‘Join political arena if you wish to be full-time politician’ – ODM tells Wetang’ula
The Orange Democratic (ODM) has responded to National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetangula's remarks regarding the ousting of rebel party members.
Wetangula had earlier slammed ODM leader Raila Odinga for expelling the five legislators accusing him of double-speak. The speaker went on to state that the move by ODM confirmed that the party lacked democracy.
The speaker who was speaking during a church service at St Mary Catholic Church in Uriri constituency, Migori county on Sunday, September 10, 2023, also wondered why the party did not oust Raila when he met with President William Ruto in Mombasa.
He further urged the expelled party members to keep their heads high and not feel intimidated but instead continue working with the President.
"Don't be preaching democracy while there is none in your parties. You can’t preach democracy for the masses and fight the same democracy in his party. This is draconian behaviour which must end," Wetang'ula said.
Adding: "If it's good for a party leader to go and sit with President William Ruto in Mombasa and talk about Kenya, it is equally good for Nyamita to meet the president and talk about Uriri To my brothers who were expelled, defend and uphold the constitution of Kenya on the oath that you took to serve the people of Kenya, don't be intimidated in any way,"
But in a response today, ODM told off the speaker wondering why the speaker who is supposed to be a neutral arbiter in legislative and political party issues was taking sides in partisan matters.
Continuing its spiel, the party questioned why Wetang'ula was not emulating speakers like Francis Ole Kaparo, Kenneth Marende, or even Fred Mati who according to them, delivered their roles without picking sides despite being sponsored by their parties.
"We have noted with great concern over the past few months that Hon. Moses Wetangula, perhaps in conforming to typical character, in undertaking his duties has opted to be merely a Kenya Kwanza appendage and nothing more. This is truly sad, given that great men have occupied that office during critical moments in the country's history and acquitted themselves brilliantly in handling disputes.
"The country will not forget in a hurry speakers like Kenneth Marende, Francis Ole Kaparo or Fred Mati, who were confronted at different points by heavily divisive issues, and the country survived only because these gentlemen picked the path of statesmanship over sycophancy or partisanship," ODM said.
Statement on remarks made by Speaker of the National Assembly @HonWetangula last weekend regarding the decision taken by the Party on rebel members. pic.twitter.com/8OJDijTr41— The ODM Party (@TheODMparty) September 13, 2023
Further, the party maintained that the decision taken on the rebels stood still and that they expected Wetang'ula to declare the seats vacant.
They also dared Wetang'ula to exit from his role and join them in the political scene if he if he wants to engage in politics.
"If Wetangula feels constrained to speak, we challenge him to lay down the instruments and garb the office of speaker and meet us on the political platform like any other politician, so that we can take on him as we have effectively done in the past.
"We have no intention of engaging in a war of words with the speaker of the National Assembly. But henceforth, as long as he continues making these unfortunate and divisive utterances, we will separate Wetangula the Speaker from Wetangula the politician and deal with him like any other political opponent," ODM added.