All is well: Uhuru, Ruto meeting calms Jubilee storm
Deputy President William Ruto’s allies have softened their hardline stance following a meeting on Tuesday between President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy.
The Jubilee Party leadership in the National Assembly on Wednesday said “they love their party leader and President Kenyatta”, and look forward to the State of the Nation address.
The leadership expressed confidence of unity amid claims some MPs wanted to disrupt the President’s State of the Nation address next week.
National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale said the party will not convene a parliamentary group meeting or a Kamukunji (informal meeting in the House) to whip MPs to rally behind the President during next Thursday’s address.
The President’s meeting with Dr Ruto on Tuesday quelled tensions among their supporters over the ongoing war on corruption and the Head of State’s dalliance with Opposition leader Raila Odinga.
On Wednesday, the Nation learnt that President Kenyatta discussed with Dr Ruto the State of the Nation address before meeting other Jubilee Party leaders and ordered them to ensure unity in the House.
The President also met embattled Malindi ODM MP Aisha Jumwa before heading to Mombasa for a meeting with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.
In the Coast, President Kenyatta and Dr Ruto also met their former foe, Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho.
Unconfirmed reports also indicate that President Kenyatta met Mr Odinga before visiting Dr Ruto at his Harambee Annex office on Tuesday. Mr Odinga later left for an overseas trip.
In an interview with the Nation, Mr Duale said Jubilee MPs are united and “love their party leader and President Kenyatta”.
“They are excited to have the President exercise his constitutional obligation in accordance with Article 132(b) and c on measures taken and progress achieved in realising national values by his government,” Mr Duale said.
The Head of State, he said, is to submit a report to the National Assembly on progress made in fulfilling international obligations.
“We have strong and loyal members of our party, which is proud to have more than 175 MPs and hence no crisis for calling a PG (parliamentary group meeting) or Kamukunji,” Mr Duale said.
Mr Duale rubbished Senator James Orengo’s attempt to impeach the DP. He outlined several things Mr Orengo has to fulfil in his efforts to impeach Dr Ruto, terming it a herculean task.
He said the impeachment can only originate in the National Assembly, where Mr Orengo does not sit. The process, Mr Duale said, can only be initiated by a sitting MP.
Any MP wishing to start the process, the vocal Garissa Township MP said, must have signatures of not less than a third of the entire membership of the National Assembly.
In a House of 349, that translates to 117 MPs. “That would be an uphill task for anyone,” Mr Duale said.
For the motion to pass the second stage, it will require to be supported by two-thirds of all members of the National Assembly, with Mr Duale opining “getting 233 MPs to support anything is a political nightmare”.
“We have tried it unsuccessfully more than fives times in bills to amend the Constitution. Supposing that it passes that stage and the trial committee of 11 is formed. This is the Third Stage, where the Senate now becomes involved,” Mr Duale said.
If the Committee was to find the grounds substantiated, the final stage “is even harder: It requires the support of two thirds of Senators.”
Reporting by Lucas Barasa, Wycliff Kipsang, Stanley Kimuge, Justus Ochieng and Kennedy Kimanthi