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Wiper follows ODM in cracking whip on party rebels

By Moses Njagih | February 11th 2016

NAIROBI: Wiper Democratic Party has ejected three perceived rebels from all National Assembly committees they were serving in.

The Kalonzo Musyoka-led party punished Regina Ndambuki (Kilome), Joe Mutambu (Kitui Central) and John Munuve (Mwingi North) a day after ODM replaced three MPs from the House Business Committee.

Minority Whip Thomas Mwadeghu informed Speaker Justin Muturi of the decision to remove the three from all the committees they were serving in.

But after the Speaker concluded the communication from the Chair, the three and other legislators viewed as rebels within CORD crossed the floor and sat with Jubilee lawmakers.

Ms Ndambuki was removed from the National Administration and Security and the Broadcasting committees, Mr Mutambu from the Committee on Energy and Communication, Justice and Legal Affairs and the Committee on the Implementation of the Constitution.

Mr Munuve was kicked out of the Energy Committee and that on Procedure and House Rules.

"I am happy today because I feel liberated from the tyranny of dictatorship that had curtailed my freedom of thought and association. People with mediocre brains, who cannot lead had decided that I cannot speak my mind and act on my conscience, yet I am a democrat who believes in these freedoms," Munuve said.

"I will slaughter a he-goat today to celebrate for being liberated from these masqueraders," said the Mwingi North lawmaker in what he termed as "an acceptance speech on behalf of those de-whipped".

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Some CORD legislators protested the move by the rebels to cross over to the Jubilee side, with Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi demanding a ruling from the Speaker as to whether the action did not amount to formal defection.

"The manner in which they have crossed to the other side, in my view, amounts to a formal defection," Mr Wandayi said. But Mr Muturi dismissed the assertion, insisting that under the Standing Orders, the legislators were at liberty to sit on either side of the divide.

Majority Leader Aden Duale said many more legislators would be symbolically crossing to the Jubilee side, even as he promised those de-whipped that he would seek to amend the Standing Orders to offer them committee slots in Jubilee.

"You have come to the people who love you. We will sort you out inshallah, in due course," Mr Duale said.

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