President Ruto, DP Gachagua At Crossroads Over Agriculture CS Linturi’s Impeachment Move

By The Weekly Vision Reporter

The impeachment process against Agriculture CS Mithika Linturi is likely to cause ripples in the Kenya Kwanza administration if it succeeds, according to a political analyst who spoke to The Weekly Vision. The process presents a perfect path for President William Ruto and his deputy Rigathi Gachagua to pursue their respective political objectives.

If the impeachment against Mr Linturi succeeds, it would provide the president with a chance of rearranging his cabinet which has so far been difficult due to the potential political ramifications that may arise as a result. If the president chooses to support Mr Linturi’s impeachment, the rebellion in the Mount Kenya East region against his government will surely gain momentum. To avoid this outcome, the president is likely to take a passive stance and allow MPs to vote with a clear conscience, without any arm-twisting from his State House. If the MPs eventually oust the CS, the president will then have an opportunity to appoint another CS, most likely from the same Mount Kenya East region. 

Although DP Gachagua has so far opted to stay silent on the issue, a detailed look at the list of signatories shows the involvement of a few of his key allies, a clear indication, though hidden endorsement from him to impeach the CS.   Political pundits opine that Mr Linturi’s impeachment could open up an opportunity for the DP to convince President Ruto to appoint another CS to replace Mr Linturi from the region after speculations arose within his camp that the appointments the president had made earlier were carried out without his participation.

The DP could suggest a suitable candidate for the president’s consideration.  But the president has a chance to send a clear message to his DP and other leaders in the Mount Kenya region that he retains the absolute authority in appointing Mr Linturi’s replacement without having to involve them.

Some have theorized that Ruto’s deliberate silence on Linturi’s impeachment, coupled with the support for the petition in parliament by MPs from his Rift Valley stronghold and UDA party affiliates, could indicate a silent backing for the initiative. 

The fact that President Ruto has refrained from exerting his influence on the MP’s actions in parliament, allowing them to freely exercise their democratic rights to vote as they see fit, carries great significance. This action speaks volumes about the Mr Linturi case.  There are signs suggesting that the president may capitalize on the escalating rebellion in the Mount Kenya region against his administration to enlist some opposition-affiliated politicians as replacement for Mr Linturi to counter his DP’s influence in the region.

Former Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi’s name has also resurfaced. Sources indicate that the president may opt to include individuals in his cabinet who are opposed to his deputy to counter his influence in the region. 

Sources say that former Agriculture Minister Peter Munya may be reinstated in the cabinet to replace Mr Linturi, should the impeachment process succeed. If Mr Munya finds his way back into the cabinet, the president will have managed to counter and neutralize Azimio’s presence in the Meru region.  President Ruto is acutely aware that by replacing Mr Linturi with another representative from Meru, he can effectively quash any uprising in the region.