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Details emerge how Ruto engineered Amason Kingi’s win in Senate leading to Kalonzo’s withdrawal

Ruto engineered Amason Kingi’s win in the Senate speaker race by reaching out to the members of the rival coalition.

In the race for Senate Speaker, in which Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka abruptly withdrew, President-elect William Ruto outsmarted both President Uhuru Kenyatta and Azimio leader Raila Odinga.

Amason Kingi, who was supported by the Kenya Kwanza Alliance, received 46 votes, backed by 10 senators from the Azimio party who disobeyed their camp’s call for a walkout, to become the third Senate Speaker.

It was discovered that on Wednesday night, after Dr. Ruto had presided over a meeting of the Kenya Kwanza parliamentary group, which had chosen Mr. Kingi and Mr. Moses Wetang’ula (National Assembly) as its candidates, the camp of the incoming president made contact with a group from the opposing coalition.

A follow-up meeting prior to the vote would prove successful to get the former Kilifi governor sufficient numbers to seal victory in the first round that required a two-thirds majority of the 67-member Senate.

“This is politics and there is nothing wrong with reaching out to our colleagues from the other side. We did it so well and it worked for us. You go for the strategy that can give you a win against your competitor,” said a Kenya Kwanza senator, who acknowledged the secret overtures on Wednesday evening through to yesterday morning.

In the Kenya Kwanza plan, Azimio-allied senators from the Coast, where Amason Kingi comes from, were persuaded that Ruto’s camp had a better deal for them and there was no need for them to create unnecessary animosity with his administration by putting up a fight for a deputy speaker slot that wasn’t assured.

Azimio had fronted Kilifi Senator Stewart Madzayo (ODM) for deputy speaker, alongside Kalonzo Musyoka, who was gunning for the Speaker seat.

When the Azimio brigade sensed defeat, their members unsuccessfully tried to push for the postponement of the vote, but when that failed, they walked out.

However, the defiance by their 10 colleagues helped Amason Kingi lock a first-round win. 

“It looks like some of our members were bought, it was going to be difficult to win that seat. We were going to embarrassingly lose,” said a senator from the Western region.

Another MP from Kisumu County read malice into Kalonzo Musyoka’s insistence during the Azimio Parliamentary Group meeting on Wednesday that he would vie for the Senate Speaker position in spite of the opinion of a majority of members that Mr. Marende stood a better chance to clinch the seat.

“It looks like the deal to destabilize us (Azimio) through Kalonzo was reached on that Wednesday because we wanted Marende to go for the seat but he insisted and he was told to go for it. Getting out of the race at the last minute raises a lot of questions,” the MP told the Nation.

Also read,

Ministry of Devolution stops Ruto’s congratulatory messages on local dailies

Ruto’s ally Aden Duale now claims Uhuru conned Raila Odinga

Wafula Chebukati receives a letter of appreciation after the Supreme Court ruling

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