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ODM flexes its muscle, votes out Wetangula as Senate Minority leader

With the majority Opposition MPs, ODM wants James Orengo to replace Wetangula as Senate Minority leader/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 15 – Raila Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement is now seeking the removal of Moses Wetangula as Minority Leader.

In a letter to the Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka, the party says it wants him replaced by Senator James Orengo as they are the Opposition majority.

“By a letter dated March 15 the Senate Minority Whip Mutula Kilonzo Jnr informed me of a resolution by 16 ODM Senators to remove Senator Moses Masika Wetang’ula and to appoint Senator James Aggrey Orengo as the new Senate Minority Leader with immediate effect,” Lusaka informed the House.

The move comes days after Odinga agreed to a sort of truce with President Kenyatta in a process that did not involve his co-principals in the Opposition Wetangula, Kalonzo Musyoka and Musalia Mudavadi.

And on Wednesday, Musyoka who took it upon himself to speak for the three, sought audience with President Kenyatta to “hear his side of things.”

READ: Kalonzo seeks audience with Uhuru, on board with unity plan

Members of Parliament allied to the Kalonzo’s Wiper, Mudavadi’s Amani National Congress and Wetangula’s Ford Kenya have however not taken quite to diplomatic a view of the exclusion and demanded inclusion or ODM’s exit from NASA; sparking internal wrangles now evidenced by ODM’s demand that Wetangula be replaced as Senate Minority leader.

“The removal of Senator Moses Wetang’ula as Senate Minority Leader though valid, stands suspended and will not take effect unless and until a Senator has been elected by the NASA Coalition in the manner provided by Standing Order 20(1) has occurred and the communication to that effect together with the minutes evidencing that decision has been made in writing, to my office by the Senate Minority Whip,” Communication from the Speaker reads.

While reading out the letter presented to him by Minority Whip Mutula Kilonzo Junior (Makueni), Lusaka said the decision to oust Wetangula as Minority Leader was made by 16 ODM Senators meeting at Crowne plaza on Wednesday.

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“I received minutes of a meeting of the Orange Democratic Party held on Wednesday at Crowne Plaza and resolutions addressed to the undersigned and yourself by sixteen (16) senators confirming the resolutions of the said meeting,” said Kilonzo’s letter.

Kilonzo wrote to the Speaker in his official capacity as the Minority Chief Whip.

Lusaka however, said the appointment of Orengo could not take effect as it was not done by NASA as a coalition.

Lusaka said all the NASA affiliate parties did not participate in the meeting hence it was not properly done.

Weighing in on the subject, Wetangula said the resolution passed by the 16 lawmakers was as a result of conspiracies and mischief against him and added that he felt he had been betrayed.

“NASA is a coalition, nobody invited me to join. Mischief has been going on behind my back and it is unacceptable,” said Wetangula.

But ODM Senators Ledama Ole Kina (Narok), Judith Pareno (nominated) and Moses Kjawang (Homa Bay) defended the resolution.

Only Wiper’s Enoch Wambua (Kitui) defended Wetangula saying ODM could not purport to sack a Senator they did not elect.

Majority leader Kipchumba Murkomen (Elgeyo Marakwet ) extended an olive branch to Wetangula in jest saying the  Jubilee Party was more than ready to welcome him.

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