Cord MPs fail to sign Uhuru impeachment petition form

DualeNew divisions have emerged in Cord as some MPs say they are being forced to sign a motion to impeach President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Cord has listed abetting corruption, disobeying court orders, interfering with independent bodies and failing to keep the country safe as among the grounds for impeachment.

The motion must be supported by at least 117 MPs for the speaker to approve it for debate. It requires 233 votes to pass in the Senate.

Cord has 116 MPs in the Jubilee-dominated National Assembly.

The Star yesterday established that during the coalition’s Parliamentary Group meeting at Orange House on Wednesday, several MPs opposed an attempt by Cord leaders to force them to sign.

The meeting was attended by Cord leader Raila Odinga and co-principals Kalozo Musyoka and Moses Wetang’ula.

At least 10 MPs who spoke to the Star on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals said they refused to sign the motion against the President.

“I told our leaders I should be left to follow my conscience. That is the view we shared with a number of my brothers and sisters from northern Kenya,” a senior Cord MP from Northeastern told the Star.

“I will continue supporting the coalition, but not on the impeachment motion. That has been my position and it will remain so.”

An MP from Nyanza confirmed that the meeting dwelled on the impeachment motion but disclosed that there were serious objections.

“Yes, brother, in a situation like Cord is in, you expect challenges. It won’t be unanimous that all MPs will support something of the magnitude of the effect of sacking the President, who happens to have friends across the political divide,” the MP said.

“The leaders were given an opportunity to explain why they believe in impeaching the President. What I can confirm is that those who still think they are more Cord than others want to stifle the opinion of others.”

Those within Cord who objected to signing the censure motion warned that the issue would balkanize the country and divert Cord’s energies in preparing for the 2017 general elections.

“I couldn’t say that I don’t support the motion flatly before Baba [Raila]. But it was clear the idea is not popular within the coalition. We must desist from engaging reverse gear on a hill. The negative energy we want to put in this issue does not buttress our 2017 bid,” said a Ford Kenya MP who attended the closed-door meeting.

The majority of MPs who opposed the move were those from the arid and semi-arid areas, who were protesting against their colleagues in Cord who voted against the Equalization Fund Bill when it was tabled in the House in late July.



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