It started with a shouting match, Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen was the protagonist Minority Leader James Orengo the antagonist.
In the end Deputy Speaker Kindiki Kithure was ousted, his tenure coming to a premature end.
Just like his chief defender Murkomen and fellow lieutenant Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika, theirs was a fight for survival that lacked impetus to upstage a decision that had been made hours earlier in separate meetings away from the chamber.
56 Senators voted, 54 voted to oust him surpassing the requisite 2/3rd majority. His support stood at seven, they were Murkomen, Kihika, Cheruiyot, Cherargai, Linturi, Kinyua as well as his vote.
But even before Majority Whip Irungu Kang’ata moved the motion, Murkomen fought a lone battle, an unsuccessful attempt to save his friend.
He was livid, he made Orengo furious, and the House almost descended into chaos.
He rose on a point of order, sought directions on whether the Deputy Speaker Kindiki Kithure was notified of the charges against him.
“This house can’t continue calling itself the upper house then proceed to remove the Deputy Speaker in a kangaroo court.” He retorted.
Orengo challenged him cite sections of the constitution and standing orders that require the Deputy Speaker to be notified.
“He (Murkomen) is a very junior person when it comes to the matters of law, very junior.” He said.
Not one to take matters lying down, Murkomen shot up, anger written all over his face, “Mr Speaker Senator Orengo has constantly abused me, he has questioned my education credentials on several occasions, Orengo and I went to same university, I got second class upper, he got second class lower, I have two masters degrees, he has none, who is he to lecture me on matters law?” He posed.
The Speaker Ken Lusaka had to intervene, calling for sobriety and respect for one another.
It’s then that Kang’ata on his second week as Majority Whip rose to move the motion.
He argued that Kindiki failure to attend the Jubilee Coalition Parliamentary meeting held at State House a week ago was not a good gesture.
He said the party was not happy with his absence and had therefore lost confidence in him.
Kang’ata had time to cite misgivings Kindiki perpetrated in his capacity as Deputy Speaker, singling out rulings that may have not pleased the party hierarchy.
He finished with a plea, that Jubilee party members must toe the line and ensure President Uhuru Kenyatta leaves a legacy when his term ends.
Minority Whip Mutula Kilonzo Jnr didn’t belabor the point, he was clear that once a person had lost the trust of his party, there was nothing the party could do to help him.
“You were elected politically, you were brought here politically, you persuaded the majority to elect you politically you must now convince the majority to save you politically, there is nothing else about it.” He said.
Nandi Senator Samson Cherargai however opposed the motion terming it as illegal. He said there is a deliberate manner to persecute individuals based on their political affiliations.
Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika was also at hand to oppose the motion saying the Senate had become a house that is controlled from elsewhere. “Unfortunately some of the Senators that I looked up to when I was growing up fighting for justice are the ones now perpetrating illegalities as they hold brief for their masters.” She said.
Kindiki had a lot to say but he choose to forgive his enemies, the perpetrators of his downfall.
In the noise of the chamber and the quietness that engulfed those who fought the lost battle, perhaps it’s Orengo who summed it all, “this house will be in the next two or three months be required to play a critical role….” Whatever he meant remains open to interpretation.
Indeed it was an extraordinary sitting. The motion to remove Prof Kindiki was the first one in the history of the Senate of Kenya.
And in the era of social distancing only 28 Senators were allowed into the chambers on a first come first served basis. Others sat in the Senate new wing Lounge that had been set up as a temporary chamber to accommodate them.
Kindiki’s fate is sealed, what now remains is to elect his successor. The onus is on Jubilee party to give a name in what is likely to be Kang’ata’s next assignment.