NAIROBI, Kenya, May 2 – Lawmakers from the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) allied to Prime Minister Raila Odinga now want Musalia Mudavadi to relinquish the post of Deputy Prime Minister and that of Sabatia MP and seek fresh mandate from the electorate.
Led by Fisheries Minister Amason Kingi, the legislators said that following Mudavadi’s resignation he should cease to enjoy any of the privileges that came his way as a member of ODM.
“It is like when you quit the military you have to return the uniform and the equipment and start life as a civilian. As a party we accept that he has resigned but he should resign from all positions he enjoys by virtue of being a member of ODM,” he demanded at a briefing at Parliament Building on Wednesday afternoon hours after Mudavadi joined United Democratic Forum.
The National Accord and Reconciliation Act of 2008 however states that the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Ministers can only be removed if the National Assembly passes a Motion of no confidence with a majority vote.
Kingi insisted that the post of the deputy Prime Minister was ODM’s as a coalition partner and that the party will soon name the best placed person to succeed Mudavadi.
He dismissed claims by Mudavadi that ODM did not have democracy, saying that the DPM was involved in every decision that the party reached as it sought to amend its constitution.
“It is cowardice… Mudavadi does not want to compete against political heavyweights. If he feels he is a political heavyweight why did he opt out? In his journey we want him to stop maligning this party,” said Kingi who said that ODM is democratic.
Mudavadi who resigned as ODM deputy leader and joined the United Democratic Forum (UDF) Party accused ODM of being undemocratic after what he said was a systematic plot not to amend the constitution that currently guarantees Raila Odinga the automatic nomination for the presidential ticket.
Budalang’i MP Ababu Namwamba further challenged the acting Registrar of Political Parties Lucy Ndung’u to crack the whip on those members of political parties who are flouting Arcticle14 of the Political Parties Act.
“We want to remind the Registrar that we have written to her countless times to tell her that she is presiding over a process that is encouraging impunity and the height of political misconduct. We want her to take action and implement the full text of the law to bring political discipline in the political arena,” he explained.
Article 14 of the Political Parties Act provides that: “A person shall not be a member of more than one political party at the same time.
Further, Article 14(5) provides that: “A person who, while being a member of a political party forms another political party, joins in the formation of another political party, joins another political party, in any way or manner, publicly advocates for the formation of another political party; or promotes the ideology, interests or policies of another political party shall, notwithstanding the provisions of Subsection (1) or the provisions of any other written law, be deemed to have resigned from the previous political party.”
Other ODM lawmakers who attended the briefing included Rachel Shebesh, Magerer Lagat, Sospeter Ojaamong, Martin Ogindo, Fred Outa and Hussein Gabbow.
ODM legislators previously made similar demands after Eldoret North MP William Ruto indicated that he was going to leave the party following disagreements with the party leader, Prime Minister Odinga.
Ruto has since confirmed that he will become a member of the United Republican Party (URP) at the end of his current term as MP.