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ODM Nairobi MCAs face expulsion

Seven “rebel” Member of the County Assembly (MCAs) in Nairobi who are aligned to the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party risk expulsion and de-whipping from county committees.

The MCAs stand accused of going against the Raila Odinga-led party’s position at the city assembly, fueling division, and rocking the boat from within.

The underfire county legislators have been given three days to explain why actions should not be taken against them, failure to which the contemplated action will be taken against the seven without further reference.

The seven include Lower Savannah MCA Nicholas Okumu, who was installed by the rebel group as interim minority whip last week, Kennedy Oyugi of Highrise, Kabiro’s Clarence Munga, and Fredrick Omondi of Kayole Central.

Others are Mathare North MCA Jared Okode, his Ngei Ward counterpart Redson Otieno and Maurice Gari of Nairobi West.

Munga and Okode were among three ODM MCAs, together with Sarangombe MCA Lawrence Otieno, who voted with their Jubilee counterparts to remove public accounts committee chairman Wilfred Odalo, an ODM MCA, from the helm of the watchdog committee.

In a letter by embattled Minority Whip Peter Imwatok, the seven have been accused of colluding with some unnamed Jubilee Party MCAs to initiate a “coup” in the party’s leadership.

Imwatok said that despite the party warning the members, they still went ahead and executed a leadership change within the party during a special sitting of the assembly Thursday last week.

The change in leadership saw Okumu replace Imwatok as the minority party’s whip, a culmination of a two-week-long process to remove the latter from office that began early this month led by Oyugi who claimed to have collected 32 signatures, out of 56 ODM members, in support of the move.

Nonetheless, Mr Imwatok said the actions by his colleagues amount to gross misconduct and insubordination in accordance with the applicable provisions of ODM constitution and party disciplinary rules.

Consequently, he said, disciplinary action against the seven including de-whipping from assembly committees or expulsion from the party, is in the pipeline as contemplated by the party rules.

“The MCAs intentionally broke into the minority party’s whip office with the intention of destroying public and party property and have incessantly abused the party leadership both in the mainstream and social media causing disharmony among members,” read in part the letter by Imwatok.

The terse letter by Imwatok followed a May 21, 2021 letter by Minority Leader Michael Ogada instructing the former to institute disciplinary actions against errant members of the party.

Ogada said a section of ODM MCAs on May 3, 2021 broke into the office of the Minority Whip with the intention of destroying public and party properties.

He also claimed that during last week’s special sitting, the same MCAs colluded with the chair of the sitting to go against the party’s position regarding change of the minority’s leadership at the assembly.

“Further, even after the party clarified on this matter vide a letter dated May 20, 2021, they have continued to disobey and disparage the party,” reads the letter copied to ODM Secretary General Edwin Sifuna and Executive Director Oduor Ong’wen.

In the said letter, Sifuna said the party had not sanctioned such a move and was conducting a probe into the actions of the MCAs.

“Kindly note that the party has not made any changes to the leadership and the same did not originate from us,” said the SG.

“While my office attempts to ascertain the propriety or otherwise of the actions taken, we urge that the status quo ante be reverted to immediately,” he added.