Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka has upheld the ouster of Majority Chief Whip Irungu Kang’ata by the ruling Jubilee party.
The Murang’a Senator was kicked out and replaced by his Kiambu counterpart Kimani Wamatangi during a Jubilee Party Parliamentary Group meeting held at Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) on Tuesday morning, amid claims from Senators allied to Deputy President William Ruto that his ouster was illegal.
Led by Elgeyo Marakwet Senator and former Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen, the “Tangatanga” lawmakers said Jubilee’s top brass didn’t have numbers to kick out Kang’ata.
But in a Wednesday Senate sitting, Lusaka said due process was followed in the removal of Kang’ata, who had only served for about nine months.
“I am satisfied that the change was made in accordance with Standing Order 19(5) and (7) and meets the threshold required under Standing Order 19. ”
“Accordingly, I wish to communicate to the House that the majority party coalition has effected changes in the office of the senate majority whip which now shall take effect. The officeholder is now Senator Kimani Wamatangi.”
Kang’ata’s was largely ousted because of his stand that President Uhuru Kenyatta’s pet project, the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), is unpopular in the Mount Kenya region.
But speaking to members of the press after the Tuesday meeting, Jubilee Secretary General Raphael Tuju said Kang’ata was relieved of his duties as Chief Whip because of the channel he used to communicate his views and for sharing confidential party resolutions with the media.
“We had a meeting at the Jubilee Headquarters in which we invited him he refused to come and we discussed a few other confidential issues in which we put him online to talk to us but in a most unfortunate way he decided to discuss what we discussed in closed meetings outside to the media, ” said Tuju.
“That was his biggest failure as far as leadership is concerned… You don’t kiss and tell. When we meet as a leader you are supposed to keep the confidentiality of the meeting and what we have discussed but if after talking immediately you go out and expose those we talked with and what we discussed with them that is not acceptable and that is his biggest failure as a leader and therefore the rest of the leadership in the Senate are not able to trust him.”
In a letter to President Kenyatta that leaked in early January, Kang’ata told the Head of State that the BBI draft Bill was only supported by two in 10 people from the densely populated region.
Leaders allied to President Kenyatta and his handshake partner Raila Odinga criticized the Senator accusing him of frustrating BBI agenda in the Mount Kenya region.
In a response to Kang’ata, 10 governors from the region dismissed the Senator’s views as personal and misrepresentation of facts.