Ousted Senate Majority Leader, Kipchumba Murkomen, says Deputy President William Ruto received news of his (Murkomen’s) removal with composure.
Murkomen, a close Ruto ally, said he called the deputy president after Senate Speaker, Kenneth Lusaka, validated his ejection from the top seat on Tuesday, May 12.
The Elgeyo-Marakwet Senator says DP Ruto told him that the obstacle he (Murkomen) has faced -- during the quest to remove him -- is “smaller” compared to what Ruto and President Uhuru Kenyatta faced during their prosecution for crimes against humanity at the ICC in the Hague.
“He (Ruto) told me that every great person, or someone who seeks greatness, must go through fire,” Murkomen told Citizen Television news host Waihiga Mwaura on News Night Tuesday, May 12.
“He (Ruto) gave me an example of the challenges he and the president faced during their ICC cases. He reminded me that he and the president went through a rough terrain to secure their release from the Hague. He told me that the problem I am currently facing is lesser compared to the monumental one he and the president faced at the ICC in Hague. My challenges, he said, are too small compared to what they went through,” emphasised Murkomen.
Asked on why the DP did not intervene to stop his ouster, Murkomen said: “He (Ruto) cannot compete with the president, he cannot have a parallel party to the one that sponsored him and the president to the positions they currently occupy. The DP has tried his best to restrain himself even amidst provocation from some people serving within Government. He has remained patient."
Lusaka drives final nail
The Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka on Tuesday morning validated the changes instituted by the ruling Party in the House, Jubilee, effectively showing the door to Deputy President William Ruto’s allies, Kipchumba Murkomen and Susan Kihika.
In a ruling read to the House, Lusaka said he was convinced that the procedure of removing Murkomen and Kihika from Senate Majority Leader and Senate Majority Whip positions respectively followed due guidelines of the law.
Murkomen was, as a result, officially replaced by West Pokot Senator, Samuel Poghisio, and Kihika’s place taken by Murang’a Senator Irungu Kang’ata.
“In a letter dated May 11, 2020, which is a record of proceedings of the [Jubilee Party Parliamentary Group] meeting, together with resolutions, and one that was duly signed by senators who attended the meeting, there exists a post-election agreement between Jubilee Party and KANU Party. Also attached, was a register of political parties certificates dated May 8, 2020,” said Lusaka.
“The minutes show that 20 senators attended the meeting, and resolved unanimously to: (a) remove the current Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen in accordance with Standing Order 19 (5), and (b) remove the current Majority Whip, Senator Susan Kihika, in accordance with Senate Standing Order 19 (5), (c) elect Senator Samuel Poghisio as Senate Majority Leader, and (d), elect Senator Irungu Kang’ata as Senate Majority Whip, (e), elect Senator Fariya Haji as Senate Deputy Majority Whip.
“I am satisfied that the changes were made in accordance with Senate Standing Orders 19 (1, 2, 3, 4d, 5 and 7), and meets the threshold required under Standing Order 19 (5) there having been a majority of votes. Accordingly, I wish to communicate to the House that the Majority [Party] has effected [the] changes. I will make a reasoned ruling in due course,” said Lusaka.
The Senate Speaker’s ruling came on the back of a decision by the Political Parties Disputes Tribunal suspending the Jubilee-KANU post-election pact, arguing Jubilee’s National Executive Council did not convene to endorse the proposed coalition deal.
The Lusaka ruling is, however, superior to the tribunal’s move in regard to conducting matters House business, and that simply means that Murkomen and Kihika no longer hold the lucrative posts in the Senate that saw them earn close to Ksh400, 000 more than their counterparts in allowances and other perks. The two will also not enjoy extra security provided to them by the State.
‘I’m out of the way, we should now see you delivering’
Following his kick-out, Murkomen accused President Uhuru Kenyatta of muzzling dissenting voices, including going to the extent of initiating his removal from Senate top seat.
Speaking in the Senate on Tuesday, May 12 after Speaker Kenneth Lusaka validated his replacement with West Pokot Senator, Samuel Poghisio, Murkomen said President Kenyatta invested a lot of energy in getting rid of a “small person (him)” at the expense of rolling out development to Kenyans.
“If the greatest achievement of the President of Kenya is to demonstrate to the people of this country that ‘I have removed my Majority Leader, I am a big man’, [then there is more he needs to do].
“Mr Speaker, the president is already a big man. I am just a son of a squatter. [I am shocked that] I am a subject of his discussion. I now ask the president to deliver for the people of Kenya. Murkomen is out of the way.
“If I was your (President Kenyatta’s) stumbling block, I have now been removed, deliver for the people of Kenya. Allow all the bills that, Mr Speaker, have been signed unconstitutionally, including those that this House went to court to challenge, to now come to Senate. Mr Speaker, I want to tell the president: ‘stop lying to the Senate! You said you will give us oversight funds, bring the oversight to the Senate if Murkomen was your stumbling block’,” said Murkomen.