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Wetangula elected Ford Kenya leader

NAIROBI, Kenya, March 19 – Former foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetangula has been elected leader of Ford Kenya.

The party\’s National Delegates Conference at the Bomas of Kenya also elected Labour Minister John Munyes as chairman while Kimilili Legislator Eseli Simiyu clinched the secretary general post.

"I am grateful that you have elected me to this position. As you well know, some people have decided to abandon us but this should not dampen our spirits. We should continue moving forward in s strong way," Mr Wetangula said in his acceptance speech.

The exercise had widely been condemned by Saboti MP Eugene Wamalwa\’s camp as a mockery of democracy.

Mr Wamalwa resigned as Ford-Kenya\’s Secretary for Legal Affairs on Thursday, even though he had paid the mandatory Sh1 million fee required from those seeking party chairmanship.

On his side are out-going party chairman Musikari Kombo, former Cabinet Ministers Mukhisa Kituyi, former MP Raphael Wanjala, and Assistant Minister, Wakoli Bifwoli, among others.

The NDC came after plans to repeat Ford Kenya grassroots elections in 30 branches were halted by the Political Parties Dispute Tribunal.

The tribunal issued the order on Thursday stopping a repeat of the polls in the branches until the matter was resolved.

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The National Executive Committee had resolved last week that the party repeats the polls in 30 branches, which included party chairman Musikari Kombo\’s Webuye and Mr Wamalwa\’s Saboti.

Mr Wamalwa however contested the plan and sought intervention from the registrar of political parties, saying the decision was illegal as the matter was before the tribunal.

He said party elders, who had been tasked with reconciling the factions, had been stopped from transacting further activities until the dispute was resolved by the registrar.

The win by Mr Wetangula now means that he will be the party\’s torch bearer during the general election scheduled next year.

Elsewhere, the founder of the Labour Party of Kenya Julia ojiambo handed over the party\’s leadership to Mr Wamalwa saying that it was time for the youth to lead the country.

Speaking at a rally in Bungoma Posta grounds, Ojiambo also urged Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, Eldoret North MP William Ruto and Eugene who were also present at the function to continue working together.

Nominated MP Musikari Kombo blamed Mr Wetangula for disunity in western saying he had refused to work with other leaders.

Mr Wamalwa has been embroiled in a bitter leadership battle with Wetang\’ula over the control of Ford-Kenya.

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