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Kisumu Senator defiant after ODM expulsion: ‘I have no apologies’

Kisumu Senator Tom Ojienda has responded resolutely to his expulsion from the ODM party, along with five other rebel MPs, for their allegiance to the rival faction, Kenya Kwanza.

The ODM National Executive Committee (NEC) decided to expel Ojienda and the other MPs, accusing them of betraying the party and supporting President William Ruto.

In reaction to his expulsion, Senator Ojienda stated unequivocally that he would not waver in his commitment to working with President William Ruto.

“My party has today expelled me for working with HE President William Ruto. I have no apology and will continue to work with the President,” Senator Ojienda affirmed.

The other MPs expelled alongside Ojienda include Elisha Odhiambo (Gem), Gideon Ochanda (Bondo), Felix Odiwuor (Lang’ata), and Suba South MP Caroli Omondi.

Also read: What next for Jalang’o after ODM expulsion?

The decision to expel the MPs was made during a NEC meeting chaired by ODM leader Raila Odinga. They were accused of defying the party’s position since the 2022 elections and engaging in gross misconduct.

The action taken by ODM adheres to the Political Parties Act, 2011, which stipulates that the constitution of a political party binds a member and may be expelled only if they violate the provisions of the constitution, which typically outline the party’s disciplinary procedures.

Rongo MP Paul Abuor and Uriri counterpart Mark Nyamita were fined Sh1 million each for their defiance of the party but were given the opportunity to explain their actions before the Disciplinary Committee.

Nairobi Women Representative Esther Passaris, another ODM MP who has been closely associated with President Ruto, was fined Sh250,000, payable within 60 days. She was accused of going against the party’s position on the Finance Bill 2023, which was passed and signed into law.

Passaris defended her stance by emphasising her support for the bill’s potential to uplift the lives of people living in Nairobi’s slums, the majority of whom are from Nairobi County.

While ODM’s actions are viewed as an attempt to enforce discipline and order within the party, some individuals have criticized the move, alleging that it infringes upon freedom of association.

Also read: Mjengo to Parliament: Lang’ata MP Jalang’o reflects on pre-fame odd jobs