, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 13 – CORD parliamentarians have defended Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula after the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission recommended to the Speaker of the Senate that he be removed from the list of registered voters, which would cause him to lose his seat.
Led by Deputy Minority leader in the Senate Hassan Abdurrahman and Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale, the MPs read mischief in the decision by the electoral body, alleging that Wetangula was being bullied and intimidated into dropping the proposed impeachment motion against President Uhuru Kenyatta.
“State agencies have been hard at work leaking to the media documents they know would not otherwise stand a chance before any functional court of law. This is not the law at work, it is naked and raw politics at play,” claimed Khalwale.
In March this year, the Supreme Court found Wetangula guilty of voter bribery during the 2013 General Election but for any action to be taken against him, the Speaker of the Senate is required by law to publish the report by the Supreme Court in the Kenya Gazette which then the electoral body takes up, reviews and recommends the necessary action.
“We demand nothing but respect as political leaders and warn that underhand political machinations by the Executive will not in any way stop our leaders from carrying out that mandate for which they were elected.”
Vowing to rally behind the CORD co-principal, the MPs urged IEBC to exercise independence and not allow ‘forces’ to influence their decisions saying the timing of the proposal was suspect.
Section 24(1) (a) of the Elections Act states: “A person qualifies for nomination as a Member of Parliament if the person is registered as a voter.”
This then means if Wetangula is de-registered from the list, he automatically ceases to be a Senator and loses his position as leader of Minority Leader in the Senate.
They alleged that the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) had already returned a verdict that there was no evidence to charge Wetangula and that even the DPP had ordered the DCI to close the investigations file.
“At what point was the investigations file opened? Who ordered the re-opening of the file? Why was it immediately after the Senate Minority leader threatened to impeach the President?” posed Khalwale.
The over 20 legislators pointed fingers at the Jubilee administrating accusing it of plotting to weaken the Opposition by targeting its leaders while at the same time also lashing out at perceived Jubilee sympathisers led by Water Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa and Water Services Trust Fund chairman Musikari Kombo who was Wetangula’s closest rival in the race of being behind his woes.
“The threats are meant to destabilise Senator Wetangula as a national leader and destabilise CORD as a coalition,” he added.
They claimed Jubilee was attempting to impose a leader on the people of Bungoma and vowed to oppose the move.
Senate Speaker Ekwee Ethuro has not given directions on the matter.