CS Linturi's Fate On The Line Following Late Night Meeting

The 11-member committee is expected to present their findings to the National Assembly during a special sitting on Monday, May 13. 

CS Linturi's Fate On The Line Following Late Night Meeting
Agriculture CS Mithika Linturi speaking during a fundraiser in aid of St. Theresa's Catholic parish in Imenti Central on April 28, 2024. /MITHIKA LINTURI

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary (CS) Mithika Linturi will today know whether he will continue to hold office or not after 11 members drawn from the National Assembly were holed up in a meeting on Sunday night, May 12 to deliberate the fate of his job, even though reports claim he could retain his position.

The MPs led by Naomi Waqo from Marsabit County had secluded themselves since Friday, May 10 to decide if the impeachment motion against the CS should stand.

CS Linturi is mainly being accused of overseeing the distribution of substandard fertiliser through National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) stores owing to his position in the Ministry of Agriculture, with the responsibility of implementation of President William Ruto’s subsidised fertiliser program falling under his docket.

The 11-member committee is expected to present their findings to the National Assembly during a special sitting on Monday, May 13. 

The National Assembly in session on June 14, 2023. /PARLIAMENT OF KENYA

Linturi, through his counsel, urged the committee to dismiss the impeachment motion, arguing that the mover had failed to provide proof implicating the CS in the fake fertilizer scandal. 

“That the fact that the man appearing before you has an issue with character and image is itself inadmissible. It is in this context that the Constitution presumes one innocent until proven guilty,” Muthomi Thiankulu, Linturi’s lawyer, said on Friday.

Linturi’s other lawyer added: “The accusers are basing their evidence on perception. Why? Because he has been perceived as an evil person by the media for 5 years. His linen was laid bare. The guilt of Linturi has not been proved, he is innocent.”

The CS had attributed the impeachment motion to persecution from his adversaries and a former partner with whom he had intimate relations before a bitter fallout.

“All these cases revolve around an individual that unfortunately we were friends and for whatever reason that relationship could not hold and out of her own volition she decided to bring so many cases which I was forced to defend,” the CS told the Committee, and had to be consoled after he broke down.

“There is case number 74 where I was being sued to take responsibility for children who are not mine,” he continued in tears.

Bumula MP Jack Wamboka on his part, whose impeachment motion received the support of 110 signatures from legislators, argued that his legal team presented watertight evidence against Linturi, dismissing the CS's affirmations of substandard fertilizer.

“There’s nothing like substandard fertilizer, this is fake fertilizer. I, Wamboka, have tried; I leave the ball in your court. Remember Kenyans will never forget these proceedings. There are so many ways of killing the rat. The committee is one of them. Mithika Linturi Must Go!” He stated.

Wamboka’s lawyer Aisha added: “The CS did not set an NCPB board, but a committee to deal with fertilizer. He bears responsibility. A CS cannot say publicly that it is a work in progress.”

National Assembly Majority Leader Kimani Ichung’wah requested that the Waqo-led team be impartial while listening to the accusations against the CS.

MPs from the ruling Kenya Kwanza coalition who are part of the committee include Waqo, Samuel Chepkonga, George Murugara, Jane Maina, Moses Injendi and Kassim Tandaza. 

Azimio la Umoja was represented by Robert Mbui, TJ Kajwang, Catherine Omanyo and Yussuf Farah whereas Jubilee Party which was recognised as a minority party in Parliament by Speaker Moses Wetangula was represented by Racheal Nyamai. 

Linturi became the first Cabinet Secretary since the promulgation of the 2010 Constitution to face a National Assembly committee over an impeachment motion and risks becoming the first CS in the current Constitution to be impeached from office.

Agriculture CS Mithika Linturi during a visit to KEL Chemicals, April 12, 2024. /CAPITAL BREAKING NEWS