The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) has said it will not relent in its plans to expel errant members from the party.
The party’s National Chairman John Mbadi said the move is aimed at promoting party discipline and democracy.
Speaking on Spice FM on Thursday, September 14, Mbadi said the party has not expelled the rebel MPs as claimed but rather deemed them to have resigned.
He said the party’s National Executive Council (NEC) has resolved to inform the Registrar of Political Parties to initiate the process of their removal within seven days from the date of notification.
“If you decide, and it is your democratic right, that you no longer find yourself confident to associate with the policies of ODM, we are being democratic and we are telling you, you can resign and go back to the voter. If they give you mandate again either as an independent candidate or on another political party, no one will bother with you,” he said.
He added that the party will not tolerate indiscipline and defiance of the party position on various matters.
“If we allow this to continue, who will correct it? Discipline within the party must be upheld to promote democracy. If we weaken political parties, we are weakening democracy,” he said.
Mbadi also dismissed claims that the party is targeting leaders from the Luo Nyanza region, saying that the disciplinary action is based on formal complaints and not on tribal affiliation.
He said he is ready to receive complaints from members against any other leader who violates the party’s interests.
The ODM chairman also said the party is willing to take the matter to the Supreme Court if the expelled MPs challenge the decision in court.
The five MPs who have been kicked out by ODM are Elisha Odhiambo (Gem), Gideon Ochanda (Bondo), Felix Odiwuor alias ‘Jalang’o’ (Lang’ata), Caroli Omondi (Suba South), and Kisumu Senator Tom Ojienda.
They have been accused of associating with President William Ruto, who is seen as a rival to ODM leader Raila Odinga.
The expelled MPs have moved to the Political Parties Disputes Tribunal in Kisumu to challenge their expulsion from the party.
The tribunal has since issued conservatory orders barring ODM from expelling the five MPs pending a hearing and determination of the case.
It has also restrained ODM from de-whipping or removing Ojienda as a committee member of the County Public Investment and Security Committee in the Senate.
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The latest development comes barely a day after President Ruto hosted the expelled MPs at State House, Nairobi on Wednesday.
At the same time, Nairobi Woman Representative Esther Passaris has been fined Sh250,000 for her actions that allegedly violated the party’s interests.
Rongo MP Paul Abuor and Uriri’s Mark Nyamita, who appeared before the ODM disciplinary committee on Wednesday, September 6, have been fined Sh1 million each.