ODM SUMMONS KIDERO, REGE OVER HOMA BAY

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NAIROBI GOVERNOR Evans Kidero and two MPs, Karachuonyo’s James Rege and Rangwe’s Goerge Oner, could be expelled from ODM for supporting a candidate of a rival party.

The party has summoned the three to appear before its disciplinary committee tomorrow to explain why it should not kick them out for backing Philip Okundi in the Homa Bay senatorial by-election.

Okundi is running on a Maendelo Party ticket.

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According to the ODM constitution, the three can be warned, fined, suspended or even expelled from the party if they refuse to toe the line.

The ODM candidate in Homa Bay is Moses Kajwang’, but the three have been campaigning for Okundi, despite warnings from the party leadership that they risk disciplinary action.

“This is the highest level of party indiscipline that we as the committee cannot condone. The leadership of the party may condone it, but we cannot,” said Fred Athuok, the ODM disciplinary committee chairman, yesterday.

Athuok claimed that the three have contravened the Political Parties’ Act, which forbids party members from promoting a party that is not in coalition with them.

Athuok’s summonses appeared to contradict secretary general Ababu Namwamba’s views on the matter.

On Sunday Namwamba told journalists that there was no evidence Kidero had breached the Political Parties’ Act, saying the Governor had not issued an official statement on his support for Okundi.

“We are not aware of the position; the matter has neither been discussed by the party nor do we have a statement issued by the Governor to that effect,” Namwamba said.

It is understood that some NEC members tried unsuccessfully to introduce the agenda during last a meeting of the council on Friday. They were overruled.

If the party decides to expel the three then by-elections will have to be held in Nairobi, Rangwe and Karachuonyo.

The Homa Bay Senate race is shaping up as a proxy fight between Kidero and Cord/ODM leader Raila Odinga for control of the South Nyanza vote bloc.

The by-election will take place on February 2.

While Raila has campaigned for Kajwang’ and asked other candidates to step down for him, Kidero has announced his support for Okundi, a former MP.

Kidero nurses presidential ambitions and has conducted a series of fundraising activities in parts of Nyanza with the aim of wresting the region from Raila.

Athuok said, “Some have been served and some have not. I am yet to see the resultant report, but we have issued the summonses.”

Yesterday Kidero said he would honour the summonses once he receives a letter.

“I have not received any letter and I will honour the summons if and when I get them,” said Kidero.

Oner dismissed the summonses, insisting that he had done nothing wrong.

“I am not supporting any candidate of any rival party. I am supporting the right of the people of Homa Bay to elect their Senator and am totally rejecting any selection of any leader exercising the sovereign will of the people of Homa Bay, or any other jurisdiction.”

He said he would respond to the summonses, “When I receive them”.

– the-star.co.ke

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