BY SAM ALFAN .
A bid by Raila Odinga’s ODM party to expel several MPs from the opposition outfit for associating with President William Ruto has suffered a setback after the move was stopped by a tribunal.
The Political Parties Disputes Tribunal slammed the breaks, albeit temporarily on the ODM from expelling among others Kisumu Senator Tom Ojienda and MPs Elisha Odhiambo (Gem) and Felix ‘Jalang’o’ Odiwuor (Lang’ata) from the party.
The MPs rushed to the tribunal challenging their expulsion over allegations of violating the party’s constitution.
“In the interim and pending the hearing and determination of this Application, this Honourable Tribunal hereby issues interim conservatory orders staying the implementation and/or execution of the decision of the 1st Respondent to expel the Complainant/Applicants, from the Orange Democratic Movement Party,” PPDT chairperson Desma Nungo ruled.
The court directed that legislators to serve the application on the party within two days.
The case will be mentioned on September 21 to check on compliance and for further directions.
Ojienda, Odhiambo and Jalang’o were expelled last Wednesday alongside MPs Caroli Omondi (Suba South) and Gideon Ochanda (Bondo).
In court documents, the three states that they were surprised on September 6, 2023, to hear of their expulsion from ODM yet they were not invited for any disciplinary committee.
They said the ODM party issued a presser to the public that the National Executive Committee of the party had passed a resolution to adopt the recommendations of the ODM Disciplinary Committee to expel and deregister them as members.
“This notification of expulsion and deregistration from the party is shocking to the complainants because they were not given a chance to be heard on the subject complaints, neither was he given an opportunity to defend himself nor informed or notified of any decision and reasons as to why the 1st Respondent’s National Executive Committee has taken such a draconian measure”, the court documents read.
They claim the entire disciplinary proceedings preceding the action of the party were tempered by illegalities and unconstitutionality in that the entire process does not meet the trammels of law set by the Political parties Act, the Constitution of Kenya, ODM Disciplinary Rules and the ODM constitution.
“Should the office of the registrar of political parties (2nd Respondent) act on the illegal and unprocedural decision of the 1st Respondent to expel the Complainants, they will be greatly prejudiced and that their rights would be violated through a choreographed disciplinary process that was flawed, biased and unprocedural from the beginning to the end, they argue.
While expelling them, the NEC accused the MPs of violating ODM’s constitution and the Political Parties Act 2011 by openly associating with and supporting activities of a rival political outfit, as well as opposing lawful decisions made by party organs.