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NASA kicks Wetang’ula out of minority leader job

Siaya Senator James Orengo, Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula and NASA leader Kalonzo Musyoka at a past event. The chasm in NASA got deeper on Tuesday when NASA succeeded in replacing Wetang'ula with Orengo as the Senate Minority Leader.  NASA[File, Standard]

The Orange Democratic Party has ousted Senate Minority leader Moses Wetang’ula  of Ford Kenya and replaced him with its own James Orengo.

At least 19 senators who attended the coalition's Parliamentary Group meeting unanimously voted to replace Wetang'ula with Siaya Senator James Orengo.

Speaker Kenneth Lusaka upheld the ouster.  Last week he directed the party to effect the removal in accordance with senatorial rules and procedure.

Orengo will be deputised by Kakamega Senator Cleopa Malala.

The move places a possible showdown on the cards as Moses Wetang’ula had vowed to put up a fight against his removal.

He sternly said the divorce will be a messy and ugly affair.

The NASA senate meeting to endorse Orengo failed to take place yesterday as planned amid conflicting reports by the senators.

Wetan'gula will lose perks, official car and enhanced security and staff assigned to House leadership.

The development comes in the wake of a confusion after a letter from NASA seen Standard Digital intimated the coalition’s intent to rescind the ouster.

Dated March 19, and from NASA CEO Norman Magaya to Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka, it communicates their plans to leave Wetang’ula in the position.

“I have instructions from the NASA Summit comprising of the principals to inform you that Senator Wetang’ula remains the duly nominated leader of minority in the Senate,” wrote Magaya.

Wetang’ula’s Ford Kenya party has since scoffed at the ouster, saying it has not received any official communiqué.

On Thursday March 15, NASA minority Whip Sen. Mutula Kilonzo Jnr wrote to the Speaker of the Senate communicating a decision by ODM seeking to replace Senator Moses Wetang'ula (Ford-K) as the house's minority leader with Siaya Senator James Orengo of ODM.

Addressing Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka acknowledged receipt of the letter from Senator Kilonzo and found that Sen Wetangula had been validly removed from the office of The Senate Minority Leader.

The Speaker, however, noted that the ODM Parliamentary Group, an organ of the NASA Coalition, was an unknown entity to the Senate and that the requirements of Standing Order 20(5) had not been met accordingly.

So, according to the Speaker, the removal of Moses Wetang'ula as Senate Minority Leader, though valid, stood suspended and could not take effect.

Lusaka concluded that the NASA coalition had to elect a senator in the  in the manner provided  by Standing order 20(1) and provide minutes proving that this decision has been made in writing to his office by the Senate Minority Whip.

On the floor of the house, Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen (Elgeyo- Marakwet) asked Wetangu’la to defect to Jubilee where his debating skills would be appreciated.

“He can cross the floor as early as Tuesday next week, I will create a seat for him somewhere here.” Murkomen told Wetangu’la that there was no need to force himself on people who did not love him.