NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 20 – NASA co-principal and Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula has been stripped off his Senate Minority Leadership position, in a move that threatens to escalate the looming rift in the NASA coalition.
Wetangula’s fate was decided by at least 19 Senators who attended a NASA Parliamentary Group meeting on Tuesday where a resolution was arrived at that James Orengo (Siaya) is to replace him.
The NASA Senators moved on with their plan to oust Wetangula despite calls and assurances from Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka and Musalia Mudavadi that he would not lose the post.
Kakamega Senator Cleopa Malala’s loyalty to the ODM party seemingly finally paid off as he is now poised to deputize Orengo.
Senators who attended the meeting told Capital FM News on condition of anonymity that Wetangula’s fate was sealed and there was no turning back.
The lawmakers accused Wetangula of being a repellent leader and not being a team player.
It is this revelation that led the legislators to write to the Speaker of the Senate Kenneth Lusaka last week on Thursday to request that Wetangula be relieved of his duties.
While issuing his ruling, Lusaka suspended the motion giving Wetangula temporary reprieve arguing that the matter had not followed laid down procedures, demanding that NASA and not ODM should instead write to his office.
But even as Wetangula was being kicked out, his party, Ford Kenya said that his removal was a non-issue and that it would not hinder the party from discharging its duties.
The party’s National Chairman Joe Ruhu gave the affirmation on Tuesday during a media briefing at the party’s headquarters.
“We will now focus on rejuvenating the party and only engage with like-minded entities that believe in democratic governance and believe in people cantered rather than individual cantered leadership.
“The party will now enthusiastically live up to it’s constitutionally mandated role to hold the government and its new partners to account on behalf of Kenyans who require and deserve an accountable government,” said Ruhu.
Ford Kenya Deputy Party Leader Boni Khalwale dismissed Wetangula’s removal saying the party will present the matter to Speaker of the National Assembly and the Senate seeking their interpretation.
“The decision of one member of NASA cannot be the decision of NASA; the decision of NASA is made by the majority,” said Khalwale.
Wetangula’s woes came to the fore after he initially expressed reservations about the truce between President Uhuru Kenyatta and NASA leader Odinga that culminated in a handshake that signifies unity with the ruling Jubilee party.