Siaya Senator James Orengo on Sunday startled a section of Jubilee supporters following his proclamation that he would institute a motion to impeach Deputy President William Ruto over alleged links to corruption.
Speaking at a rally in Ugenya on Sunday, Orengo said it would be easy to institute such proceedings against the deputy president should it be established that he has violated the Constitution in any way.
The Senate Minority leader accused DP Ruto of holding the country hostage in the war on corruption, saying Kenyans cannot entirely shrug off publicly made allegations placing Ruto at the epicentre of every corruption scandal.
According to Article 150 (1) (b) of teh Constitution, a Deputy President may be impeached on the ground of a gross violation of a provision of this Constitution or any other law, where there are serious reasons to believe that the Deputy President has committed a crime under national or international law, or for gross misconduct.
Should Orengo make true his threat and ultimately succeed in impeaching Ruto, however, the country may be cast back to a state of political quandary marked by tumult, pockets of violence and public altercations.
Heightened political temperatures
The expulsion of DP Ruto from the government will undoubtedly spell doom to the core purpose of the handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga which was to create an environment of peace and calm in the country and give the Jubilee government ample time to implement its Big Four agenda.
His camp, which consists of Governors, Senators, MPs, MCAs and political figures from different parts of the country, is sure to launch a full-throttle presidential campaign, three years ahead of 2022 making it impossible for President Uhuru to achieve his agenda, and therefore putting his legacy in jeopardy.
Already, current fissures in Jubilee have resulted in heated exchanges between warring camps of DP Ruto and that of President Uhuru, with the latter accusing the former of holding early campaigns. Raila and his team have also weighed into the fight, choosing to hit out at Ruto every chance they get, with the clear intention of dealing a blow to his 2022 presidential chances.
Axing Ruto from the government will also rekindle political rivalry between Uhuru Kenyatta’s Kikuyu community and Ruto’s Kalenjin community which would be detrimental to the country’s peaceful co-existence.
Already, there are quarters in Rift Valley that are not pleased with Uhuru’s current dalliance with Raila Odinga, who has been accused of machinating schemes to stop Ruto from ascending to the presidency.
The President’s reluctance to announce his support for Ruto’s presidential bid and his alleged behind-the-scenes push for a referendum to expand the executive, through the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), has also created bad blood between the president and leaders from Rift Valley.
The move could also spark protests in Rift Valley, Nairobi, Western, parts of Central Kenya and the Coast region where the Deputy President is seen to enjoy great support.
Ruto’s clear win in 2022
The eventual winner in such an occurrence will most likely be William Ruto who would patently win sympathy votes, in addition to the support he enjoys from his bases. This would be deleterious to Raila Odinga and his camp who are eyeing the presidency in 2022.
However, it is highly unlikely that Orengo’s motion will pass, both at the National Assembly and the Senate, owing to the overwhelming majority of Ruto-leaning legislators from both Jubilee and NASA president in both Houses – that is if he is bold enough to take the risk.