Just days after Raila Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement expelled Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa, Amani National Congress has taken the cue over what it calls the continued unbecoming behaviour of its members.
At a Special National Executive Council (NEC) meeting on Wednesday, the Musalia Mudavadi-led party adopted the report of its disciplinary committee recommending the expulsion of nominated MP Godfrey Osotsi over claims of misuse of the party’s funds when he served as secretary-general before the 2017 General Election.
Mr Osotsi removal is likely to escalate the bad blood with his party as he is already engaged the party in a legal battle over his “unlawful” removal as secretary-general.
The matter is currently before the High Court. The nominated MP is challenging the appointment of Mr Barrack Muluka as secretary- general in an acting capacity.
The party’s NEC has also warned nominated Senator Petronila Were, whom it has invited to appear before it on Friday this week to explain why she should not be expelled. Her case is related to Mr Osotsi’s.
“The disciplinary committee, at a meeting held at the party headquarters on March 6, 2019, resolved that you should be separated from the party. The decision was tabled before NEC on March 18, 2019, during which session, your expulsion as reached by the disciplinary committee was upheld and ratified,” a letter to Mr Osotsi signed by Mr Muluka, read.
The letter is copied to the Registrar of Political Parties Ms Anne Nderitu to start the process of removing his name from the ANC membership register in a move that will see him lose his parliamentary seat.
The letter has also been copied to Clerk of the National Assembly Michael Sialai.
However, Mr Osotsi said he will only give a response to the “purported expulsion” after being served by the party.
The legislator described the party’s decision as irrational, dictatorial, intimidating and meant to injure his political career.
“According to my understanding, there was no ANC NEC meeting and if it were, I would have been invited to state my case. If they are basing their so called verdict on the purported recommendations of the disciplinary committee, it is dead on arrival,” Mr Osotsi said.
He continued; “Just because ODM has done it, they think they will do it and get away with it not knowing that the scenarios are different,” he added.
ODM expelled Ms Jumwa for publicly campaigning for Deputy President William Ruto’s 2022 bid against the party’s wishes.
The parties’ Act provides that an individual, who advocates or champions the interests of a rival party is deemed to have defected to that party.
Although Mr Osotsi’s removal is associated with a purported audit finding by Auditor-General Edward Ouko. Nation has established that it is a management letter to the party to explain the usage of funds allocated from the parties’ kitty.
In accounting terms, a management letter does not constitute an audit report but rather, the initial step in the audit process, meaning that the party may have rushed its decision based on rumours.
Interestingly, Mr Ouko denied knowledge of the process and what ANC is claiming as an audit report, the basis for which the party is disciplining Mr Osotsi and Ms Were.
“I am not aware of that report and I have got nothing to do with it,” Mr Ouko told Nation.
That the ANC may have jumped the ship until the matter is concluded is evident by the fact that the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) George Kinoti is probing the alleged loss of funds after the party filed a complaint.
Therefore, his dismissal may constitute a clear case of double jeopardy with the matter now expected to head to the Political Parties Dispute Tribunal.
Mr Osotsi has also questioned the impartiality of the disciplinary committee that recommended his expulsion.
He says that Mr Muluka, whom he is tussling over the leadership in the party, is a member of the disciplinary committee that expelled him.
There is also Mr Dan Ameyo, who is a member of the disciplinary committee and a lawyer defending the party in High Court over the appointment of Mr Muluka as the party’s secretary-general.