Jubilee replaces Senate majority whip Kang'ata with Wamatangi - Beaking Kenya News

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Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Jubilee replaces Senate majority whip Kang'ata with Wamatangi


Jubilee Party on Tuesday resolved to remove Muranga Senator Irungu Kangata as the majority whip in the Senate as the political rift between President Uhuru Kenyatta and DP William Ruto widened.

The decision was made during the party’s Senate Parliamentary Group meeting held at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) in Nairobi.

Secretary-General Raphael Tuju chaired the meeting on behalf of President Kenyatta.

Although Mr Tuju declared the senator’s removal official, Mr Kangata will hang on the two post until the Speaker of the Senate, Mr Kenneth Lusaka, issues the final communication on the matter.

Later on Tuesday, Speaker Lusaka confirmed that he had received communication from Jubilee on the decision against Mr Kang'ata and promised to give his verdict to the House on Wednesday afternoon.

“I have received the documents of the meeting from Jubilee Party and I will give my verdict tomorrow,” he told the Nation without elaborating.

Raphael Tuju confirms Kang'ata's ouster as Majority Whip in the Senate

Mt Kenya letter

The senator was convicted on two counts of insubordination and violation of the confidentiality code that guides party officials, Mr Tuju said.

“The meeting has resolved that Mr Kang’ata ceases to be the majority whip and replaces him with Kiambu Senator Kimani Wamatangi,” the party boss announced after the meeting marred by walkouts by lawmakers in the Tangatanga faction, who opposed the resolution.

Mr Kangata has been in the cross hairs of powerful individuals, both in the party and in the government, ever since he authored a no-holds-barred letter to the President, saying the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) is unpopular in the Mt Kenya region.

The President’s critics had predicted that it was only a matter of time before the axe fell on Mr Kang’ata after he wrote the letter and leaked it to the media.

However, Mr Tuju said his removal had anything to do with the contents of the letter but the manner in which the senator chose to communicate to the President in expressing his misgivings.

After the contents of his letter were widely published, the party summoned Mr Kang'ata to a meeting that included party leaders in both Houses.

Kang'ata and other leaders allied to DP Ruto storm out of Jubilee's Senate PG

The meeting resolved that the senator had a right to express himself on any issue of public concern but expressed reservations about the manner in which he opted to communicate to the President.

“Whatever his opinion, he was within his right to express his views and not be vilified, but we have issues in the way he did it,” Mr Tuju told a press conference, flanked by Senate majority Whip Samuel Poghisio and Jubilee's Parliamentary Secretary Adan Keinan.

“There is decorum. There is a way to address the leadership of the party, if such leadership includes the President.”

Mr Tuju further noted that Mr Kanga'ta snubbed a second meeting and when called by phone and asked to give explanations, he opted to go public and address the media.

“His biggest failure as a leader was the confidentiality test. His colleagues in the Senate leadership have lost confidence in him because he discussed confidential issues in the media. They can’t trust him.”

Kang'ata's supporters

However, there were questions on the resolution after a number of senators allied to Deputy President William Ruto opposed the move, saying Mr Kangata’s removal was not according to Standing Orders.

Led by Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen, the lawmakers who attended the meeting to oppose the removal said Mr Kangata was not notified of the reasons for his removal and given time to respond.

They also questioned the manner in which the meeting was convened, saying the agenda was not circulated as required by House rules and that those who were pushing for their colleague's removal did not collect signatures as required.

According to the precedent set by Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula’s removal in 2018, the support of at least half of Jubilee senators is required for a House leader to be sacked.

“The meeting was illegally summoned because the agenda was not circulated and that the signatures of those who wanted him removed were not given. In any case, we believe Kang'ata has committed no mistake,” Mr Murkomen said.

Mr Tuju dismissed the claims, saying the meeting had the requisite quorum. He also suggested that he was not bound by the views of Tangatanga senators who have shown allegiance to another party. 

Senator Murkomen reveals why President Uhuru was a no show at KICC

Senators expelled

A purge on Monday saw Jubilee expel six nominated Senators over “disciplinary violations”.

The move followed deliberations by the party’s National Management Committee (CMC) on reports submitted by the disciplinary committee.

The six are Isaac Mwaura, Millicent Omanga, Mary Seneta, Falhada Dekow, Naomi Waqo and Victor Prengei.

On Tuesday, however, the Political Parties Disputes Tribunal issued interim orders stopping the party from taking the action against the lawmakers.

The decision came after the six filed a complaint against Jubilee.

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