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Fresh row rocks Ford-Kenya over bid to kick out Moses Wetang'ula

By Allan Mungai | July 22nd 2021
Ford Kenya party leader Moses Wetang'ula in a burial service in Vihiga County on July 7, 2018. [Chrispen Sechere, Standard]

The power tussle in Ford-Kenya has taken a new twist after two members restarted a bid to kick out Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang'ula from the party's leadership.

Kanduyi MP Wafula Wamunyinyi and Tongaren's Eseli Simiyu reignited their feud with Wetang'ula in a meeting held on Tuesday, where they accused him of misrepresenting interests of the party.

Wamunyinyi and Eseli control a faction of the party that does not recognise Wetang'ula as the party leader and led a National Executive Council meeting last year that deposed the senator.

In the meeting with county leaders, the duo called for a National Delegates Congress (NDC) to end the party leader's rein.

Eseli yesterday said that despite Wetangula clinging to the party's leadership via a court order that temporarily reinstated him, he was purporting to negotiate alliances for the party.

Further, the Tongaren lawmaker said Wetang'ula did not represent the party in his discussions with One Kenya Alliance or in his meetings with Deputy President William Ruto and ANC party leader  Musalia Mudavadi.

“He can have a meeting with whoever he wants, but know that he is doing so as an individual and that party members do not recognise him as their leader," said Eseli.

The Tongaren MP announced that the push to remove Wetang'ula as party leader needs "a political solution."

"This is a political dispute and the courts can’t solve it," he said. "Although Wetangula went to court over his dismissal by the National Executive Council, he has been unwilling to pursue the conclusion of the case because he enjoys those conservatory orders."

Wamunyinyi, who was installed as the party chairperson in the May 31, 2020 meeting that ejected Wetang'ula, said the party has been lagging behind for over a decade due to poor leadership.

"The last National Delegates Congress was in 2011, the subsequent one ought to have been in 2015 and another in 2019," he said. Now we are in 2021 and we have not had an NDC in over 10 years, so those in the office are there illegally and therefore want to remedy that situation.  We are going to deal with this issue as new officials who were given the mandate on May 31, 2020."

The two MPs also said the leaders who were chosen by NEC should open discussions with other national parties to find a suitable alliance for the party ahead of 2022.

This is just the latest in a series of events that have rocked the party in the past year. In August 2020, Wetang'ula expelled the two legislators from the party for breaching the party constitution.

He said the MPs had brought upheaval in the party.

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