Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto and his Deputy Stephen Mutai during a past function in Bomet…Ruto recently kicked out the deputy and appointed an acting deputy saying Mutai has absconded duty for more than two years. PHOTO BY GILBERT KIMUTAI/STANDARD
Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto has denied sacking his deputy.
Ruto has said he had only reallocated the duties falling under Stephen Mutai after parting ways with him politically.
“I am not sending him home but I want to ensure that duties are done, therefore, I have appointed a person to handle what Mr Mutai used to do because he has deserted duty and is busy campaigning to unseat me,” said the governor.
Mr Ruto accused Mutai of deserting duty for the past one-and-a-half years and now allegedly engaging in Jubilee nomination politics ahead of the August election.
Ruto’s apparent about-turn appeared to have been prompted by local leaders’ accusations that he was assuming powers that do not belong to him.
Leading the onslaught against him was Senator Wilfred Lesan, who said the governor’s decision to appoint an acting deputy governor was against the law and could be grounds for removing him (Ruto) from office.
“Ruto has no powers to kick out his deputy. The law is clear that the Senate can initiate the removal of the deputy governor or he can be sacked through an impeachment, but governors cannot just wake up one morning and remove the deputy governor,” Prof Lesan said.
The senator accused Ruto of witch hunting his opponents and asked him to respect other people’s rights.
“It is everyone’s right to take a political stand and, therefore, Governor Ruto should not victimise his deputy for supporting Jubilee,” said Lesan.
Speaking in Bomet town during a belated International Women’s Day function, Ruto said the absence of his deputy and the fact that Mutai had shifted base gave him an opportunity to pick another running mate.
Mutai on Tuesday dismissed his alleged sacking, saying the process of removing a deputy governor from office was stipulated in the Constitution and had not been followed.