Nasa chiefs to meet over Wetang’ula’s Senate post

By The Star

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NASA leaders Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka and Musalia Mudavadi have convened a crisis meeting with Opposition senators over the future of Senate Minority Leader Moses Wetang’ula.

Today NASA senators will hold a Parliamentary Group meeting to firmly take the position that they will no longer recognise Wetang’ula.

A NASA senator yesterday told the Star, “There is no reverse gear in our quest to remove Wetang’ula”, saying today’s PG is to send a statement to the four principals.

“There is a meeting of the Senate tomorrow [today], a meeting to eject him, organised by the ODM fraternity and there is a meeting on Tuesday to stop them from ejecting Wetang’ula by the four principals,” the senator, who sought not to be named, told the Star.

He added: “We will meet with the principals so that they convince us not to remove him, but those people are adamant they have insisted they are meeting on Monday [today] and by the time they are meeting with the principals, Wetang’ula will not be the Leader of Minority.”

The senator said the reason why they want to kick out Wetang’ula is because “he is always full of ultimatums to Raila and has been badmouthing him and that he does not involve ODM in the leadership of the Senate.

“ODM is the one who put him there and he is the only senator from his party. ODM is just tired with him. Even recently he said the divorce is going to be very ugly.”

He went on: “He skipped Raila’s swearing-in on January 30 and he is not even apologetic.”

Attempts to get a comment from Wetang’ula were not successful, but on Thursday last week, the Bungoma Senator claimed he would not go down quietly, promising to put up a fight against people who he claimed were working behind his back.

“All the [Opposition] appointments in this House came from the PG of NASA and not from ODM. NASA is a coalition,” said Wetang’ula.

“In terms of the Senate, there is no party called ODM, If anyone wants a divorce, it will be noisy, it will be messy.”

Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka temporarily halted Wetang’ula’s ouster bid and referred the matter to NASA to procedurally communicate to the House before the changes are effected.

ODM had sat before the Thursday attempted ouster and passed a resolution to replace Wetang’ula with his deputy, Siaya Senator James Orengo.

ODM, through Minority Whip Mutula Kilonzo, wrote to the Senate Speaker seeking the removal of Wetang’ula on grounds that ODM is the biggest Minority in the House compared to Ford Kenya, hence should produce the Minority Leader.

Lusaka however spoilt the party for Orengo by suspending the move and referring the matter to NASA, stating it was not properly before the House.

He contented that while ODM is the second largest party in the House, the meeting that endorsed the removal was ODM’s and not NASA’s as required by the Standing Orders.

“The requirements of Standing Order 20 (5) have not been met and, accordingly, the removal of Senator Moses Wetang’ula as Senate Leader of Minority, though valid, stands suspended and will not take effect unless and until a senator has been elected by the NASA coalition in the manner provided for by Standing Order 20 (1),” ruled Lusaka.

As the principals sit to look at the issue, Raila’s word will either save or seal the fate of the Senator from Bungoma, who now appears to be living on borrowed time.

If the decision is left with NASA’s PG, then Wetang’ula’s future is sealed as ODM enjoys numbers over its other affiliate parties combined.

The Summit could be Wetang’ula’s saviour as already two principals, Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper) and Musalia Mudavadi (ANC), have thrown their weight behind Wetang’ula for the lucrative position.

“The three principals have reaffirmed their total confidence in Hon Moses Wetang’ula as the Official Leader of the Minority in the Senate. Their support for Hon Wetang’ula in this regard is unwavering,” the leaders said in a joint statement last Friday.

Twenty out of NASA’s 27 Senators signed in favour of Wetang’ula’s ouster, surpassing the required two-thirds majority by two.

ODM has 20 Senators compared to Ford Kenya, which has one.