January 30, 2020

Kenyan Deputy President’s Ally Impeached in Deepening Rift
(Bloomberg) -- Kenyan senators voted to impeach an ally of Deputy President William Ruto, the latest sign of the deteriorating relationship between President Uhuru Kenyatta and his second in command.Senators voted to impeach Kiambu county Governor Ferdinand Waititu on three charges -- gross violation of the constitution and county governments law, crimes under national law, and abuse of office and gross misconduct, Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka said in televised proceedings.“The governor accordingly ceases to hold office,” Lusaka said.The successful impeachment of Waititu came after the authorities charged him and some family members with alleged crimes, including money laundering and the fraudulent acquisition of public funds. They have all denied any wrongdoing.A plan to swear in Waititu’s deputy, James Nyoro, as the new governor was postponed, closely held Citizen TV reported, citing the Judiciary. Waititu’s lawyers filed an application at the High Court challenging the Senate’s impeachment decision.Ruto’s relationship with Kenyatta has degenerated since the president and opposition leader, Raila Odinga, agreed on a rapprochement in March 2018. That’s raised the prospect of Ruto not being handed the ruling party’s candidacy to succeed Kenyatta when elections are next held in 2022.The removal of Waititu weakens Ruto’s faction of the ruling Jubilee Party in the Senate and erodes his ability to settle political scores with the president in the legislative house, according to Dismas Mokua, a Nairobi-based independent political analyst.Ruto became Kenyatta’s deputy after the two joined forces in elections in 2013, when they both faced International Criminal Court charges for crimes against humanity that stemmed from violence that followed a vote five years earlier. The charges were dropped after they took office for lack of evidence.(Updates with legal challenge to the Senate vote in fifth paragraph)To contact the reporter on this story: Eric Ombok in Nairobi at eombok@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: David Malingha at dmalingha@bloomberg.net, Helen Nyambura, Meghan GenoveseFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
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