What you need to know:
- Nairobi County Woman Rep Esther Passaris, who went against the party’s stand on the Finance Bill 2023, was fined Sh250,000, to be paid within 60 days, and write an apology letter within seven days.
A legal battle is brewing after ODM expelled five rebel legislators for violating the party’s constitution by going against its resolutions and associating with the ruling Kenya Kwanza Alliance.
The move to tame the rebels follows a National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting chaired by party leader Raila Odinga.
The MPs—Elisha Odhiambo (Gem), Caroli Omondi (Suba South), Gideon Ochanda (Bondo) and Felix Odiwuor (Lang’ata)—as well as Kisumu Senator Tom Ojienda, are expected to appeal the decision.
The party also resolved to revoke the nominations of four Kisumu Members of the County Assembly (MCAs)— Caroline Opar, Kennedy Ajwang’, Peter Obaso and Regina Kizito—for gross misconduct.
Also Read: Kalonzo - We now recognise Ruto as president
Other rebel MPs and MCAs were instructed to write an apology letter and pay fines of various amounts to the party.
Nairobi County Woman Rep Esther Passaris, who went against the party’s stand on the Finance Bill 2023, was fined Sh250,000, to be paid within 60 days, and write an apology letter within seven days.
MPs Mark Nyamita (Uriri) and Paul Abuor (Rongo) were instructed to pay a fine of Sh1 million shilling each as well as write an apology within seven days.
Also Read: Raila heads for Western to counter Ruto
According to ODM National Chairman John Mbadi, the MPs fined and saved from expulsion had appeared before the party’s disciplinary committee and offered explanations.
“They appeared before the disciplinary committee in person and offered their explanations, which were taken into consideration by the committee, after which the committee resolved they should be reprimanded and directed to offer an apology within a period of seven days,” Mr Mbadi said.
The NEC, which backed the ongoing talks between the opposition and the government, also resolved to hold the party’s grassroots elections early next year.
According to the Political Parties Act, a member who propagates the idea of another political party is deemed to have resigned from the political party. This means that the five legislators will have lost their seats if the party goes ahead to remove their names from its register.
Previous expulsion attempts by political parties—including ODM, Jubilee and Amani National Congress (ANC) – have proven futile due to the long and winding appeal mechanism available to offending members.
The next battle front will be the Political Party’s Dispute Tribunal (PPDT) where the MPs and MCAs are expected to move to oppose their expulsion from the party and revocation of their nominations.
Former nominated Senator Isaac Mwaura who lost his seat after the Jubilee Party accused him of promoting the ideals of UDA, was reinstated by the High Court.
At the height of the political falling out between President William Ruto and his predecessor Uhuru Kenyatta, Jubilee also unsuccessfully tried to expel five other nominated senators allied to the then Deputy President.
The faction allied to Mr Kenyatta wanted senators Mary Seneta, Falhada Dekow Iman, Naomi Jillo Waqo, Victor Prengei and Millicent Omanga’s nominations revoked. The process, however, dragged on until they completed their full terms.
It was the same case when ODM failed to kick out then Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa (now Public Service Cabinet secretary). The party had accused Ms Jumwa of advancing then DP William Ruto’s agenda and 2022 presidential bid.
ANC also unsuccessfully tried to remove then nominated MP Godfrey Osotsi for backing Mr Odinga’s ODM. ANC had also attempted to kick out then Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala for supporting the ODM candidate in the Kibra by-election in 2019.