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Leadership wrangles face Ford Kenya

NAIROBI, Kenya Aug 17- Sirisia MP and Cabinet Minister Moses Wetangula on Monday moved to allay fears that he was planning a party coup to take over the leadership of Ford- Kenya from incumbent Musikhari Kombo.

This follows reports that a Ford Kenya faction allied to Mr Wetangula plans to hold early party elections this year without the approval of embattled chairman.

But, addressing Nairobi branch party supporters, Mr Wetangula said he will abide by programme of elections that will be released by the party’s management committee which will be meeting this Wednesday.

“I am surprised that my competitors are going around talking of a coup.  In fact even just hosting you has sent shockwaves  because they think we’re going to forcibly wrestle the leadership from them,” he told journalists at the Party’s Headquarters in Nairobi.

“As a lawyer I will be the last person to do anything that’s contrary to the written law,” he told the meeting at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga House in Nairobi.

Mr Wetangula`s camp scored a major victory when Party Secretary General and fellow Cabinet Minister John Munyes and Kimilili MP Simiyu Eseli declared they will be backing his bid for Ford-Kenya Chair.

Mr Munyes also reassured the delegates that all laid down procedures will be followed in giving the party a new leadership.

He described Mr Wetangula as a man who is capable of leading the party to its former glory that saw it rivalling ‘grand old party’s’ like KANU through nationwide representation.

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Mr Simiyu said: "Some among us think they can dictate to the rest of the party. Party elections can be conducted when and if the decision is made through consultation and consensus. Ford-Kenya does not belong to an individual."

They blamed the party’s decline in popularity on Mr Kombo`s ‘lack of vision and leadership’ that has seen the party representation decrease from 24 MPs under the late Vice-President Michael Kijana Wamalwa to four MPs in the current Parliament.

“Whether you like it or not we must agree that our party has not done well. Our party is weak today. We must agree that our party needs a rejuvenation of leadership. We must accept that there is need for a reawakening in our party,” Mr Simiyu said.

Mr Wetangula will face the current chair Mr Kombo, Saboti MP Eugene Wamalwa and his Bumula counterpart Bifwoli Wakoli in the yet to be announced polls.

“From what I have gathered during my rallies, I can say that the writing is on the wall,” Mr Wetangula said. “They say the race belongs to the strong but give everbody a fair start. The one who hits the finish line first, once the whistle has sounded is the winner and I have assessed my self and I believe I am up to the task.”

The Minister’s new push for reorganisation in Ford-Kenya follows his previously stated intention to run for President. This has elicited more scorn than applause in a party that is anything but a vibrant political outfit as it was under the late Wamalwa.


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