Ruto’s woes deepen as scheme is hatched to oust key ally from parliamentary leadership

Baringo Senator Gideon Moi, left and his Elgeyo Marakwet counterpart Kipchumba Murkomen
Baringo Senator Gideon Moi, left and his Elgeyo Marakwet counterpart Kipchumba Murkomen. PHOTO/COURTESY

Deputy President William Ruto’s troubles are far from over as fresh details now emerge that senate majority leader Kipchumba Murkomen, an ardent supporter of the former and a fiery critic of the President, is set to be stripped off his lucrative leadership post in the house. This comes just days after President Uhuru Kenyatta made drastic changes in the alignment of his cabinet, a move that witnessed the unceremonial firing of another key ally of the DP, former Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri.

Reliable sources close to power plays have alluded to the press that the President is keen to take full control of the legislature, in a last-minute dash to propel government agenda in a bid to secure his legacy, less than three years to the expiry of his term. According to the information gathered, Kenyatta is considering hatching a strategic pact with Baringo County Senator Gideon Moi, who is set to take over after Murkomen ouster.

The President is also reported to have expressed a focused interest in executing vast changes in other party parliamentary positions, a move that critics argue is aimed at further weakening his deputy.

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The President’s Central Kenya key point man Ngunjiri Wambugu has confirmed the scheme via a Facebook post where he insisted that the President will not be distracted from service delivery by sideshows.

“We will not allow those meant to promote & defend the President’s position to attack and undermine it, as happened in 2019. Any Jubilee MP who currently occupies a leadership position in either Senate or the National Assembly is therefore on notice. Those opposed to the President have been given notice to pack & leave that office before February,” reads part of the post.

The plot could, however, be hit by legal hitches as the Constitution and Parliamentary Standing Orders prescribe that the majority party leader’s position in the house must be occupied by a member from the largest party or coalition of parties. Gideon Moi is the chairman of KANU party, which propelled him to senate, and which is not in any formal coalition agreement with the largest party in the house which is Jubilee.