Kenya Senators Oust Deputy Speaker Amid Ruling Party Infighting

(Bloomberg) --

Kenya’s senate voted to remove Deputy Speaker Kithure Kindiki from the post on Friday, as leadership changes continue to deepen divisions within the ruling party.

The motion to remove Kindiki, citing disloyalty to President Uhuru Kenyatta who leads the Jubilee party, was supported by 54 senators, according to Speaker Kenneth Lusaka. Seven voted against it, Lusaka said in a televised session.

The removal of Kindiki deepens a fissure within Jubilee, where several members allied to Kenyatta have spoken against Deputy President William Ruto’s bid to replace his boss at the next election in 2022. Kindiki is allied to Ruto, and his fate follows a move to strip Ruto’s other supporter Kipchumba Murkomen of the role of Senate Majority Leader.

The president’s relationship with his deputy has deteriorated since March 2018, when a rapprochement between Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga signaled Ruto may no longer be the front runner to be the next president.

Kindiki said allegations that he disrespected the president are trumped-up and baseless.

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