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Ford-Kenya, ANC protest over ODM's move to dewhip MPs

Friday May 29 2020
WETA MUDAVADI

Ford-Kenya leader Moses Wetang’ula (left) and his Amani National Congress counterpart Musalia Mudavadi at a past press conference. They have criticised ODM's move to dewhip Nasa MPs. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By DERRICK LUVEGA
By BENSON AMADALA

Politicians Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetang'ula have expressed their dissatisfaction with a decision by the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) to dewhip their MPs from parliamentary posts as a disciplinary measure for working with Deputy President William Ruto.

The latest move could reignite the rivalry in the National Super Alliance (Nasa) that is already limping following the decision by ODM leader Raila Odinga to work with President Uhuru Kenyatta.

 PARTY FUNDS

While Mr Mudavadi, the leader of Amani National Congress (ANC) party, said the proposed changes should have been subjected to the coalition's summit for deliberation, his Ford-Kenya counterpart, Mr Wetang'ula, said ODM was acting in a bullish manner.

The Bungoma Senator, whom ODM dethroned as Minority Leader in 2018, also accused the Orange party of sitting on party funds.

ODM has proposed to dewhip the Deputy Minority Whip in the National Assembly Chris Wamalwa (Ford-Kenya) and Butere MP Tindi Mwale (Energy Committee, ANC) for working with Deputy President William Ruto.

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Speaking separately during morning radio talk shows on Thursday, the two leaders from western Kenya said Nasa is a composition of five parties.

Apart from ODM, ANC and Ford Kenya, Nasa also houses Wiper of Kalonzo Musyoka and Chama Cha Mashinani of Isaac Ruto.

Speaking on Milele FM, Mr Mudavadi said no party should discipline MPs from another coalition affiliate.

Mr Mudavadi said: "We are seeing it has come to a point when a barometer and thermometer are trying to find out which of them is more hollow than the other.”

DISCIPLINE ANC MEMBER

He went on: "Changes in committee leadership depends on the provisions of Standing Orders and agreement by members."

"ODM has a right to make changes in their own party as they wish. Other parties can do the same. But we cannot say ODM can discipline an ANC member and vice versa," he added.

He noted that he would like to see justice during reconstitution of committees.

Mr Wetang’ula - while speaking on a local radio station in western - asked ODM to stop using draconian tactics to punish and frustrate the other Nasa partners.  

 “ODM is doing everything possible to try and force the collapse of Nasa. But there is the issue of assets and liabilities before we can pronounce Nasa as dissolved,” said Mr Wetang’ula.

He asked Mr Odinga not allow his party officials to treat coalition partners with disrespect since they supported him overwhelmingly in the 2017 presidential election.

BULLIED

“The votes Mr Odinga got did not come from his ODM supporters alone. Our supporters in ANC, FORD-Kenya and Wiper voted for him and it is unfortunate we are now being bullied and as if our support did not matter,” said Mr Wetang’ula.

Mr Wetang’ula said he was working with Mr Mudavadi and Wiper’s Kalonzo Musyoka to hold ODM accountable over the issue of the political parties’ funds.

He accused ODM of sidelining its coalition partners from getting their share of the money from the fund.

He noted that ANC, Ford-Kenya and Wiper are considering moving to court over the issue.

 Mr Mwale said the move by ODM to remove him from the National Assembly on Energy Committee was meant to intimidate him to switch his political loyalty from his ANC party leader.

 “I have told ODM they can take the position since I don’t need to a member of the Energy Committee to serve my people in Parliament. I want the party to understand that I will not be swayed to switch my loyalty and dance to their political tune,” said Mr Mwale. 

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