Raila defends decision to expel ODM rebels, dares them to resign from their seats
Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party leader Raila Odinga has defended a recent
decision by the political outfit to kick out five perceived rebel members.
The five who were shown the door on Wednesday are Members of Parliament Elisha Odhiambo (Gem), Gideon Ochanda (Bondo), Felix Odiwuor ‘Jalang’o’ (Lang’ata), Caroli Omondi (Suba South), and Kisumu Senator Tom Ojienda.
Mr. Odinga, speaking during a meeting with Migori County ODM delegates on Friday, said the party can only be strong when its members are united and disciplined.
He hence rebuked the said rebel leaders for what he termed as betraying the party, further daring them to resign from their elective seats and seek fresh mandates from the people on new party tickets.
“ODM must be strong as a political party...the party can be strong when there Is discipline....it cannot progress when there are cases of indiscipline,” he said.
“We want to see unity...you can’t move to another party claiming that you are looking for development. There are structures the leaders can use to get development. We don't want betrayal.”
He added: “That's why we took actions against those not loyal to the party. If you think you are ballsy enough, just come back to the ground.”
The five ousted lawmakers were accused of violating the ODM party’s Constitution and the Political Parties Act 2011 by openly associating with and supporting activities of a rival political outfit, as well as opposing lawful decisions made by party organs.
The party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) hence said they are “deemed to have resigned,” and will now “commence the process of removing them from the register.”
Rongo MP Paul Abuor and his Uriri counterpart Mark Nyamita, who also faced similar allegations, were - on the other hand - fined Ksh.1 million each to be paid within 60 days.
The party said the two lawmakers appeared before its disciplinary committee in person and explained reasons for their actions, and were further directed to offer a written apology to the party within 7 days.
Nairobi Woman Representative Esther Passaris was also reprimanded for her “outright defiance of the party position on the punitive Finance Bill 2023,” and was fined Ksh.250,000.
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