On June 3rd, 2020, President Kenyatta issued Executive Order 1/2020 in which he made the Nairobi Metropolitan Services as well as the Deputy President’s office to be firmly under his control.
This is the first time since Uhuru Kenyatta came to power in 2013 that he has made the bold move to assert his power and control over his deputy president, Mr. William Ruto. Before today’s executive order, it was informally assumed that both the president and the deputy president worked hand in glove in what most Kenyans knew and became accustomed to as “the presidency”. But the issued order makes it clear that Uhuru Kenyatta is the only president of the Republic of Kenya and Deputy president William Ruto is just like any other employee in the office of the president that takes directions directly from the president himself.
It should be understood that according to the Kenyan Constitution, the president does NOT have authority to fire, demote or suspend the deputy president. The president is merely reorganizing his government within the tenets of the current constitution of Kenya. Do not be mistaken that President Uhuru and his allies would really want the deputy president to resign and if they had the powers to fire Mr. Ruto, they could have done it very long time ago due to the obvious rift between the president and his deputy.
The soured relationship between the head of state and the deputy president has led to the former circumventing the deputy president in Jubilee Party by dismissing most of his allies or simply abolishing their powerful positions. It started with the firing of the then Agriculture Minister Mwangi Kiujuri in January and then it has mushroomed to other lawmakers including the then Majority Whip Susan Kihika and Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen.
To save their skin, a majority of Jubilee politicians who were ardent supporters of deputy president William Ruto have deserted him and reaffirmed their support for President Uhuru Kenyatta. Some of such politicians includes the Nominated Senator Millicent Omanga, who was grilled by the Jubilee Disciplinary Committee last week. Other former allies of the deputy president who have deserted him to save their skin includes: Garsen Member of Parliament Ali Wario and Kaloleni MP Paul Katana.
Other Jubilee politicians who are proponents of Deputy President William Ruto’s ambition to rise to power, and who are widely thought to soon face the ax includes; Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichungwa and Gatundu South Member of Parliament honorable Moses Kuria. These two politicians are the most high profile MPs to receive a seven day ultimatum from the Jubilee Party machinery in which they are ordered to explain why they should not be expelled from the Jubilee Party.
In essence, the Jubilee Party actually gave them a chance to either reaffirm their allegiance to the party or to declare where they stand as far as the Jubilee Party is concerned. Should they fail to respond to the order, they will unceremoniously be removed from the Jubilee Party. Other members of the Jubilee party who received the ultimatum includes Bomet Women Representative Joyce Korir, Endebess Member of Parliament Robert Pukose and Aldai Constituency Member of Parliament Cornelly Serem.
Should they be kicked out of the Jubilee Party, Mr. Moses Kuria will be forced to relinquish his position in the Parliamentary, Transport Public Works and Housing Committee, while Mr. Kimani Ichungwa will be stripped of his position in the Budget Appropriation Trade and Industry. On the other hand, Cornelly Serem will fired from his position in the Public Investment Committee. Finally, both Joyce Korir and her counterpart Robert Pukose will be relieved of their duties in the Labor and Social Welfare and the Energy Committees respectively.