IN HOUSE FIGHTING

Fresh war in Ford-K as Weta allies take on rivals

National chairman Joel Ruhu has initiated disciplinary action against his deputy Lwande Oneko

In Summary

•Oneko is allied to a faction led by Tongaren MP Eseli Simiyu and his Kanduyi counterpart Wafula Wamunyinyi

•Ruhu said Oneko would be reprimanded for purportedly acting and writing correspondences on behalf of the Ford Kenya yet any communication must be sanctioned by the national chairperson.

Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula and Tongaren MP Eseli Simiyu.
Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula and Tongaren MP Eseli Simiyu.
Image: JOHN NALIANYA

A fresh wrangle has erupted in Ford Kenya after months of what appeared to be a truce between two warring factions.

National chairperson Joel Ruhu who is allied to Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula has said disciplinary action will be taken against national vice-chairman Lwande Oneko.

Oneko is allied to the other faction that is led by Tongaren MP Eseli Simiyu and his Kanduyi counterpart Wafula Wamunyinyi

Ruhu said Oneko would be reprimanded for purportedly acting and writing correspondences on behalf of the Ford Kenya yet any communication must be sanctioned by the national chairperson.

He said the decision was made at a Ford Kenya management committee meeting that was led by Wetang’ula, the party leader.

“The management cautions all other political parties, office of the Registrar of Political Parties and our partners against engaging with Tongaren MP and Wafula Wamunyinyi on official matters of the party since they have no legal mandate and that such actions amount to contempt of court,” Ruhu said.

His remarks came barely a day after Eseli and Wamunyinyi said they would ignore pending court proceedings and begin preparations for the 2022 General Election.

“We have realised that the court is not a solution to Ford Kenya issues. We will find a political solution,” Wamunyinyi said.

Eseli said members of his factions will start reaching out to like-minded parties with the view of forming coalitions ahead of 2022.

“The court is dragging us yet 2022 is just around the corner. We will deal with Ford Kenya problems politically because the courts will not offer any solutions,” he said.

Eseli asked Wetang’ula to desist from “moving around masquerading as Ford Kenya party leader while seeking alliances”

“It should be noted that he attends the One Kenya Alliance meetings as Wetang’ula and not as Ford Kenya party leader,” he said

He spoke at a hotel in Nairobi after meeting party officials from 30 counties.

Wamunyinyi said it has been 14 months since Wetang’ula moved to court to stop his ouster as party leader.

“He obtained conservatory orders but the matter is not moving and 2022 is here. We cannot wait any more,” the Kanduyi MP said.

National organising secretary Chris Mandu Mandu, an ally of Wetang’ula, maintained that they are the bonafide officials of Ford Kenya.

“In any case, it was Eseli who was barred from transacting any business on behalf of the party,” he said.

In May last year, the party’s National Executive Council reportedly resolved to remove Wetang'ula as party leader and replaced him with Wamunyinyi on an interim basis.

The decision was arrived at after the party’s special NEC meeting at Nairobi’s Radisson Blu Hotel.

NEC accused Wetang'ula of gross misconduct and failing to champion unity in the party.

Other charges levelled against the Bungoma senator included failing to reconcile warring members to eliminate friction in the party.

The former Senate Minority leader was also accused of failing to provide inspirational leadership to the party contrary to Clause 49 of the party’s constitution.

Wetang'ula moved to court and obtained orders stopping his removal pending hearing and determination of the matter.

The court further barred Wamunyinyi from convening the party’s National Delegates Congress.

The decision allowed Wetang'ula to retain his position the party boss and restrict the rival faction from holding NDC which would ratify his ouster.

 

Edited by Kiilu Damaris