The leadership wrangles in Musalia Mudavadi’s Amani National Congress party took a new twist with nominated MP Godfrey Osotsi claiming that he remains the party’s substantive secretary-general until a new one is elected “democratically”.
This came against the backdrop of an existing dispute over Mr Mudavadi’s appointment of Barrack Muluka to replace the nominated MP at a joint National Executive Council and the parliamentary group meeting of the party in October last year.
“The purported appointment of Mr Muluka has not taken effect after party members raised complaints and petitions challenging the process. The little matter of my resignation has been clouded by falsehoods but very soon the truth will come out,” Mr Osotsi said.
According to Mr Osotsi, the matter is now before the Political Parties Disputes Tribunal (PPDT) after the “collapse” of internal dispute resolution mechanisms.
He said that the Registrar of Political Parties Lucy Ndung’u and the electoral commission have since refused to recognise Mr Muluka “due to the existence of the dispute”.
“It is therefore dishonest and unholy for Muluka to mislead Kenyans and party members. He is an imposter and an agent of cartels which are seeking to hijack the party to facilitate their selfish agendas which we are fully aware of,” Mr Osotsi said.
However, Mr Muluka wondered why Mr Osotsi is not using the party structures to have the matter resolved.
“Does he want the media to make him the secretary general? If the procedure is followed and it is found that I am in office illegally, I will move out! It is not a matter of life and death.” Mr Muluka said.
Ms Ndung’u’s failure to recognise the appointment of Mr Muluka is based on an appeal by Evans Nyaribo, one of ANC founder members claiming that the meeting that saw Mr Osotsi replaced was not “properly constituted and convened”
“The minutes of the said meeting was fraudulent and exposes key party officials to criminal charges for violation of offenses contained in the Political Parties Act,” Mr Nyaribo said.
Mr Mudavadi had said in the letter to the registrar that Mr Osotsi’s removal from office was well within the party constitution and the Political Parties’ Act.
But, Ms Ndung’u noted that the objection raised by Mr Nyaribo needed to be addressed first.
“This office acknowledges receipt of your letter on the change of officials together with the minutes. Kindly note that this office concurrently received an objection,” Ms Ndung’u said in her reply to Mr Mudavadi.
Mr Nyaribo’s arguments were that the party is yet to conduct free and fair polls to elect new party officials as per the constitution.
He also noted that the replacement of Mr Osotsi by an interim secretary general “is a total violation of the party constitution given that it does not provide for interim status.”
Mr Nyaribo further argued that the minutes filed with the office of the registrar showed that the decision was made by NEC “though it is clear that what sanctioned the changes was the party's parliamentary group.”