Otuoma under fire after sacking five councillorsUpdated Friday, October 26th 2012 at 00:00 GMT +3
By Roselyne Obala and Renson Buluma
Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) has revoked the nomination of five councillors who have decamped to Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi’s United Democratic Forum (UDF).
The sacking of the civic leaders has intensified rivalry between supporters of Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Mudavadi, ahead of the latter’s visit to Western Province this weekend.
Local Government Minister Paul Otuoma, who is Raila’s pointman in the area, made good his threat and sacked the five ODM nominated councillors affiliated to other parties just months to the polls.
Dr Otuoma, who took over the ministry recently, exercised his discretion to de-gazette the civic leaders and defended the move, saying it was in accordance to the law.
“The sacking of the five nominated councillors was within the law,” explained the minister.
Otuoma said the leaders failed to abide by ODM party rules, prompting the party to submit their names to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and recommend their sacking.
He said those dismissed were from Coast Province, Malaba, Vihiga, and Ol Kalou civic authorities.
The minister said the electoral body approved the proposal to de-gazette the councillors long before his appointment to the ministry, adding the councillors should only blame themselves for their sacking.
In Vihiga County, Mbale Municipal Council clerk Julius Otiende received a circular from the ministry de-gazetting councillor Manase Omenya.
Otuoma, however, claimed the decision was not malicious or targeting Mudavadi’s supporters.
What was at stake
• Local Government Minister Otuoma says dismissal was according to ODM party rules.
• Civic leaders accused of failing to abide by set laws prompting party to submit their names to IEBC recommending their dismissal.
• Minister argues decision to sack the councillors had been made long before he was appointed minister and felt it was prudent to dismiss them.
• Names of those replacing the leaders will be gazette on Friday.
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