ODM TO FORCE BY-ELECTIONS FOR REBEL MPs
After kicking MPs Samuel Arama (Nakuru Town West), Ken Obura (Kisumu Central), Zainab Chidzuga (Kwale Women’s Rep) and Dalmas Otieno (Rongo) out of House committees, the party now wants its branches in those areas to pass resolutions recommending their removal.
The resolutions will then be passed to the national executive Committee, which will discuss the MPs and give them a chance to defend themselves.
If unsatisfied with their defence, the NEC will recommend their expulsion, which will be ratified by the national governing council.
With that, the party will then write to Registrar of Political Parties Lucy Ndung’u, who, if satisfied that due process was followed, will then inform the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission and the Speaker of the National Assembly that the party has withdrawn its sponsorship of the four. The Speaker will then sign writs declaring the four seats vacant, triggering by-elections.
“These people have abused the party that sponsored them. They cannot therefore continue to enjoy the sponsorship of ODM,” said a senior MP aware of the plan.
The MPs have been branded rebels and yesterday Cord Whip Thomas Mwadeghu said their removal was the first round in having them expelled from the party and therefore losing their parliamentary seats.
He said that the NGC meeting to be held on Thursday next week will recommend the setting up of a disciplinary committee to hear their cases.
“If you want to cross a river, you have to know its depth by strategically using a stick. What we have done is just a tip of the iceberg and many more will follow. Their behaviour was too much and there is no indication that they will be absolved by the committee when they appear,” Mwadeghu said.
Mwadeghu based his reasoning on Standing Order 176, which stipulates a parliamentary party that nominated a member to a select committee may give a written notice of the MP’s discharge to the Speaker.
On Wednesday ODM removed Obura from the Defence and Foreign Relations and Labour and Social Welfare committees, whereas Arama was kicked out of the Public Accounts Committee and Committee on the Implementation of the Constitution.
Otieno was in the Constitution Implementation and Administration and National Security committees, while Chidzuga served in the Environment and Delegated Legislation committees.
Their removal effectively denies them the allowances they receive after attending committee meetings. Following the decision, Ainabkoi MP Samuel Chepkonga yesterday petitioned Speaker Justin Muturi, requesting an amendment to the House rules that give the Speaker powers to approve such a decision.
Chepkonga collected over 150 signatures to push his case. The drive by Chepkonga comes after a meeting at Intercontinental Hotel that was attended by the ODM rebel MPs and their Jubilee counterparts.
However, their plans to address the media to castigate ODM over the move hit a wall after they learnt that the party was in the process of recalling their membership.
Among those reported to have attended the meeting include Obura, Chidzuga and Arama. Otieno did not. But none of them was willing to talk about their political future – whether they will sit pretty or launch a counterattack.