ODM rebels dare party to field lead­ers against them

They say they were cho­sen by res­i­dents, not party of­fi­cials, and they will be re­elected

The Star (Kenya) - - Front Page - STAR TEAM @TheS­tarKenya

Coast ODM politi­cians fac­ing dis­ci­plinary ac­tion for ditch­ing the party have said they are not afraid of by-elec­tions.

Speak­ing sep­a­rately to the Star, the politi­cians dared ODM to field can­di­dates in their re­gions.

Kil­ifi North MP Gideon Mung’aro said he is ready for the dis­ci­plinary ac­tion taken by the party.

He said he will stand with the 10 mem­bers who have been ex­pelled and wait for his lawyer’s ad­vice on whether to meet the ODM dis­ci­plinary com­mit­tee.

Mung’aro spoke in Mry­achakwe vil­lage, Ganze, on Mon­day, shortly af­ter the Na­tional Gov­ern­ing Coun­cil ex­pelled the ODM rebels, in­clud­ing Kwale Gover­nor Salim Mvurya, Likoni MP Ma­soud Mwahima and Kwale woman rep­re­sen­ta­tive Zainab Chidzuga.

“We shall fol­low our lawyer’s di­rec­tions, and lis­ten to his ad­vice on whether to face the com­mit­tee. This has been a sep­a­ra­tion pe­riod. If there will be a di­vorce, the an­nounce­ment will be made when the time comes,” Mung’aro said.

Chidzuga dis­missed her ex­pul­sion, say­ing the Na­tional Ex­ec­u­tive Coun­cil, which en­dorsed the NGC de­ci­sion, is in of­fice il­le­gally.

She ques­tioned who elected nom­i­nated Se­na­tor Agnes Zani and her team, yet the party’s in­ter­nal elec­tions col­lapsed af­ter chaos sparked by the ‘Men in Black’ in 2014.

Chidzuga spoke in Ngodo, Lunga Lunga, where she dis­trib­uted re­lief food to starv­ing res­i­dents.

She said she is still the Kwale woman rep­re­sen­ta­tive by virtue of be­ing elected by res­i­dents and she is still a mem­ber of ODM as she has been pay­ing monthly party fees.

“I have been work­ing ac­cord­ing to the ODM man­i­festo of serv­ing peo­ple and ex­er­cis­ing my demo­cratic right of free­dom of ex­pres­sion and as­so­ci­a­tion,” Chidzuga said.

The party lead­er­ship has not served her with pa­pers of ex­pul­sion, she said.

Chidzuga said she will not work with dic­ta­tors who do not want to be crit­i­cised when they go wrong.

Mwahima, a sec­ond-term MP, said, “I was voted to that par­lia­men­tary seat by my peo­ple whom I dine and drink with ev­ery day, not peo­ple sit­ting in of­fices in Nairobi.”

Speak­ing to the Star on the phone, he said his die-hard sup­port­ers will re­elect him to con­tinue the work he started.

Mwahima had ear­lier chased away jour­nal­ists who sought com­ment from his of­fice over the ex­pul­sion.

He said his ex­pul­sion is not a blow to him or other de­fec­tors, as they had ex­pected it from the “dic­ta­to­rial party”.

The for­mer mi­nor­ity chief whip de­scribed the ODM ex­pul­sion plan as po­lit­i­cal and told party of­fi­cials to “do what they want”.

He said the team of ODM rebels from the Coast will fight for their rights.

Mung’aro said the same ODM lead­er­ship sacked him as mi­nor­ity chief whip with­out giv­ing him an op­por­tu­nity to be heard.

/ JOHN CHESOLI

Kil­ifi North MP Gideon Mung’aro (red T-shirt) and other Ju­bilee politi­cians on Septem­ber 16 in Dabaso, where the leg­is­la­tor an­nounced he will run for gover­nor

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