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Mudavadi erred in trying to have Khalwale expelled

By Edwin Sifuna | Nov 2nd 2014 | 3 min read

Nairobi; Kenya: This past week has witnessed intrigues in UDF, otherwise known as Musalia Mudavadi’s party. UDF “delegates” purported to expel Kakamega Senator Bonny Khalwale and others from the party. It is not clear what the accusations against Dr Khalwale are but under the law, expulsion is a remedy only available where a member has infringed the party’s constitution or has acted in a manner contrary to the principles or rules of the party.

It appears to have been lost on Mudavadi and co that the same section of the Political Parties Act they invoked in purporting to expel Khalwale makes it mandatory to afford him a fair opportunity to be heard.

What this means is an offending member must be informed, and in sufficient detail, of the case against them. Sufficient time must be allowed for the person to prepare a response and a hearing be held by the relevant party organ for the member to defend himself.

Only after hearing and considering the charges and the defence can the party reach the decision to expel a member. Such proceedings, as far as I know, were never even conceived in Khalwale’s case.

It was little wonder then that barely a day later, the Political Parties Disputes Tribunal barred the Registrar of Political Parties from effecting Monday’s Resolutions by Mudavadi’s delegates. The amateurish expulsion bid had floundered. Yet, the clumsiness and lack of tack by Mudavadi and his cohorts should not come as a surprise. He is after all somewhat of an expert in bids that flounder.


This is the man, who in 2002, in exchange for a few fleeting hours as Vice-President, fore-went a once in a lifetime chance to demonstrate political mettle.

His naiveté and lack of political guile were badly exposed on that occasion. He was again taken to the cleaners in 2012, after being duped by Uhuru to ditch ODM ostensibly on a fairy-tale promise.

He would have us believe that in the intervening period since 2012, he has somehow been transformed into a stern shipmaster yet even now, he is still loathe to abandon the “manna from heaven” political dogma he so obstinately subscribes to.

While the UDF boss no doubt prefers to see himself as princely and genteel, the erstwhile Khalwale is a self-made man and a proven visceral live wire who always speaks his mind and stands for the truth and what is right. The people love him for that and its why even if he were to be expelled from UDF, short of running on a TNA ticket, there is little else Khalwale can do to lose his seat at any subsequent by-election.

In my opinion Khalwale is the only politician who appears to have an innate and intuitive understanding of what the people of Western want in and of their leaders.

Let’s not forget that after his election as MP was nullified in 2011, he recaptured his seat, beating off a strong challenge from ODM’s Bernard Shinali for whom Mudavadi, then ODM Deputy Party Leader, strongly campaigned.
Demonstrating that he is the only Luhyia politician who grasps the concept of Luhyia unity, Khalwale quickly buried the hatchet and in 2012 declared that he would support Mudavadi if he ran for president, becoming the strongest voice in convincing his brother to run.

That Mudavadi would plot Khalwale’s ouster from UDF is as classical a case of ungratefulness as we will ever witness.

The Bukusu have just the saying for this kind of situation; “Namunyu kalia wamukisa”. It basically means the hyena turned on and ate the one who gave it a place to hide!

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