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Ford Kenya wrangles: Wamunyinyi-led faction dares Wetang'ula

POLITICS
By Betty Njeru | August 5th 2021

Ford Kenya Wafula Wamunyinyi (right) led faction flanked by his Secretary Eseli Simiyu and other party members at Mash Park hotel, Nairobi. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

It is still a noisy, elongated and messy exit more than a year after the Registrar of Political Parties recalled a gazette notice that had published Wafula Wamunyinyi as the new Ford Kenya party leader.

Now, the Wamunyinyi-led faction has called out the Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula faction over a decision to quit NASA saying they were not involved. 

The Kanduyi MP claimed Wetangula was operating in a non-official capacity and not in a position to transact business on behalf of Ford-Kenya.

“Stop engaging other parties masquerading as the official leader of the party. We’d like other parties to know that anything they are doing with Wetang’ula is on non-official capacity,” he said.

The pro-Wamunyinyi group said they are now ready to go into party elections to rid of the back and forth between the two warring factions.

Tongaren MP and Secretary-General of Wamunyinyi’s faction Eseli Simiyu told Senator Wetang'ula to pick an election date so they can negotiate with the Registrar of Political Parties.

“Bring it on and inform all delegates in all counties to be prepared to elect new leaders,” Simiyu said.

He also claimed that they are unaware of a purported General Council meeting held on July 31 in Nairobi and any resolutions made therein were not in tandem with the party’s constitution.

“We do not recognize that as a lawfully valid general council of Ford-K because it was not properly convened as it was contrary to the party constitution and the attendants were not bonafide members of the party,” he said.

Ford Kenya, which formally quit NASA this week is in advanced talks with other former NASA partners—ANC and Wiper—and the Kenya African National Union (Kanu) to forge the One Kenya Alliance (OKA).

But Ford Kenya leaders allied to Wamunyinyi protested the planned marriage under OKA, saying the move must be ratified by a properly constituted National Delegates Conference (NDC).

Speaking in Mombasa last Friday, the officials from Kwale, Kilifi and Mombasa said Senator Wetangula had no powers to call for an NDC or negotiate for a coalition.

The wrangles in Ford Kenya that have now spiralled into a full-blown war of wards began last year when Wetang'ula was ousted as the party leader and Wamunyinyi elected the interim.

 The party’s NEC had accused Wetangula of gross misconduct, failing to champion unity in the party and reconcile warring members to eliminate friction among members.

But the Bungoma Senator fought back. In a gazette notice dated June 8, 2020, Registrar of Political Parties Ann Nderitu withdrew the notice paving way for Wetang’ula’s return at the helm of the Lion party.

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