Kenya: Wetangula Accused of Intimidating NEC Officials in Battle to Retain Ford-Kenya

Nairobi — The woes in FORD Kenya party continued to escalate on Friday after the faction that staged Moses Wetangula's ouster as the Party Leader re-filed the contested leadership changes at the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties in Nairobi on Friday.

FORD-Kenya Secretary General Eseli Simiyu alleged that the Wetangula-led group had resorted to intimidating some members of the National Executive Council (NEC) who he insisted backed the leadership changes made on May 31.

Simiyu accused Wetangula of sending threatening messages to some of the party members in a bid to coerce them into signing affidavits denouncing their support for his ouster.

"Our colleagues are actually sending intimidating statements and threats to the members of the NEC who were part of the special meeting that was held last month and they are trying to intimidate them into denouncing their support for the changes in the party," he claimed.

The Tongaren lawmaker said it was unfortunate that Wetangula had opted to cling to power by all means instead of conceding to a, "democratically sanctioned process".

He claimed that Wetangula had threatened to de-whip some ward representatives from their positions in their respective county assemblies if they will not withdraw their support for the change of leadership in the party.

"Elected MCAs are being threatened from being de-whipped from their position in committees in the county assemblies," Simiyu said.

Consequently, the Tongaren lawmaker said that he will be recording an official statement with the police demanding for assurances of the safety of the NEC members even as he urged them to remain steadfast despite the threats.

"Our members should not panic, the law is on their side and we are going to report this to the police to make sure our NEC members are protected from the threats," he said.

He told Wetangula to wait for the delegates conference to contest for the party leader position if he is still interested in it rather than engaging in side shows.

"We haven't expelled him from the party, if he is still interested in the position, let him respond the accusations before contesting again," he said.

Kanduyi lawmaker Wafula Wamunyinyi who was named as the Interim Party Leader stressed that the change of guard in the party was sanctioned by a majority of the members.

He noted that former party members including Former Webuye MP Musikari Kombo, Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development Dr Mukhisa Kituyi and other members had welcomed the changes in the party.

"It is sad that our colleagues have now turned to threats and intimidations to the NEC members who participated in a democratic process of changing party officials, let them join us in moving the party forward," he said.

Wetangula has remained adamant on retaining his position in the party insisting that his ouster was illegally orchestrated.

He went ahead to suspend Simiyu and Wamunyinyi from the pasty's position of Secretary General and member of the National Assembly Agriculture and Livestock Committee respectively.

Wetangula has since accused ODM Party Leader Raila Odinga of orchestrating his removal from the party leadership and forcefully imposing the leadership changes, claims lieutenants of the former Prime Minister have dismissed.

Political Parties Registrar Anne Nderitu is expected to give a way forward on who has the rightful claim to the party after reviewing statutory documents filed by opposing camps.

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