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17 MPs pull out of Waiguru impeachment motion

By JOHN NGIRACHU October 22nd, 2015 2 min read

A Motion to impeach Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru was on Thursday rejected after 17 MPs withdrew their support.

Their withdrawal meant that the Motion fell short of the number of signatures needed for it to be passed for debate on the floor of the National Assembly.

This means Ms Waiguru has escaped an impeachment attempt for the second time, after an earlier bid by Igembe South MP Mithika Linturi ran aground when he failed to move it.

Thursday’s decision on the Motion by Nandi Hills MP Alfred Keter came as it was revealed that on Friday last week, President Uhuru Kenyatta hosted a group of MPs from central Kenya, who had indicated that they intended to support the Keter Motion.

The meeting between the President and the MPs was held at State House and lasted two hours.

Eight of the MPs who withdrew their signatures did so before the Motion was submitted to the Clerk of the National Assembly, according to a letter that National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi wrote to Mr Keter.

“I take note that eight Members have withdrawn their signatures in support of the Motion. Consequently, the support of the Motion falls short of the threshold required,” Mr Muturi’s letter said.

The Constitution and House rules require that a Motion for the removal of a Cabinet secretary have the support of a quarter of the members (88 MPs).

The Standing Orders also state that any signature supporting an impeachment Motion cannot be withdrawn.

Mr Muturi’s letter to Mr Keter and the new rule effectively handed Ms Waiguru a lifeline and reduces the pressure she had been under over the loss of Sh791 million at the National Youth Service, which falls under her ministry.

Under the rules issued by Mr Muturi in the House, a notice of Motion for the removal of a Cabinet secretary or the impeachment of the President will have to be put up on the MPs’ notice board and a list of MPs kept at the Sergeant-at-Arms for those who support to append their signatures.

Mr Keter had submitted the Motion with the signatures of 97 MPs and was on Sunday optimistic that he would be given a go-ahead to move it.

Unknown to the outspoken legislator, President Kenyatta hosted the central Kenya MPs on Friday, where sources said they discussed Ms Waiguru’s fate and the case facing Deputy President William Ruto at the International Criminal Court.

It was not immediately known what position was taken during the closed-door talks.

In his address on Mashujaa Day on Tuesday, Mr Kenyatta said the International Criminal Court judges cannot stop Kenyans from praying.

He also said he was aware of the problems at National Youth Service and he would address them.

Reacting to the dropping of his Motion on Thursday, Mr Keter accused the Jubilee administration of coercing MPs who had supported him to withdraw.