Kindiki was an able professor who read politics wrong

Colleagues of ousted Senate Deputy Speaker Kithure Kindiki described him as an accomplished lawyer whose mastery of the law is impeccable.

They said the sessions he presided over were lively, punctuated with rib-crackers and his rulings were some of the best in the history of the Senate.

Indeed, Kindiki is one of the top-notch lawyers who represented President Uhuru Kenyatta in the crimes against humanity charges in The Hague, Netherlands.  

He is one of the brains that drafted the Jubilee constitution and the manifestos that the ruling party sold to the electorate to win in 2013 and 2017 elections.

But despite the glowing tribute and the tremendous contribution to the well-being of the ruling party, Kindiki found himself on the chopping board.

The international law professor was unceremoniously removed from the seat after 54 out of the 67 senators voted in favour of the ouster motion.

Majority Chief Whip Irungu Kang’ata, who moved the motion, cited Kindiki’s failure to attend a meeting called by the President at State House – an act he said amounted to disloyalty.

So, where did the rain start beating the accomplished professor? Where did he go wrong to warrant the removal?

Political analysts observed that Kindiki, despite the accolades and contributions to the party, used wrong ‘toolbox’ to analyse and assess politics of the day.

University lecturer Prof Herman Manyora and analyst Martin Andati opined that Kindiki failed to master Kenyan politics that requires absolute loyalty to the leadership of political vehicles.

“Politics is politics. If you use wrong tools assess politics then you cannot get it right. You must only read politics using the tools that are used in analysing politics,” Manyora said.

The don added, “If you are going to repair a bulldozer and you go with the tool kit that is used to prepare a saloon car, then you cannot get it right. He is a good guy, intelligent, a good speaker by our standards but he was using the wrong tools to analyse, understand and play politics.”

Andati said loyalty to the party and its leadership is paramount, not only in Kenya but the world over, adding that Kindiki’s ouster is not a new phenomenon in the political arena.

“UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson de-whipped 21 MPs. They are actually expelled from the party for being disloyal and going the party position,” he said.

He observed that the President, being party leader, was instilling discipline based on the party constitution Kindiki himself drafted that gave him (party leader) veto powers.

“You either choose to be in the party or you are out there and nobody is going to allow you to create factions on the false premise that you will be a running mate to someone in future,” he added.

Kindiki is a close ally of Deputy President William Ruto and was at some point touted as a possible running mate for Ruto in 2022.

Andati observed that Uhuru’s intensified purge on ‘rebels’ has been triggered by keenness on his successor adding that more heads are likely to roll in the coming days.

Kindiki was among the founders of Jubilee party and was the first Senate Majority Leader under the new Constitution. He graduated with a PhD in International Law from the University of Pretoria in South Africa.

He holds a Master of Laws (LLM) in International Human Rights Law and Democracy from the same University.

The Tharaka Nithi senator graduated with the Bachelor of Laws from Moi University. He has been a law lecturer at the University of Nairobi for several years.

Edited by R.Wamochie 

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