The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) was yesterday forced to reschedule its disciplinary sitting against 13 MPs and governors deemed to have decamped to Jubilee after they failed to honour summons.
The leaders were expected to appear before the party disciplinary committee yesterday. The committee had directed them to appear in person to explain why they should not be expelled after they announced to have joined President Uhuru Kenyatta’s camp ahead of polls.
Instead, the rebels sent their lawyers who cited insecurity at the party headquarters and requested the meeting be held at a neutral place. Through their lawyer Kioko Kilukumi, the leaders successfully pushed the disciplinary committee chaired by Fred Athuok to postpone the meeting to next Friday.
“We had our first meeting with their counsel today, they requested to have the meeting postponed to another day.
We have considered their requests and agreed to have it at the Intercontinental Hotel on October 14 where the members will appear in person,” said former National Assembly Deputy Speaker Farah Maalim at Orange House.
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In its letter to the defectors, ODM had warned against skipping the sitting stating “failure to attend, the disciplinary committee will be at liberty to make a decision on the matters at hand without any further reference to your clients”. Raila has maintained that the leaders must quit their positions and seek for fresh mandate from voters.
Those targeted are governors Ukur Yatani (Marsabit), Salim Mvurya (Kwale), Deputy Governor Joash Maangi (Kisii), MPs Steven Kariuki (Mathare), Mpuri Aburi (Tigania East), Gideon Mung’aro (Kilifi North), Mustafa Iddi (Kilifi South), Cyprian Kubai (Igembe Central) and James Rege (Karachuonyo). Others include Samuel Arama (Nakuru Town West), John Waluke (Sirisia) nominated MP Isaac Mwaura and Kwale County Woman Representative Zainabu Chidzuga.
But some of the defectors have continued to show defiance to the Orange party, saying they were ready for a by-election should the party proceed to deregister them.
Nominated MP Isaac Mwaura accused the party of double-speak over the matter, saying that it was ironical for the party to push for their removal while at the same time receiving defectors from other parties. “Explain how ODM is expelling people while receiving defectors from other parties,” said Mr Mwaura yesterday.
Raila on Saturday received Kisumu West MP Olago Aluoch (Ford Kenya), Muhoroni’s Onyango Koyoo (PDP) and Jared Kopiyo (Awendo, Ford Kenya), who joined his camp ahead of the 2017 polls.
But ODM chairman John Mbadi said Ford Kenya and PDP are not in direct competition with ODM therefore no conflict of ideologies since the outfits are championing for the same cause.
Kilifi South MP Mustafa Iddi said the party would have to explain to them if they no longer enjoy the freedom to free speech and association. He claimed that ODM had plans to use goons against them at Orange House. “We cannot come to Orange House since they have their goons there,” said Mr Iddi.
He added, “I do not fear going for a by-election.
As far as I am concerned I have not done any wrong. I am within my constitutional right.”
Tigania East MP Mpuru Aburi also remained defiant and dared the party to expel him. Should ODM succeed to expel the rebels, it would occasion an unprecedented number of by-elections just 10 months to next year’s poll.