Gun drama as Ford Kenya holds delegates conference
Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula yesterday defied all odds to hold a National Delegates Conference (NDC) that was, however, marred by gun drama which saw one of the participants seriously injured.
After surmounting a series of hurdles, including a Wednesday court order barring the Bomas of Kenya event, a disgruntled contestant for a party post was forced to fire in the air twice after he was allegedly short-changed.
Reports indicated the suspect, who was detained at Hardy Police Station had invested in the event and had hoped to bag a position, but after his name missed out, he rose to protest when he was confronted by the crowd.
During the meeting in which Wetangula was retained as party leader and also nominated as a presidential candidate, Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa was confirmed as secretary general, taking over from Tongaren MP Eseli Simiyu.
Kanduyi MP Wafula Wamunyinyi was replaced by Joel Ruhu as the party chairman while Mandu Mandu was retained as the organising secretary. Wamunyinyi and Simiyu, who denounced the meeting, had staged a botched coup in the party which is the subject of a court case.
“Today you have distinguished boys from men and girls from women and the party will now move forward,” Wetangula said in reference to the successful removal of the two rebels, noting that the yesterday’s event that was attended by Wiper boss Kalonzo Musyoka and Kanu’s Gideon Moi was a “renewal of the party”.
Ruhu said the party was ready to pardon rebels, but with conditions that they acknowledge they misbehaved and apologise to the party leader, who he said had been given “full authority and mandate to lead us and engage with other parties to form the government”.
“To these rebels who have been messing us up we welcome them back home. This is a great party.
Those who will accept their mistakes and seek forgiveness from our father Wetangula, they will be pardoned. But if they don’t, let them go completely,” he said.
Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malalah who represented Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi in the event chided the Eseli-Wamunyinyi axis, by asking “when you see Wetangula you see a party leader, but there are others who do not shave hair (in reference to Wamunyinyi) what kind of party leader is that?”
Kalonzo said One Kenya Alliance (OKA) was unbreakable, noting that after months of boardroom activities that had cast doubts on their seriousness, they had lined up serious events that would shock their competitors.
“We want to be able to move this country forward in a decisive manner. Those who have been saying that we have been in the boardroom now have reason to fear because an arsenal is being assembled. We have a nation to save,” the former Vice President said.
However, Wamunyinyi dismissed the NDC as illegal saying it had been stopped by the political parties tribunal.
Wetang’ula highlighted what OKA would implement if it wins, among them rejuvenating and enhancing corporation within the East African community as a way on improving economy and boosting farming by deliberately crafting and engineering policies that make farmers proud through better returns
Others are relief for Kenyan taxpayers by broadening the tax burden, improvement of forest cover by 25 per cent; equity and justice by ensuring all devolved functions are sent to counties and equitable resources shared.
But even as their team retaliated their determination to stick together and ensure they take over the country’s leadership mantle, they were put under pressure to name a flag bearer.
Lugari MP Ayub Savula who is ANC’s deputy party leader said: “This team here Mudavadi, Kalonzo, Wetangula and Moi must give us the presidential candidate through consensus.
Once we have one common course and we have one presidential candidate, let’s merge all documents into one coalition document and start moving.”
Kanu secretary general Nick Salat echoed the sentiments saying: “Let’s keep it short, get the leader (presidential candidate) that we want so that we can move on.”
But while Kanu, Wiper and Ford Kenya avoided direct attacks on former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, ANC through Malala did not spare him, saying if he is interested in working with them, he must join them before the elections or never.
“If there will be a handshake, it should be now, not after elections when people have died.
You, the handshake person, if you are genuine, come now. If we get the government, we will not accept a handshake after the elections. No handshake after bloodshed,” he said.