Mudavadi in office illegally, ANC official tells Registrar

Friday, June 19th, 2020 00:00 |
ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi. Photo/PD/FILE

Eric Wainaina and Mercy Mwai

Former Vice-President Musalia Musavadi’s stay at the helm of the Amani National Congress (ANC) leadership was yesterday challenged by a faction that kicked off a process intended to remove him from office. 

A petition has been sent to the Registrar of Political Parties demanding election of party officials in a move that could see Mudavadi forced to defend his position and have the National Executive Council (NEC), which is allied to him, replaced.

Mudavadi is accused of perpetuating illegalities including staying in office despite expiry of his term last Monday, and nepotism. 

The ANC leader has accused outside forces of trying to destabilise the party.

In a letter dated June 17, 2020 to the Registrar of Political Parties Ann Nderitu, Angela Gathoni, who claims to be a founder member and youth leader at the party, lists a litany of accusations against Mudavadi and other officials.

Observers have interpreted the move as the beginning of a process that could lead to  Mudavadi’s ouster, as was the case with  Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula who is fighting to retain his post as the Ford Kenya leader. 

Wetangula was ousted last month in an internal coup led by Kanduyi MP Wafula Wamunyinyi and his Tongaren counterpart Eseli Simiyu.

Plan B

Nominated MP Godfrey Osotsi, who has been accused of plotting to overthrow Mudavadi, recently demanded that the party calls elections, saying the terms of its officials had come to an end.

His Lugari counterpart Ayub Savula last week claimed that an ODM MP had asked him to lead efforts to remove Mudavadi from the party’s leadership.

Yesterday, Savula the ANC deputy party leader, linked the petition to a plot to remove Mudavadi.

 “This (petition) is almost similar to the coup at Ford Kenya. They (ODM) wanted to use me but I refused.

The plan A (to eject Mudavadi) failed and now they have plan B. I am sure that the Registrar of Political Parties will ignore it,” Savula told People Daily.

But Osotsi, who served as the party secretary general until he was removed last year, insists Musalia’s term has come to an end. 

“I am not going to engage in an undemocratic process by staging a coup but I now demand, for the interest of the party members, that as a party we need to have elections,” said the Nominated MP, who was expelled from the party in March 2019 for allegedly leaning towards ODM.

End of term

He added: “Those who say Osotsi wants to carry out a coup, I want to tell them that they have overthrown themselves because they have waited until their term expires without calling for the election.”

Yesterday, Nderitu confirmed to People Daily  that she had received  Gathoni’s petition and that she had been in communication with parties, including ANC, to ensure they comply with all  regulations.

 According to Gathoni’s petition, ANC was founded in July 2017 and a certificate of registration was issued on July 13, 2017 for a term of five years “less one month for public announcement and notification of elections in line with the party nominations and election procedures.”

“The term on the said officials came to an end on Monday, 15th June, 2020,” Gathoni said in the petition signed by lawyer George Wandati.

Despite the expiry of the terms, the party has shown no intention of holding elections, which she said was contrary to a communication from ORPP regarding the planning, organisation and conduct of the election.

 “The party has not issued any notice of elections as contemplated by Article 2.2 of the Party Nomination and Election rules and procedures that requires a public notice of at least 21 days. The party has not sought extension of time to conduct the elections as per the established practice,” reads the petition.

Nepotism claim

Further, she said, ANC — which Mudavadi used to sign a pre-election pact with ODM, Wiper and Ford Kenya, to form the National Super Alliance (Nasa) in 2017 — does not have properly constituted NEC and National Elections Board which are critical in the planning and execution of elections.

As currently constituted, the petitioner argues, ANC perpetuates nepotism because a significant number of its officials “have direct personal and family relationship with Mudavadi”. According to Gathoni, some of the officials are either his employees or close relatives.

She wants the Registar to declare that  NEC is not properly constituted and, therefore, announce a vacancy and order the party to hold elections.

Osotsi and Barack Muluka’s dispute over the position of secretary general is also a subject of the petition. 

Gathoni accuses Muluka of illegally laying claim to the position since the process of replacing Osotsi had never been completed.

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