Rival Ford-K groups fight over party

Tuesday June 02 2020
ford rivals

From left: Bungoma Governor Wycliffe Wangamati, Ford-Kenya interim leader Wafula Wamunyinyi and the party’s interim Organising-Secretary Josephine Maungu address the press at Radisson Blu Hotel in Nairobi on May 31, after a National Executive Committee meeting. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NATION MEDIA GROUP


The fight for control of Ford-Kenya party could be headed for the Political Parties Disputes Tribunal after rival factions presented different names of the party’s purported leaders to Registrar of Political Parties Anne Nderitu.The faction led by Kanduyi MP Wafula Wamunyinyi showed up at the registrar’s office first, with a list showing that Mr Wamunyinyi had been duly elected to replace Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula as the party leader at a specially convened National Executive Council (NEC) meeting on Sunday.Moments after they left, a group allied to Mr Wetang’ula appeared and submitted documents showing that Mr Wetang’ula was still the party leader.SUSPENDEDThey also showed that Mr Wamunyinyi and secretary-general Eseli Simiyu (Tongaren) had been suspended and are, therefore, not allowed to transact its business.The Wetang’ula group announced that Mr Wamunyinyi had been replaced by West Mugirango MP Vincent Kemosi, and that Dr Simiyu had been replaced by Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa.Following the submission of the two sets of documents, all eyes are now on the registrar’s office.This comes even as the two groups warned each other in separate briefings of disciplinary action should they continue to violate the party’s constitution, the Political Parties Act and the Constitution of Kenya.Tuesday, Ms Nderitu said she would make an appropriate decision after going through the documents, which include the resolutions of the respective NEC meetings that made the changes and the minutes.“We are looking at the documents to see whether they are compliant with the Political Parties Act and the Constitution of Kenya,” she said.RIVAL FACTIONSEarly last month, Ms Nderitu told the Jubilee Party to address its issues internally after rival factions disagreed over the composition of the party’s National Management Committee.Meanwhile, Mr Wamunyinyi has warned Mr Wetang’ula that he risks losing his Bungoma senatorial seat if he continues to disrespect the party’s new leadership.“I ask the former party leader to respect the organs of the party. We have supported him before. He should also support us. As a party, we will not hesitate to take disciplinary action against him if he continues misbehaving,” he said.Mr Wamunyinyi spoke alongside Dr Simiyu and the party’s Women League chairperson Cynthia Mutere.Mr Wamunyinyi said the party is now in safe hands, and that the aim of the new leadership is to give it back to the people.“The party, which was formed to promote equality, justice and truth, had been grabbed by some cartels for their selfish interests. I invite the leaders who had left to come back home,” he added.Dr Simiyu, for his part, accused Mr Wetang’ula of running the party like a personal kiosk.He added that poor decisions by the party’s leaders had led to a decline in its popularity, including in its stronghold.Wamunyinyi team include correspondence to Mr Wetang’ula to explain why action should not be taken against him for violating the party constitution.