Raila to host Nairobi ODM MCAs in crisis meeting
Nairobi County Assembly allied to the Orange Democratic Party are set to meet their party leader Raila Odinga on Thursday to iron out wrangles over leadership positions.
Last month, ODM chairman John Mbadi wrote to Nairobi Assembly acting Speaker Chege Mwaura informing him that the party had made changes to its leadership at the Assembly.
This was after minority leader Elias Okumu and minority whip Peter Imwatok went against the party’s call not to effect changes to committee membership at the Assembly.
The two were replaced by Highrise MCA Kennedy Oyugi and Lower Savanna MCA Nicholas Ouma respectively.
But this was rejected by ODM executive director Oduor Ong’wen who also wrote to Mr Chege informing him that the status quo be maintained as the party pursues its own mechanism to arbitrate the matter.
The acting Speaker also rejected the changes terming them ‘null and avoid’, stating that the ODM party chairman did not follow the laid down procedure and Standing Orders.
“I am afraid I cannot act on your letter as is unless the issues raised are sufficiently addressed,” Mr Chege said in his reply to Mr Mbadi.
But the new leadership have also vowed to wrestle the minority leadership ‘as they are in office legally’, accusing Mr Chege of ‘working with their opponents’ to obstruct them from assuming office.
“We condemn the letter from the executive director and as it stands the changes made stand. We will exhaust institutional structures to get to the office which is a public office,” said Mr Oyugi.
On their part, the old leadership has remained adamant that they are going nowhere, maintaining that they will abide by the letter from Mr Ong’wen as they wait for a communication from the party.
“We will not allow Nairobi Assembly to go Homa Bay and Kisumu Assembly ways. I will write to the party to know allegations against me and shed light and dissuade them from the lies being peddled by the MCAS,” said Mr Imwatok.
On Monday, the National Assembly minority leader again wrote another letter to Mr Chege informing him that his latest letter, dated November 5, overrides any other communication from the party to the contrary explaining that as previously reiterated, the decision made by the ODM party emanated from the request of the membership of Nairobi County Assembly which was endorsed by the party after deliberations in compliance with ODM Party Constitution.
“As the party continues with its internal resolutions to reconcile our MCAs, I confirm that the Leader of Minority and Minority Whip as designated by the ODM Party are Kennedy Odhiambo Oyugi and Nicholas Ouma Okumu respectively unless advised otherwise. The party expects the decision to be effected immediately,” he said in the letter.
Mr Mbadi has however said that the MCAs have been summoned for a meeting with Mr Odinga on Thursday to bring to an end the wars at the Assembly which had threatened to create a rift even in the party’s top leadership.
“The letters have gone out to the MCAs notifying them of a meeting. The matter is set to be arbitrated this week in a bid to bring together the two groups,” he said.
Mr Mbadi added that his letter is a temporary measure before the matter is finally settled after the confusion caused by a letter by Mr Ong’wen.
“This is to clear the air so that the confusion does not continue. The overriding communication will come after the meeting. It can decide that Okumu remains as minority leader or Oyugi or another MCA takes over,” said Mr Mbadi.