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Deputy President Ruto tries to sideline impeachment threat and lashes out at Odinga

The county governments are to debate the Building Bridges Initiative which will boost their budgets

The National Assembly will resume sitting on Tuesday (9 February) but personal power struggles rather than new policies are set to dominate this session despite concerns about the economic effect of the coronavirus pandemic in the region.

On Tuesday, the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report will be tabled at the Nairobi County Assembly, as it makes its way through the devolved county legislatures before reaching national lawmakers (AC Vol 62 No 2, The race for Nairobi).

The campaign by Deputy President William Ruto's opponents to impeach him will shift up a gear this week. 

President Uhuru Kenyatta's 'handshake' partner Raila Odinga has been told by his Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) that they will agree to support Ruto's impeachment only if it is certain to get the two-thirds support needed in the National Assembly. The ODM wants to avoid any political responsibility should it fail.

Although Musalia Mudavadi's Amani National Congress strongly backs the move against Ruto, the campaign is being driven mainly by Jubilee Party officials David Murathe and Raphael Tuju.

Ruto's allies in the National Assembly are to talk tactics when they hold a parliamentary group meeting at the Deputy President's mansion on Monday (8 February) ahead of the reopening of the parliamentary session.

Insisting that he does not oppose the BBI process but only the machinations behind it, Ruto is trying to target Odinga, now seen as his main rival for the presidency in 2022 (AC Vol 61 No 23, A divisive plan for unity). 

Ruto's new tactic is to avoid demanding a referendum on the BBI but to pick holes in its recommendations on increased finance for county administrations and for an expanded number of MPs and other political posts in government.

He is stepping up the rhetoric against Odinga, whom he accused over the weekend of not knowing whether he was in government or opposition.

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