Beleaguered Senate Deputy Speaker Kindiki Kithure has finally been axed.
The Professor of Law was impeached following a four-hour debate in the Senate on Friday with a total of 54 senators voted in favour of Kindiki’s impeachment.
Only seven senators voted to have him remain as the deputy speaker.
Speaker Kenneth Lusaka left out two votes of senators who had wanted to vote in absentia after Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen opposed the addition of the two votes, saying it was unconstitutional.
The two, including nominated Senator Beth Mugo, had been within the precincts of Parliament but left before voting.
In his final submission, Kindiki expressed disappointment at Jubilee Party’s decision to call a special sitting to debate his impeachment at a time the country is battling serious issues, including the coronavirus pandemic, a struggling economy and the locust invasion.
“I bow in shame to note that we are here today for such an elitist triviality powered by petty, divisive and vindictive politics as the country hurts from the lethal combination of a nearly collapsed economy, a ravaging pandemic, floods…” he said.
“How I wish this meeting, with the haste in which it was convened, was to discuss the millions who are living in poverty.”
Kindiki, in his defense said it was unfortunate he was being viewed as being disrespectful to Jubilee party leader President Uhuru Kenyatta, reiterating that he has nothing but respect for the Head of State as the leader of the country.
“I hold him in the highest esteem and veneration…. I will support him loyally until the end of his administration… I wish him all the best,” Kindiki said.
The senator emphasized that his detractor is neither Uhuru nor senators.
“There are those who thought I could be cajoled or even threatened in engaging in what in my view is a treasonable project that would destroy this country. .. Humility is not a sign of weakness,” Kindiki said.
“However dark it gets, the sun of freedom will soon shine in Kenya… I rejoice in my tribulations… Harbouring hate would work in their favour. I forgive those who crucify me,” he finished off by quoting rights activist Martin Luther King.
The motion for his removal was moved by Senate Majority Whip Irungu Kang’ata.
He said Kindiki failed to attend a Jubilee party Parliamentary group meeting and made a controversial ruling that was counterproductive to Uhuru’s agenda.
“By not attending the State House meeting that was a Parliamentary Group meeting, the party lost confidence in the deputy speaker,” Kang’ata said while moving the motion.
Kanga’ta said the party had no confidence in his leadership because he failed to attend the State House Parliamentary Group meeting on May 11.
The debates were preceded by flaring temperatures as the motion got underway as senators allied to Uhuru and opposition chief Raila Odinga exchanged harsh words with lawmakers allied to Deputy President William Ruto.
Ousted Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen (Elgeyo Marakwet), and Minority Leader James Orengo have torn into each other’s academic qualifications.