Tribunal hands Jalang’o and other expelled ODM lawmakers reprieve
The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party has suffered a setback after its decision to expel Kisumu Senator Prof Tom Ojienda and four others was temporarily reversed.
The politicians were suspended over their reported public support for President William Ruto which the party says is against its ethos, but the Political Parties Dispute Tribunal has given the politicians a lifeline after granting conservatory orders barring ODM from deleting their names from the party register.
A ruling by the Tribunal chairperson Desma Nungo granted conservatory orders staying ODM’s decision to expel the five politicians from the party.
Those set to benefit from the ruling include Ojienda, Langata MP Phelix Odiwour Kodhe alias Jalang’o, Suba MP Caroli Omondi, Bondo MP Gideon Ochanda, and Gem Elisha Ochieng Odhiambo
“That in the interim and pending the hearing and determination of the application, this Honourable Tribunal hereby issues interim conservatory orders staying the implementation of the decision to expel and remove the names of the five politicians as a member of the ODM Party,” ordered Nungo.
She further issued interim orders restraining ODM from de-whipping and or removing Professor Ojienda as a committee member of the County Public Investment and the Security Committee.
Nungo has suspended the implementation and execution of the decision by ODM to expel the five from the party.
The tribunal has also barred the Registrar of political parties from acting if the recommendations forwarded to her by ODM inform her the five have since been seized from being members of the party.
The effect of this is to relinquish their election pending the hearing of the suit challenging the decision to be expelled for alleged shifting their loyalties and cooperating with the ruling coalition of President William Ruto.
In their case before the tribunal, the five accused ODM of irregularly removing their names from the register of members of the party through a fundamentally flawed process.
The five who are life members of the opposition party state that they are apprehensive the party will recommend the cancellation of their elections thereby declaring their respective seats vacant and triggering by-election in the said positions.
” The complainants are apprehensive that if ODM and Registrar of Political Parties will proceed to remove us as elected Senator and MPs which action will lead to them losing their respective seats, ” reads the evidence filed in the tribunal.
The politicians have asked the tribunal to intervene urgently and stop the implementation of the impugned decision before its enforcement by the Registrar of political parties.
They further contend that the unlawful decision to kick them out from the party has gravely infringed their constitutional rights to belong to a political formation of their choice.
Nungo has certified the cases as urgent and directed the politicians to serve the Registrar and ODM with their pleadings within 5 days to enable respond to the allegations of infringing their rights.
She directed the cases to be mentioned on September 21, 2023, at 2:30 p.m. for compliance and further directions.