Dinah Ondari @dinahondari
More intrigues have emerged on why Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula was shown the door as Senate Leader of Minority, with some Nasa senators behind the move claiming he used to “order them around like little children”.
Another serious allegation has emerged that Wetang’ula referred to senators who were against him as “barking dogs”. “In fact, he said he would not consult with barking dogs, he would rather speak to the dogs’ owners,” said an ODM senator yesterday.
The senators who spoke after attending a meeting chaired by Wetang’ula’s successor and Siaya Senator James Orengo on Tuesday night said the Ford Kenya leader’s arrogant and dismissive attitude made it difficult even for him to approach colleagues to save him.
ODM secretary general Edwin Sifuna, in a live interview on Jambo FM yesterday morning corroborated the “barking dogs” allegation. “The senators were committed to have him go because of his poor leadership in the House. He branded himself the ‘Big Man’ because of his position as the Nasa co-principal, looking down upon his counterparts,’’ said Sifuna, who also denied that Raila was behind Wetang’ula’s woes.
“When given the chance to consult the senators he said he would not deal with barking dogs, he would rather consult their owners,” said Sifuna. “People like Orengo and Wako are senior to him both in politics and in the legal profession but he could treat them like his junior staff members,” said Sifuna.
There were reports that Wetang’ula unsuccessfully tried to “direct” minority whip Mutula Kilonzo Junior to withhold the letter by Nasa senators that endorsed his dethronement.
Later, Kilonzo confirmed he, on several occasions, received complaints from coalition senators expressing dissatisfaction with Wetang’ula’s conduct. “This time round the pressure was too much, I am their servant and I had to oblige,” Kilonzo said.
“He had no sympathies from anybody, not in ODM, not elsewhere,” said a Wiper senator who attended the meeting that sealed Wetag’ula’s fate. Orengo had said during a prime time news television interview on Tuesday night: “The people who voted to remove him are mature and experienced, there was Amos Wako, Okong’o O’mogeni and other senior counsel, they did not need to be influenced by anybody in what they did.”
ODM senators were disgruntled after the party’s choice of nominee to the Parliamentary Service Commission was defeated by Jubilee’s nominee, in perceived collusion with Wiper party.
They felt Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka who was calling on Orengo to step down to let Wetang’ula continue as minority leader, had betrayed them when he agreed to Jubilee support for Borabu MP Ben Momanyi (Wiper) to be Nasa’s commissioner at the PSC.
ODM had wanted Kilonzo Jr to represent Nasa in the commission so that George Khaniri (Vihiga) could become the Senator Minority Whip, a deal that had been brokered by Raila. Wetang’ula yesterday remained defiant, saying: “I cannot be wished away in Nasa.
I was never invited to the coalition but I am an equal partner.” He spoke when he met MCAs from his county at Parliament Buildings. The latest developments come even as reports indicated that the Nasa principals are yet to give up hope on salvaging the situation in favour of Wetang’ula.
During Tuesday night’s meeting Orengo managed to convince the senators to at least meet the opposition senators today (Thursday) to try and persuade them to change their minds. After his ouster celebratory mood on the floor of the House was conspicuous as only Enoch Wambua (Kitui) seemed to sympathise with him.
O’mogeni said, “Wetang’ula said there would be a ‘noisy and messy divorce’, we have delivered a very quick and swift divorce.” Nominated Senator Isaac Mwaura said Wetang’ula was fond of disrespecting his colleagues. “Despite being a great debater, he has shown utter disrespect to fellow senators.”