Speaker suspends removal of Wetang’ula as Minority Leader

Written By: Hunja Macharia

NASA has removed Bungoma Senator Moses Masika Wetangula as the Senate Minority leader and replaced him with Siaya Senator James Orengo.

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Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka however says the election of Orengo as his replacement wasn’t done in accordance with the standing orders.

In this light, Lusaka says the removal though valid will remain suspended and will not take effect until NASA coalition elects a Senator to replace him in accordance with the Standing orders.

In his communication to the Senate Lusaka said he was in receipt of a letter from Senate Minority Whip Mutula Kilonzo informing him of the intended removal of Wetangula from the office of the Minority leader.

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According to the letter, 16 ODM Senators had a group parliamentary meeting where they resolved to remove Wetangula and replace him with Orengo.

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Lusaka says he is convinced that the 16 Senators comprise a majority of the 27 Senators belonging to the NASA coalition since the removal should be by a majority of the votes of Senators belonging to the coalition.

He states, “I find and hold that on the basis of the letter and the Minutes and signatures appended thereto, the criteria and threshold set out at Standing Order 20(4) has been met and Senator Moses Wetang’ula has been validly removed from the office of the Senate Minority Leader.”

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He however pointed out that the onus to elect his replacement shouldn’t be a preserve of ODM, saying “the meeting that purported to elect a new Minority Leader for the Senate is the ODM Parliamentary Group, an organ of a constituent party of the NASA Coalition, which entity is unknown to this Senate, the requirements of the Standing Order 20(5) have not been met.”

“accordingly, the removal of Senator Moses Wetang’ula as Senate Minority Leader though valid, stands suspended and will not take effect unless and until a Senator has been elected by the NASA Coalition in the manner provided by Standing Order 20(1)”

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Lusaka said the decision to suspend the removal is to avoid a situation where at any particular time; there is no occupant of the office of the Senate Minority Leader because the incumbent has been removed and no new one has been elected.

Wetangula has however dared NASA to go ahead with the removal saying he is a founder of NASA and not a guest. He says, “If anyone wants to divorce it will be noisy, messy, unhelpful and it will have causalities. I’m not going anywhere.”

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