ODM seeks to have rebel MPs lose seats
The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) on Wednesday began a court process seeking to kick rebel MPs out of the party and have them stripped off their Parliamentary seats.
The five MPs have lost favour with their party, which is led by Prime Minister Raila Odinga over differences that have been linked to the 2007 post-election violence and eviction of squatters from the Mau forest.
They have also indicated that they would no longer wish to defend their seats under ODM and have been associated with United Democratic Movement (UDM), which is an affiliate of the Orange Party together with Narc.
Mr Odinga’s political advisor Miguna Miguna told the Nation that the action was taken after the MPs failed to “voluntarily leave the party” and after the Registrar of Political Parties failed to take action against them.
“They have already said that they are leaving the party but they have refused to leave voluntarily even after we gave them the chance. They should welcome the move as it will free them since they have said they no longer want to be in ODM,” said Mr Miguna.
He added that both the Political Parties Act and the Constitution are in favour of ODM.
“We await keenly to see whether Ruto and company will be brave enough to resign from both their party and parliamentary seats so that they can test their much flaunted popularity vis-a-vis that of the PM and ODM,” Mr Miguna said.
The Party had earlier told the Interim Independent Electoral Commission through the Political Parties Registrar that they would like to expel some of their MPs.
The IIEC however asked the party to provide minutes of when the party made the decision.
But the targetted MPs dismissed the move by the Orange party and vowed to fight it out in court.
Speaking in Parliament, Cherangany MP Joshua Kutuny and his Belgut MP Charles Keter said that they were ready to face ODM in by-elections and would fight it out in court.
They also termed the move as the “kicks of a dying horse” adding that ODM was demonstrating traits of the Kanu era.
Mr Keter added that he would also seek the opinion of his consitutents on whether he should remain in ODM.
Mr Kutuny dismissed the move by ODM saying that he would instruct his lawyer Ababu Namwamba who is also the party’s Parliamentary Group secretary “do the necessary”.
“What we know is that this is how dictators operate but we are ready to face anything and therefore we will meet them in court,” said Mr Kutuny.
Separately, Chepalungu MP Isaac Ruto said ODM was short circuiting the process by going to court before they finalised with the party procedures for the expulsion of the party members.
“I do not mind if they follow the due party process and expel me. It is not the work of the court to run the issues of the party and they should kick us out…the courts are not the party’s disciplinary action committee” said Mr Ruto (Chepalungu MP).
The Chepalungu MP said he had told the ODM leaders six months ago that if they did not feel comfortable with him they should kick him out of the party.
“The court does not arbitrate for the party, it is for them to finish the process first, then move to court, I would like to assure them that the case there after will be very easy because I will not go to defend myself, I am no longer proud to be associated with it, it has become a cult, and I am not ready to worship the cult leader (party leader),” said Mr Ruto (Chepalungu MP).