, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 3 – Taveta lawmaker Naomi Shaban has faulted a resolution by the Orange Democratic Movement’s (ODM) Governing Council to expel Malindi legislator Aisha Jumwa from the party saying the decision could reverse gains made in increasing the proportion of elected women leaders.
Shaban who spoke in Nyeri on Saturday during the burial of Taita Taveta Governor Granton Samboja’s father-in-law, Nathan Ngunjiri, termed the decision an affront to strides made by elected women.
“We expected that you will support the women who successfully contested for elective seats and that you’ll support us when we slip. I’m very saddened with ODM’s decision particularly because instead of promoting women representation we’re undermining the same,” the Jubilee Party MP said.
The four-time elected lawmaker asked the Orange party to reverse its decision arguing that it would negatively impact on Jumwa’s ability to effectively serve her electorate.
“Women have bitterness especially those of us from the Coast region that stood with Jumwa during the 2017 parliamentary election. Women woke up early in the morning to elect her. Will she now focus on serving the people of fighting in court to retain her seat?” Shaban posed.
ODM’s National Governing Council on Friday unanimously backed the removal of Jumwa from the party on grounds of undermining the political outfit by advancing the interests of Deputy President William Ruto.
The top party organ however deferred the expulsion of Msambweni lawmaker Suleiman Dori who faced similar accusations for 60 days, with Secretary-General Edwin Sifuna saying he had apologised for rebelling against the Raila Odinga-led outfit.
ODM expelled Jumwa under Section 14 (7) of the Political Parties Act but the Malindi lawmaker has contested the process that led to her removal saying due process was not followed.
The Section 14 (7) of the Act states: “A member of a political party may only be expelled from that political party if the member has infringed the Constitution of the political party and after the member has been afforded a fair opportunity to be heard in accordance with the internal party disputes resolution mechanisms as prescribed in the Constitution of the party.”
Jumwa has since vowed to challenge ODM’s decision at the Political Part Dispute Tribunal (PPDT).
Section 40 (1) (b) of the Political Parties Act gives PPDT jurisdiction to determine disputes between a member of a political party and the party.
The tribunal is required to determine such disputes within three months from the date they are lodged with appeals from the tribunal lying to the High Court, and subsequently to the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.
Jumwa angered ODM after openly declaring support for Ruto’s 2022 presidential bid, her subsequent decision to enlist Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen to challenge a recommendation by the party’s disciplinary committee seen to have further escalated tensions.
Speaking to her constituents on Saturday, Jumwa vowed to exhaust all appellate avenues saying she will not relinquish her parliamentary seat.
“I owe nobody an apology!” she told supporters while dismissing the possibility of a by-election in the constituency.