The row pitting Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki with a section of legislators has taken a new twist following the intervention of the Deputy President William Ruto.
Some legislators, majority drawn from Rift Valley, went on the offensive against the CS after she sent KNH CEO Lily Koros on compulsory leave last week.
The CS said this will allow for investigations after a surgical blunder at the referral hospital where doctors conducted a brain surgery on the wrong patient.
The CS, fondly referred to as Sicily stands accused of abuse of office, gross violation of rules and regulations, arrogance and disrespect.
By yesterday, reports the Star, 150 MPs had signed the petition to impeach the CS. This number is more than the threshold required of 117 MPs in support of the motion so that it is tabled in the National Assembly.
The DP is reportedly said to have held a meeting with MPs and Senators from Rift Valley in the last two days and asked them to abandon the impeachment motion and seek alternative ways to resolve their grievances.
However, one of the vocal MPs said they are not dropping the motion. He said they will present it to the Speaker of the National Assembly after 180 MPs sign it.
“Yes, the DP has told us to stop what we are doing, but I can tell you we are not. The motion has very wide support,” the vocal Rift Valley MP said according to the Star.
Aldai MP Cornel Serem, reportedly said to be behind the impeachment motion said the CS had no legal rights to fire Koros.
“The CS has no legal mandate to fire or even to direct the board to send the CEO on compulsory leave. My motion is ready and will be submitted to the House,” he said.
Besides sending Koros home, the CS is at loggerheads with legislators from North Eastern Kenya for failing to appoint Dr Waqo Dulacha as Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (KEMSA) CEO.
Wajir Woman Rep Fatuma Gedi said Dr. Dulacha emerged the best candidate and was recommended by KEMSA Board after he beat Dr Joseph Sitienei and Dr Jonah Mwangi respectively in interviews last year.
“We are very unhappy that she cancelled the recruitment process even after the board did its work according to the law,” said Gedi.
Gedi said the CS “unilaterally wrote back to the board to re-advertise the position.”
“The big question is why she appointed the person recommended for Kemri and not Kemsa?” asked Gedi.
However, Nyeri Town MP Ngunjiri Wambugu termed the onslaught against Sicily an act of “tribal bigotry”.
“The fact is that whatever is happening in KNH is a national crisis. Ethnic tribal bigotry therefore has no place if we are genuinely interested in getting a solution to such a national crisis.
“The ‘Mtu wetu [one of our own]’ public outcry will not solve the problems that need solving,” offered Ngunjiri.
It remains to be seen what happens next as opposition MPs are said to be warming up in supporting the motion.
Makueni MP Dan Maanzo said NASA’s support of Sicily’s exit is part of their plan to clean up the mess in the government.
“I signed the petition and I am on the front page. We will support the motion as NASA. We will vote for her exit. It is part of cleaning up this messy government,” he said.