Kenya: Ford Kenya 'Coup Plotters' Seek Wetang'ula's Forgiveness

Fresh details have emerged of efforts by Ford Kenya 'coup plotters' to reconcile with party leader Moses Wetang'ula.

This following the failed attempted coup of last year which was orchestrated by Wetang'ula's long time allies, Kanduyi MP Wafula Wamunyinyi, Tongaren MP Eseli Simiyu and Bungoma Governor Wycliffe Wangamati.

The party rebels had sought to oust Wetang'ula and replace him with Wamunyinyi as the interim party leader.

The leaders had accused Wetang'ula of gross misconduct, running the party like his personal kiosk, overstaying at the helm of the party, failure to call for a national delegates conference to elect new officials among other grievances.

Dr Simiyu, who is the party Secretary General, had also accused Wetang'ula of not giving the party sound direction during the period he has been in office.

"It gets to a point when party members realise you are leading them to nowhere and they decide that they want some new direction," Eseli said at the time.

However, the claims were dismissed by Wetang'ula, who took over the party's leadership from former Local Government Minister and former Webuye MP Musikari Kombo in 2009.

Political differences

The Senator then acquired conservatory orders from the High Court barring the Registrar of Political Parties from making any changes in Ford-Kenya. This after the registrar had published an intent to gazette Wamunyinyi as the new party leader.

But in a new turn of events, the Nation has now learnt that the party rebels have been sending emissaries to Wetang'ula in an effort to iron out their political differences.

A close friend to Mr Wamunyinyi revealed to the Nation that the party rebels are now seeking reconciliation with Wetang'ula following the failed coup attempt.

"We have had to go back to the drawing table after the party convincingly won the recent Kabuchai by-election. We want to bury the hatchet and work together," our source said.

Wangamati, Wamunyinyi and Eseli kept off the campaign for the parliamentary seat which was won by Ford Kenya's Majimbo Kalasinga.

However, senator Wetang'ula's aide Mr Wafula Wakoli said he is unaware of any reconciliation talks.

"I'm not aware of any reconciliation talks. All I can say is that in any religious or political setting, forgiveness is an act of heroism and heroic restoration to a remorseful heart," he said.

Reconciliation talks

But Wakoli was quick to add that if reconciliation is to occur it will not be through secrets meetings but rather in public where the party rebels subjected the party, its leadership and members to ridicule.

"If we can have people of sound mind going to public to speak lies and spit venom at the second oldest democratic party in the country and its leader, all in the name of a coup, it will likewise be prudent for them to go to the same platforms and seek forgiveness before reconciliation is arrived at," he said.

At the same time, Dr Simiyu has similarly refuted claims of such reconciliation talks.

"No elder has approached nor informed me about these allegations. All I know is that the matter is in court," he said.

The MP also said that before such talks happen then those who took the matter to court, led by Mr Wetang'ula, should first withdrawal the lawsuit.

"If this matter goes on the way it is, then it will negatively impact the party in the 2022 General Elections," he said.

Mr Wamunyinyi, on his part, declined to comment on the matter when the Nation reached him.

Meeting with clan elders

This even as elders from Wamunyinyi's Bakimweyi clan are reported to have met Wetang'ula on Sunday at his Namuyemba home in Kanduyi.

Details of the talks remain scanty, although Ndivisi ward MCA Martin Wanyonyi, who was attended the meeting, said the clan elders apologised to Wetang'ula on behalf of Wamunyinyi and that the senator accepted the apology.

"The clan elders requested the senator to be their guest of honour in a funds drive scheduled for April 30 and Wetang'ula accepted the invitation," he said.

These new developments come amid talks of Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka joining Ford Kenya and vying for the Bungoma gubernatorial seat in 2022.

Lusaka has of late been enjoying a cordial relationship with Wetangu'la. The two leaders have recently jointly attended various functions and events across the county's nine constituencies.

The rift in Ford Kenya has also sparked interest from ODM party which commands considerable following in Western Kenya.

Last month, during the burial of Bungoma Governor Wycliffe Wangamati's mother in Bungoma town, ODM Secretary General Edwin Sifuna offered to accommodate the 'rebels' should they be ejected from Ford Kenya.

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