ODM hits out at National Assembly Speaker Wetangula in row over expelled MPs
National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetangula’s remarks on the expulsion of five rebel MPs from the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) has angered the party leadership which has now vowed to deal with him squarely.
Wetangula recently asked five lawmakers who had been suspended by ODM to stand firm in their decision to work with President William Ruto.
“You must defend and uphold the constitution on oath you took. Don’t be intimidated by anybody, don’t act in fear, and don’t fear to act in accordance with the constitution. Na wale ndugu zangu wenye wanaongoza vyama, you can’t be preaching democracy to the masses and oppression your parties,” Wetangula said while attending a function in Migori.
ODM secretary general Edwin Sifuna, who is also the Nairobi Senator, has asked the Speaker to keep away from the affairs of the party which has nothing to do with his office.
“The country will not forget in a hurry, Speakers like Kenneth Marende, Francis ole Kaparo or Fred Mati, who were confronted at different points by heavily divisive issues, and the country survived only because these gentlemen picked the path of statesmanship over sycophancy or partisanship. Pitted on the same list with these past speakers, Mr Wetangula is on course to becoming the worst of the entire lot, by his recent conduct,” part of statement reads.
The party has asked the Speaker to lay down the instruments and garb of the office of Speaker and meet them on the political platform like any other politician if he wants to continue involving himself in such matters.
“Mr Wetangula is at liberty to advise his rebel friends to cross the floor, even to his own Ford Kenya party, so that the people can have a second chance at the ballot to elect those who still hold the ideals of ODM to heart.”
Sifuna has expressed confidence that ODM will recapture all the five seats in the event that by election is held in the areas where the five rebel MPs are representing.
According to the Senator, none of the expelled rebel MPs is brave enough to make the plunge.
ODM expelled five MPs including Langata MP Felix Odiwuor, Caroli Omondi (Suba South) Gideon Ochanda (Bondo), Elisha Odhiambo (Gem) and Kisumu Senator Tom Ojienda for working closely with the government of President William Ruto.
Senator Sifuna said that while in Migori, the Speaker condemned the party for taking action against the rebel MPs saying that the expulsion would not hold.
“We can only hope that Mr Wetangula forgot that once the due process of these expulsions is concluded, and ODM intends to follow it through to end, it will be his duty to declare those seats vacant. He cannot therefore have any opinion on the matter until the party has undertaken its mandate as to do so would be extremely prejudicial.”