ODM leader Raila Odinga (center) with deputy party leader Wycliffe Oparanya (left) and party national chairman John Mbadi during a National Governing Council meeting in October. ODM has sealed the fate of a rebel governor and seven legislators who are now set to lose their seats. (PHOTO: BEVERLYNE MUSILI/ STANDARD)
ODM has sealed the fate of a rebel governor and seven legislators who are now set to lose their seats.
The party’s National Governing Council (NGC) unanimously ratified recommendations that the leaders be expelled from the party for publicly supporting the newly-formed Jubilee Party.
Former ODM Secretary General and Budalang’i MP Ababu Namwamba, who recently launched Labour Party, is among the leaders kicked out by the Raila Odinga-led party.
Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya, Kisii County deputy governor Joash Maangi and Kwale Woman Representative Zainab Chidzuga, Sirisia MP John Waluke and Samuel Arama (Nakuru West) have also been expelled.
Other leaders axed by the Orange party include nominated MP Isaac Mwaura, Steven Kariuki (Mathare) and Masoud Mwahima (Likoni).
Also expelled from the party is Viwandani Member of County Assembly (MCA) Samuel Nyangwara. Mr Nyangwara was behind the impeachment motion against Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero and had declared his defection to Jubilee Party.
And MPs Richard Onyonka (Kitutu Chache North) and Simon Ogari (Bomachoge), who campaigned for the Jubilee candidate in the Nyacheki by-elections, swung around and rejoined ODM yesterday.
The decision to expel the rebels now sets the stage for their exit from the party’s membership register and subsequent declaration of vacancy for their seats.
The next stage now is for the party to inform the Registrar of Political Parties, relevant Speakers and the electoral agency before the seat(s) can be declared vacant.
Registrar of Political Parties Lucy Ngung’u said she is required to remove the names from the register within seven days upon receiving the party’s resolution to de-register the rebel leaders.
The Registrar said the party is expected to communicate the decision to her office, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and clerks of respective assemblies any time from yesterday.
“The first step for the party is to communicate its decision to the Registrar of Political Parties, IEBC and clerks of respective assemblies,” said Ms Ngung’u yesterday.
“According to the Political Amendment Act, within seven days they would be removed from the register. I would then communicate to the party and IEBC over their removal,” she explained.
And IEBC said once the seats are declared vacant by the Speakers of the affected Houses, it would proceed to set election dates.
“For us, once the seats are declared vacant, we will proceed and conduct the polls. It is a straight-forward case, nothing special since it would be just like any other by-elections occasioned by deaths,” the commission told The Standard.
And should there be no court contest, this would be one of the major by-elections coming just nine months to the August 7, 2017 General Election.
Yesterday, Raila warned leaders who are not clear on their support for the party, stating that the party would block them from participating in its primaries.
He said it’s only those who have stood with the party that would be considered for nominations and not those who use the party as a bridge to their destinations.
“To those still standing on the fence weighing options, who are doubting ODM’s strength and determination, the window is closing and soon it will be too late,” said Raila in his address to the delegates at Bomas of Kenya.
MPs Gideon Mung’aro (Kilifi North), Mustafa Iddi (Kilifi South), James Rege (Karachuonyo) and Mpuru Aburi (Tigania East) and Chachu Ganya (North Horr) were given a second chance to defend themselves and would appear before the committee on Thursday.
Mr Onyonka and Mr Ogari apologised to Raila and the party for switching allegiance to Jubilee. They claimed Jubilee promised to bring development to their areas but have since failed, thus changing their mind to rejoin the party that took them to Parliament.
The apologies, however, came with a dressing down by leaders, particularly from the Gusii region, who insisted that they face the branch office before coming to the national disciplinary party.