The seven-day ultimatum for 11 MPs, a governor and a deputy governor to state why action should not be taken against them for defecting from ODM elapsed an midnight on Monday, setting the stage for today’s meeting by the party’s top brass to discuss their removal.
Though it isn’t the main decision-making organ, the Central Management Committee’s sitting today will then be followed up by the National Executive Committee’s session on disciplining members who were elected on Orange Party ticket, but are now associating with other parties.
The ultimatum to the so-called ‘rebels’ to explain to the party why disciplinary action should not be taken against them elapsed yesterday, amid reports all those targeted had defied the directive.
Top on the agenda of ODM’s CMC meeting today is the defection of some members to Jubilee.
Budalang’i MP Ababu Namwamba, who quit as secretary general to re-launch Labour Party and Likoni’s Masoud Mwahima, still have time to file their responses. However, they are on the list of those to be removed.
Governor Ukur Yattani (Marsabit) and MPs Steven Kariuki (Mathare), Mustafa Iddi (Kilifi South), Samuel Arama (Nakuru Town West), Mpuru Aburi (Tigania East) and Kwale Woman Representative Zainabu Chidzuga on Monday said they were yet to receive the said show-cause letters from their sponsoring party.
ODM Secretary General Agnes Zani yesterday confirmed that while CMC will be discussing other matters, the recommendations from the party’s disciplinary committee cannot be ignored.
“We are having the Central Management Committee meeting tomorrow (today) where we will discuss other matters. We are aware of the disciplinary action and definitely we will talk about it,” Ms Zani disclosed.
According to party procedures, it is NEC which will take the final decision after the disciplinary committee has processed the matter.
Should NEC decide to expel the members, it will notify the Registrar of Political Parties to remove names of those targeted from the party’s register of members, which unless bogged down by legal contests, will see them lose their seats.
But the consideration of the matter by the CMC, an organ normally chaired by party leader Raila Odinga, points to the seriousness with which the development is being taken.
Each of the ‘rebels’ was notified last Tuesday of the intended disciplinary action that could see them lose their seats and were required to defend themselves in writing.
But sources indicated none had responded by yesterday’s deadline, meaning the disciplinary committee chaired by Fred Athuok will now make its recommendation to NEC.
Athuok said if there were no responses, the committee would make a recommendation to NEC for expulsion of the defiant members.
Similarly, the committee would convene a meeting to review the responses, if there are any, and accord the members a fair hearing before making a recommendation to NEC.
“We cannot pre-empt those who have given the responses. If there are, we shall meet in the next three or four days to review them and call the members for a fair hearing. If there are no responses, we shall forward our recommendations to NEC and our work ends there,” said Mr Athuok.
Members of the five-member committee are former National Assembly Deputy Speaker Mr Farah Maalim, Mombasa Woman Representative Ms Mishi Mboko, Mr Harold Kipchumba, Ms Halima Daro and Mr Athuok.
A NEC member told The Standard confidentially the Secretary General in consultation with the party leader and party chairman, Mr John Mbadi, have powers to call a meeting of the organ.
The source said once the recommendation from the disciplinary committee is tabled before them, a decision will be taken on whether to ask the Registrar of Political Parties to strike their names out of the party’s roll or to allow them stay until the next elections.
“Once we receive the recommendation, we will take necessary action. NEC can proceed with expulsion or allow them to stay until the next elections. For now we cannot speculate on the recommendations,” said the source.