the only thing and ambition that makes sense, and has meaning in his life-dream and campaign for the 2022 presidential elections,” they added.
The members of the National Assembly and Senators drawn from Jubilee, ODM, Amani National Congress, Wiper, Kanu and several independents said their call for Ruto’s exit was justified.
Sources said the leaders had the blessings of Uhuru and Raila. The sources also intimated that this was the beginning of Ruto’s impeachment process. Raila was within the hotel in Nairobi before the press conference and was seen talking to some of the leaders.
Insiders said Raila had whipped ODM MPs to attend the presser and the presence of his closest allies like James Orengo (Siaya), John Mbadi (Suba South) and Junet Mohamed (Suna West) might signal the marshalling of numbers to begin Ruto’s impeachment. Uhuru’s allies like Maina Kamanda (nominated) and Kanini Kega (Jubilee, Kieni) also reinforced the resolve.
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In the statement titled ‘The Fifth Column-The Enemy From Within’, the leaders accused the DP of reprehensible conduct and called on him to quit, since he had declared war on the President.
“Last year, Uhuru and Raila embarked on and launched a major initiative to fight corruption and to build bridges to a united and prosperous Kenya,” said Baringo Women Rep Gladwell Cheruiyot.
However, they said Ruto had questioned the formulation and implementation of the president’s noble objectives, despite national and international acclaim and approval of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI). They observed that the brazen attacks on government and public institutions had been extended to social media and targeted varied groups in society.
The leaders questioned Ruto’s probity, accusing him of grabbing public and private land.
“The list is endless, but let us mention land grabbing, including the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCCA) land, on which he has developed Weston Hotel. He even wanted to grab land belonging to Lang’ata Primary School for the hotel’s parking,” said Kathiani MP Robert Mbui, who read part of the statement.
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They accused Ruto of going against Uhuru’s appeal to State officers and other leaders of not subjecting the country to early campaigns for the 2022 polls.
“The DP has bluntly disobeyed his principal, and in this regard, in our view, this constitutes gross misconduct and an act of insubordination,” they said.
The leaders said the authority and respect of the government had been subverted by the integrity issues facing the DP.
“In fact, the question of the rectitude and forthrightness of the DP has always clouded his character right from the beginning, as his public record has constantly been fraught with concerns and controversies,” said Mbui.
The lawmakers said the Public Accounts Committee has openly accused Ruto of launching ghost projects.
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“He purportedly commissioned the Lower Nzoia Irrigation project without the involvement of the parent ministries and claimed credit. He does not launch the projects as an appropriate and official undertaking,” the leaders said.
They accused Ruto of being driven by an overriding, selfish and extraneous objective of promoting what they termed as “his egoistic ambitions” to attain the office of the president in 2022 by whatever means possible.
Failed his office
The leaders said Ruto was guilty of public misconduct and grave malpractices, and that he had not lived up to the oath of office that he subscribed to before assuming office.
“He has not brought honour to the country and dignity to the DP’s office and has failed to promote confidence in the integrity of the high office. He would rather rule Kenya than serve the people. He has not offered selfless service based solely on the public interest. He is not honest and his personal interests are in constant conflict with his public duties,” the leaders said.
The group said Ruto had declared war against established State institutions, some which were creatures of the Constitution, just like his high office.
“The police, which includes Directorate of Criminal Investigations and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, are constitutional offices. The DP is the highest-ranking member of the National Security Council, which exercises supervisory control over national security organs. He is well placed to deal with questions or challenges that may arise concerning their operations,” the leaders said.
“These persistent attacks have targeted numerous public officers, including Dr Fred Matiang’i (Interior), Karanja Kibicho, George Kinoti and Noordin Haji, who serve at the core of public service functions and operations,” the leaders added.
The leaders also poured cold water on Ruto’s continued claims that the system had been mobilised to bring him down and his persistent allegation that his life was in danger.
Ayub Savula (Lugari) said the Constitution transferred power to Uhuru. “This power cannot be co-shared between Uhuru and Ruto. The DP must respect Uhuru. We want a cohesive country and should at all cost avoid going the Rwanda, Burundi or Somalia way,” said Mr Savula.
Kega said Kenyans were ashamed of Ruto’s statements and that it was clear he was sabotaging his boss.
“If he doesn’t want to work with Uhuru, he should resign. I am speaking on behalf of many MPs who have been quiet. But we will no longer be quiet. We are warning Ruto. His time is up,” Kega said.
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Deputy President William RutoPresident Uhuru KenyattaRaila OdingaMPs
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