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I Have no ill Feelings Against Anyone, Uhuru responds to Susan Kihika, Murkomen

Minutes of PG show that the agenda to kick out Murkomen and Kihika came from the senators

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President Uhuru Kenyatta struck a conciliatory tone at the State House talks during which Jubilee senators ratified changes in the House leadership.

President Kenyatta said he bears no grudges and his agenda is simply to transform the country.

“The President stated that he has no anger or ill-feeling against anyone,” minutes of the State House talks seen by the Star read in part.

In the last few months, Uhuru has sought a tighter hold over Jubilee Party as he moves to secure his legacy.

In the Senate Parliamentary Group meeting he chaired on Monday, Uhuru oversaw the sacking of Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen and Nakuru’s Susan Kihika as Majority leader and Majority Whip respectively.

They were replaced by West Pokot Senator Samuel Poghisio (Kanu) and his Murang’a counterpart Irungu Kang’ata (JP) respectively.

The removal of the two Ruto lieutenants was seen as the President’s move to dare the DP for a duel.

But Uhuru said the action should not be interpreted to mean he was targeting those who hold a different opinion.

“The President stated that he would like all senators to work together, bring peace, unite the country and fight corruption,” the minutes say.

The minutes also show that the agenda to kick out Murkomen and Kihika from the influential positions came from the senators.

Secretary general Raphael Tuju said that Murkomen and Kihika were accorded time to attend the meeting to defend themselves but they declined.

“Pursuant to demands made by members of Parliament to the party secretariat on diverse dates for a parliamentary group meeting, this meeting was convened,” he said.

Tuju added, “Senate leadership was afforded a chance to rebut allegations made against them at the plenary but they chose not to attend.”

But Ruto’s allies claim that Uhuru is running the party through the iron fist and his deal with Kanu is illegal.

“The party is the people, if they want to take it, they can do so following the constitution and other existing laws. What we have seen is the impunity of the highest order that is being perpetuated by none other than the President himself,” Naivasha MP Jayne Kihara told the Star on the phone.

She dared the party to proceed and recall elected MPs from Mt Kenya not supporting Uhuru.

“If they so wish, let them bring it on. Uhuru should stop intimidating leaders who were elected by wananchi. They may have had their day now but let them know that we all have our day too,” she said.

Belgut MP Nelson Koech said, “The country is now breeding a dictator if Kenyans would not stand with us and defend the rule of law”.

“The President who ought to be leading by example is trembling from constitutionalism and we are cheering him on. He has muzzled Parliament by intimidating MPs, the Judiciary, swallowed the opposition and the civil society has gone silent,” he told the Star on the phone.

He said if the President’s excesses are unchecked, he might declare that there is no election in 2022.

Uasin Gishu Women Representative Gladys Shollei expressed optimism that Ruto will carry the day at the end of it all.

“You don’t walk out of a party you built, at least from the first scare. Ruto has the grassroots support and does not need the support of party officials,” she said.

Political analyst Herman Manyora said Ruto has chosen silence for a while because the latest attack on him is heavy.

“The DP has been dealt a big blow and he needs time to respond. It would be very easy for him to make a blunder if he responds without carefully considering what he will say,” he said.

He said the DP must be angry, hurt and pained and could have been advised to keep quiet for now.

“A trap is always thrown his way and if he responds recklessly, the other side will use it to demonstrate that the deputy president deserves what he is getting,” he added.

Nairobi-based lawyer and political analyst Danstan Omari said the DP is silent because he is still weighing the intensity of the onslaught.

“It is strategic that he keeps quiet for the moment. Silence may also get him some sympathy,” he added.

Omari said that the DP may also not want to talk politics because Kenyans are at the moment worried about Covid-19, floods, locusts and rising unemployment.

“His strategy is to get connected with the voters. The more silent he will be, the more hostile his opponents will become and ordinary Kenyans may end up siding with him,” he said.


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