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Raila calms rebel Coast MPs nerves

Seth Onyango @SethManex

Msambweni MP Suleiman Dori yesterday appeared to have changed  tune when he pledged allegiance to Opposition leader Raila Odinga, a day after ODM disciplinary committee endorsed his expulsion from the party.

The turn-around followed a meeting with Raila at his Capitol Hill office in Nairobi yesterday, where he had led some Coast legislators in quelling the situation.

On Tuesday, the ODM disciplinary committee also recommended Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa’s expulsion for alleged gross misconduct.

Jumwa and Dori were accused of wrecking the party from within after openly showing support for Deputy President William Ruto.

Also recommended for expulsion are Homa Bay MCAs Dan Were, Evans Marieba, Julius Gaya, Geoffrey Juma, Paul Ongoro and Joshua Nyabola over unruly behaviour.

Yesterday, Raila assured Coast legislators that Jumwa and Dori will be given a fair hearing by the National Executive Committee (NEC) to defend themselves against the allegations.

He expressed strong disappointment with the conduct of Homa Bay MCAs, who have consistently defied ODM’s counsel.

Dori pledged to work with Raila to strengthen ODM and tone down the 2022 succession politics rhetoric.“We are available for regular consultations for guidance by the party, we have slowed down on 2022 campaigns as you had advised and we remain committed to actions that strengthen rather than weaken the party,” he said.

Raila asked MPs to focus on addressing the immediate issues facing the country. He asked all ODM MPs and MCAs to focus on strengthening and building bridges within the party and to supporting the nine-point agenda spelled out in the Building Bridges Initiative memorandum of understanding.

In June, Jumwa and Dori openly declared support for Ruto’s 2022 presidential bid sparking outrage among ODM members, who called for their expulsion.

In October, the two were summoned to appear before the disciplinary committee over the matter because ODM leader Raila Odinga still has ambitions for the presidency. ODM Secretary General Edwin Sifuna vowed that the party would  not tolerate misconduct by members.

“Party discipline is paramount. Respect for party leadership, its organs and decisions makes a stronger political party. The Political Parties Act is clear on the running and management of political parties, including discipline among party members,” he said after the meeting chaired by Raila. Dori conferred Jumwa’s sentiments on the matter as she is attending parliamentary games in Burundi.

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