Cracks emerge as House team decides Linturi fate

Monday, May 13th, 2024 02:45 | By
Bumula MP Wamboka Wanami who filed the impeachment motion targeting Agriculture CS Mithika Linturi speaks in parliament during the hearings. PHOTO/Kenna claude
Bumula MP Wamboka Wanami who filed the impeachment motion targeting Agriculture CS Mithika Linturi speaks in parliament during the hearings. PHOTO/Kenna claude

Embattled Agriculture and Livestock Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi will today know whether he would continue to hold office or not even as it emerged that his love affair with Aldai MP Marriane Kitany could save him from being impeached.

Sources within the 11-member committee disclosed that the team was last evening divided as those from President William Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance (UDA) who make up the majority had voted to save him while those in the opposition wanted him sent home on grounds that farmers received substandard fertiliser.

Members who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of violating House rules revealed that during the report writing stage there was intense lobbying from both sides and under hand-dealings which were cut to try and save Linturi from ouster.

It is understood that those opposed to his removal were of the opinion that the impeachment motion that was filed by Bumula MP Wamboka Wanami is solely because of his affair with Kitany which played out during the hearings of the proceedings.

The sources further revealed the focus of the love affair now gone sour during the hearings was to the advantage of Linturi as some of the committee members used the said opportunity to argue in his favour.

A member who sought anonymity said: “From the onset I can guarantee you that Linturi is going nowhere. There is no way matters of love can make a whole CS impeached.”

The committee chaired by Majority whip and Marsabit woman representative Naomi Waqo is expected to table its report today—10 days since it was constituted—to allow the House to deliberate on it.

Further proceedings

 Should the committee find the allegations unsubstantiated, no further proceedings shall be undertaken but should the allegations be substantiated, Linturi will be expected to appear before the Assembly where he will be afforded the opportunity to be heard.

And speaking yesterday, Wamboka said that he will be opposing the report when it is tabled in the National Assembly should it exonerate Linturi as it will not be representing the wishes of farmers.

 He raised issues with the composition of the committee saying, it is ironic that the members who voted to reject his impeachment motion were the ones who were investigating the said matter.

 Waqo, Racheal Nyamai (Kitui South), George Murugara (Tharaka), Malulu Injendi (Malava),Kassim Tandaza (Matuga ) and Njeri Maina (Kirinyaga woman representative) whp are members of the committee voted against the motion while  Robert Mbui (Kathiani), Tom Kajwang(Ruaraka), Catherine Omanyo(Busia Woman Representative) and Yussuf Farah (Wajor West) were among the 149 members who voted to have Lituri investigated. Ainabkoi MP Samuel Chepkonga’s vote was not captured anywhere.

Vote threshold

 Out of 188 members who were in the House, 149 MPs voted in support of the motion against 36 who opposed it while only three abstained from the vote, thereby meeting the threshold of 117 required to have the committee formed.

 Wamboka also claimed that the decision of the committee not to summon Agriculture Principal Secretary Paul Ronoh and KEL Chemicals Chief Operating Officer Devesh Patel, who he had argued were crucial witnesses in his motion, was a clear indication that justice would not be realized.

 The move by the committee saw Wamboka after giving his closing testimony during the hearings storming out alleging a ploy by the committee to save Linturi from ouster.

 He said: “These people who contributed against the motion on the floor, went ahead to vote against it on the floor. When critical vote came during the hearings, they voted against it. There is nothing we expect out of this process.”

 He added: “It is expected that we will get nothing but those who come from agricultural backyard, these are people who will face the wrath of the members. Tomorrow (today) It is not going to be easy but I can assure you that we will expose any underhand dealings. We will speak on the floor about this matter. This is the day that the Lord has made and we will rejoice on it.

 Last Monday Speaker Moses Wetangula gazetted today (Monday) as the day the house will hold the special sittings to deliberate on the findings of the committee.

 Wetangula explained that his decision is based on the fact that the house last Thursday resolved to establish the Committee to investigate Linturi.

 Said Wetangula: “ Noting that, pursuant to the provisions of Article 152(7) of the  Constitution and Standing Order 66(5)(b), the Select Committee ought to  report back to the House, within ten days, on whether the allegations against  the Cabinet Secretary are substantiated;  now therefore, it is notified to all Members of the National  Assembly and the general public-  that, pursuant to the provisions of Article 152(7)(b) of the  Constitution and Standing Orders 64(3) and 66, I have appointed  Monday, 13th May 2024 at 2.30 p.m. as the day and time for a  Special Sitting of the House to receive the report of the said Select Committee.”

 The 11 members comprising six from the majority side, four from the minority side and one from the jubilee was given ten days to investigate the matter and report back to the house to either uphold the motion or reject all the accusations or some.

 The vote for the formation of the committee was conducted in a session that was characterized by boos, heckling, song and dance with a section member chanting “Linturi must go.”

More on News