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What Ruto and ‘expelled’ ODM MPs discussed at State House

By Mercy Simiyu September 13th, 2023 2 min read

President William Ruto on September 13, 2023, held a meeting with five embattled MPs who were recently expelled from the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM).

The meeting was held at State House, Nairobi.

Nairobi News understands the meeting discussed a number of economic matters affecting the lawmakers respective consticuencies inclduing garnering support for the sugar bill which will soon be tabled in Parliament.

Others matters discussed include the first flight from Nairobi to Migori which was launched on the day of the meeting, coming months after another direct flight was launched between Nairobi and Homa Bay.

The lawmakers are also said to have invited the Head of State to tour the region while reaffirming commitment to work with the government in support of development programs in the region and country.

The lawmakers who met the President include Gideon Ochanda, Elisha Odhiambo, Phelix Odiwuor, Mark Nyamita, Tom Ojienda, Caroli Omondi and Paul Abuor. Also present was Interior Principal Secretary Raymond Omollo.

The talks came a day after the Political Parties Disputes Tribunal suspended the decision by ODM to expel the members.

Tribunal chairperson Desma Nungo issued the conservatory orders stopping ODM from implementing the decision to expel the five MPs pending determination of suits filed challenging the expulsion.

“Pending the hearing and determination of the suits, the office of the Registar of Political Parties is barred from effecting and enforcing the decision of ODM by removing the complainants as members of the party,” ruled Nungo.

The five MPs were recently expelled by ODM’s National Executive Committee (NEC) for going against the party’s wishes by cooperating and working with President William Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza Government.

However, Prof Ojienda, the Kisumu Senator, in his affidavit swore that he was not accorded a fair hearing by the party’s disciplinary committee and denied claims that he betrayed the party by working with the government.

In February 2023, ODM party leader Raila Odinga warned MPs against party hopping and called for the resignation of nine MPs affiliated with the coalition who met President William Ruto at State House, Nairobi.

While labeling the leaders as traitors, Odinga stated the lawmakers lied when they stated that they only attended the meeting to follow up on developmental pledges President Ruto vowed to bring to their constituencies when he toured the Nyanza region in January.

“These members who have defected from Azimio coalition need to resign from their positions.

There is a new dangerous phenomenon developing that MPs are approaching the Executive for supposed development in their constituencies and our current constitutional dispensation says that resources should be allocated by Parliament,” said Odinga, who earlier vowed not to recognize Ruto’s presidency.

“So the days where MPs go and see mtukufu rais is gone. If you want to go and see the president as a person of power and status, go but if you want to go and talk about issues that affect the party then you must be given permission by the party beforehand. These people must be seen for what they are, traitors in the course of a revolution.”

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