United Democratic Movement (UDM) party legislators have protested to National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetang’ula against the move by Registrar of Political Parties to link them to Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition.
The 11 legislators, including UDM party leader Ali Roba, who is also the Mandera Senator, have taken issue with a letter by the Registrar Ms Anne Nderitu informing Parliament of the party’s connection to Raila Odinga-led Azimio.
They have instead insisted they belong to President William Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza Alliance pursuant to a post-election agreement signed between UDM and the President’s coalition.
“It is indeed baffling that despite the Post-Election Coalition Agreement that was signed between our Party and the Kenya Kwanza Coalition under the Political Parties Act, 2011, the Registrar of Political Parties knowingly disregarded the law and has unlawfully associated ourselves and indeed our Party with a non-existent coalition agreement with the Azimio Coalition,” they said in the letter dated September 16.
The legislators include; Mr Roba, Senators; Mohamed Abbas (Wajir) and Mariam Omar and MPs; Bashir Abdullahi (Mandera North), Hassan Maalim (Banisa), Haro Abdul (Mandera South), Mangale Chiforomodo (Lungalunga), Yusuf Haji (Mandera West), Joseph Lekuton (Laisamis), Umulkheir Kassim (Mandera Woman Rep) and Sulekha Harun (nominated).
They noted that Article 38 of the Constitution recognizes political rights including the freedom to make political choices.
They also pointed out that the constitution embodies freedom of association that is guaranteed in Article 36 of the Constitution.
“These two fundamental rights cannot be negated by the alleged misrepresentation of facts and law by the Register of Political Parties which seeks to place us in a coalition agreement that we are not party to.
“We therefore protest against such actions and note that Article 10 of the constitution which outlines the national values and principles of governance, behooves upon you Honourable Speaker in making any decision affecting the Members of the House in particular the Members of the UDM Party to make such decisions in a manner that promotes and advances the rule of law, good governance and human rights.”
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The legislators insisted that any continued association with Azimio coalition “is not only contrary to the Political Parties Act, 2011 but also Articles 10, 36 and 38 of the constitution.”
On Monday, sources at the Registrar’s office told Nation that as per their records, UDM still remains a bonafide member of Azimio coalition.
“They have not triggered any exit clauses of the Azimio coalition and therefore according to our record, they are still members of the coalition,” the source revealed.
We go with what is in the record and until now they have not been able to finish this matter, the source added.
But UDM Secretary General David Ohito insisted that the office of the Registrar was duly aware of the move by the party to exit Azimio.
“We have done so as much and she is in copy of our letters. We haven’t even seen the Azimio documents whose last page they gave us to sign. So we don’t know what we are exiting from,” said Mr Ohito.
“We disown that relationship and coalition in the strongest terms possible with no intention and just regrets of having associated with them in the past.”