The fate of two ODM rebel MPs now lies with the party’s National Governing Council after NEC yesterday adopted decision to kick them out of the party.
ODM disciplinary committee had last year recommended for expulsion from the party, MPs Aisha Jumwa (Malindi) and Suleiman Dori (Msambweni) for failing to tow party line.
The committee chaired by lawyer Fred Athuok also recommended expulsion from the party six Homa bay MCAs for allegedly causing disruption at the Homa bay county assembly.
Similar attempts to kick out of the party rebel members have failed in the past because such moves always come close to the elections and were also frustrated by legal suits.
But with almost three and half years to the next general election, there is ample time for the party to exhaust all the legal channels putting the duo at high risk of losing their seats.
NEC chaired by ODM deputy party leader Wyliffe Oparanya also recommended that they be immediately be de-whipped from all parliamentary committees.
“The NEC adopted the recommendation of the disciplinary committee to have the legislators expelled from the party from the party and forwarded the same recommendation to the National Governing Council for ratification,” ODM secretary General Edwin Sifuna said.
NEC tasked minority whip Junet Mohammed to communicate to the house leadership of the house the decision to remove the two members from all the committees they were in.
The case of six Homabay MCAs was however adjourned to a later date after they cited a court order restraining them from discussing the matter.
“Regarding the five members of the Homabay county Assembly, the matter was adjourned to a later date after they requested to be given time to produce restraint orders issued by the Court in Kisumu baring deliberations on the matter until the case against them is heard and determined by the court,” Sifuna added.
NEC was listening to members who have been recommended for expulsion by the disciplinary committee of the party.
The rebel MPs and MCAs appeared in person to defend themselves against the accusations.
During the meeting, inside sources told Star that Aisha told NEC how a member of the Disciplinary committee demanded for Sh 1 million bribe to influence the outcome of the committee’s report.
The MPs according to source who was present during the deliberations apologised to the NEC over her utterances and asked that she be pardoned in the spirit of the handshake.
The outspoken MP – according to the source – almost caused drama during the indoor meeting when she demanded that Likoni MP Mishi Mboko – a member of NEC – excuse herself from the session claiming she was behind her woes.
Members however dismissed Aisha’s demands.
Speaking to media after the session, Aisha and Dori who are the faces of implosion in the opposition outfit blamed their woes on Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho who they claimed is out to have them expelled for political reasons
They also questioned the integrity of the Athuok’s report recommending their expulsion claiming the process was predetermined.
“The public is being misled out there that we appeared before a committee, I did not appear before a disciplinary committee. We appeared before an individual called Fred Athuok and the session lasted for less than two minutes.I still question the integrity of the report,” Aisha said.
“And again what is it that cannot be forgiven after Raila and President Uhuru Kenyatta agreed to shake hands. We told them (NEC) that under the spirit of handshake everything else is water under the bridge.”
Dori denied that they ever left the party but maintained that they must work with government of the day challenging the party to take same action against everyone associating with any Jubilee politician.
The two have been accused of associating with Deputy President William Ruto and leading his 2022 presidential campaigns in the region.
Accompanying the two legislators were over 10 Coast MPs who accused governor Joho of killing the Orange party in an area which has religiously stood with the opposition party.
The MPs included Mohammed Ali (Nyali), Ken Chonga (Kilifi South), Ali Mbogo (Kisauni), Gertrude Mwanyanje ( Malindi woman representative), Jones Mlolwa (Voi) and lamu senator Anwar Loitiptip among others.
“This is not a party war. This is a Coastal war by someone who thinks he should be treated as a King. Governors must respect electorates who elected these leaders.You have declared war and we will bring it at your doorstep,” said Ali.
Both Aisha and Dori denied ever quitting the party insisting the charges were manufactured.
“As leaders we must work with the government of the day. Aisha and myself are in the party and we are still members of ODM and serving MPs until 2022,” added Dori.
Kicking out the rebel MPs might at the same time be an uphill task for the Orange party as the party’s constitution puts the bar too high for such a decision to be ratified.
For NGC to ratify such a decision it requires at least two-thirds of all the members of the council not only to attend but to vote in support of the expulsion.
NGC is made up of all elected governors, members of National Assembly, Senators, Women representatives and chairmen of all party branches.
Even at this point, a member disgruntled by the NGC decision can still challenge the same in court.
According to the law, once a party revokes membership, the same is communicated in writing to the Registrar of Political Parties who then strike off the affected individuals from the roll of party’s register.
The appropriate Speaker then declares the party-less member’s seat vacant and subsequently a fresh election is conducted by the electoral body.