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Parliamentary motion to impeach Kenya’s deputy president is fake

A document is circulating online with the claim that it is a special parliamentary motion to impeach William Ruto, Kenya’s deputy president.

Posted on Facebook on 25 May 2020, the document appears to be the order paper, or daily parliamentary schedule, of the National Assembly for 2 June. It reads: “Special Motion: The Impeachment of Dr William Samoei Ruto as the Deputy President of the Republic of Kenya.”

It was posted with the comment: “SPECIAL MOTION: A motion drafted by Hon. James Kanini on the removal of a sitting DP William Ruto set to take place on Tuesday 2nd June.”

The document has been shared elsewhere on Facebook, and a PDF version was sent to Africa Check’s WhatsApp line for verification. (Note: Click here to subscribe to Africa Check’s WhatsApp broadcast in Kenya.)

At a time when the ruling Jubilee Party has fired key allies of the deputy president, the document, which mimics the font and format of the official schedule, appears to spell doom for Ruto.

The assembly resumes on 2 June, but is the impeachment of the country’s deputy president on the table? We checked.

Order ‘fictitious’

The order papers for each of the houses of parliament are published on the parliamentary website. The National Assembly’s authentic schedule for 2 June does not have an impeachment motion.

The clerk of the assembly, Michael Sialai, tweeted a statement on 25 May cautioning the public about a “fictitious Order Paper circulating on social media”. 

“No notice of any such Special Motion has been received in the offices of the Speaker or Clerk of the National Assembly as alluded to in the fictitious document. Similarly, no list of members or signatures in support of such a motion have been received in either of the two offices,” Sialai tweeted.

He pointed out “glaring errors” in the document. It refers to the “Sixth Session”, whereas the current parliament is in its fourth session.

“The formatting of the document in terms of nomenclature, spacing, punctuation and numbering shows that the fictitious document is a creation of some people bent on circulating fake news,” Sialai said.

“The fake document should therefore be ignored and treated with the contempt it deserves.”

Kanini Kega, the lawmaker said to have drafted the motion, also dismissed the document.

“The architect of this FAKE ORDER paper should realise that what you wish for might become a reality! This is extremely cheap, preposterous and lacking in content, go back to the drawing board!” he posted on Facebook on 25 May.

There is no impeachment motion against the deputy president. The document is fake. – Alphonce Shiundu


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