, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 12 – Members of Parliament from the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) have threatened to suspend their deputy party leader William Ruto and other MPs who campaigned against the recent ratified Constitution.
Speaking after the party’s Parliamentary Group (PG) meeting which also doubled as National Executive Council meeting on Thursday, ODM Secretary General Anyang\’ Nyong\’o said stern action would be taken against Mr Ruto and his group for going out against the party\’s position to support the document that was ratified by a majority of Kenyans last week.
"The party PG and the party leadership has realised that some of our members and leaders took contrary positions to the party policy on the constitution. The PG has therefore decided today (Thursday) that the process of taking action in accordance with the party Constitution will be initiated," he said.
Mr Nyong\’o said errant party members won\’t be included in the yet to be formed Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee.
The move comes barely a day after Prime Minister Raila Odinga called for an end to supremacy wars between parties in the ruling coalition, so that the journey to implementing the new law can begin.
Mr Ruto, who is also the Higher Education Minister and MPs Isaac Ruto, Joshua Kutuny, Charles Keter among others rebelled against the official party position and lead campaigns to reject the Constitution.
Budalangi MP Ababu Namwamba who is also the party\’s Parliamentary Group Secretary said ODM will not allow indiscipline within its ranks.
"The party will take strong disciplinary action against any member who took a contrary position to the party on any important policy issue like the adoption of the Constitution," he said.
Elsewhere, Cabinet Minister James Orengo cautioned those calling for immediate amendments to the ratified Constitution should wait until the new law is promulgated.
He said the new law cannot be opened for discussions before August 27th when President Mwai Kibaki is scheduled to promulgate it.
"Those who are talking about amending the Constitution – it’s premature, because it has not been promulgated, you cannot amend what is not in force," he said.
Mr Orengo said it will be impossible to amend the new law through backdoor deals as there are strict provisions in the new document.
"When it is in force don’t shout from top of mountains that we are going to talk about amending, the process is so clear you better get down to business by following the procedure that is required under the ratified Constitution it’s not going to the kind of changes we were able to make under the current Constitution because they could be done over night," he advised
A section of the clergy has been pushing for amendments to the new Constitution on the so-called contentious issues.