Kiminini MP Wamalwa reveals the genesis of Ford Kenya party rift

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Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa (left) and Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula (centre)
Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa (left) and Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula (centre)

Kiminini MP Dr. Chris Wamalwa has pointed out that the wrangles being seen in Ford Kenya party arose from changes in the Bungoma County Assembly. After a week of an ever increasing split in the party, two camps, one led by Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula and Kanduyi MP Wafula Wamunyinyi, are still grappling for full control of the party. The Wamunyinyi led team announced the ouster of Wetangula on 31st May, and hours later in a rejoinder, Wetangula, accompanied by other leaders including MP Dr. Chris Wamalwa dispelled the changes, suspending party Secretary General David Eseli and Wafula Wamunyinyi in the process.

Speaking to West FM during an interview on Sunday, Wamalwa recounted the events that led up to the ouster, whose effects are still playing out in public eye. He said before the day of the ouster, Bungoma Senator Wetangula, who was with the Kiminini MP at the time, got wind of the plot, from the party deputy leader and Kitutu Chache MP Richard Onyonka, “He called Wetangula and told him of the planned coup, led by Bungoma Governor Wycliffe Wanagamati, Tongaren MP David Eseli and Kanduyi MP Wafula Wamunyinyi,” said Wamalwa. He said the leaders then met at a hotel in Karen, where Onyonka divulged that the Wamunyinyi team had offered him money to be part of the coup to remove Wetangula as the party leader and it was also established that the rift had started after recent events at the Bungoma County Assembly.

In the Bungoma Assembly, the the Majority Leader Florence Fulano of Maeni ward was removed and replaced by Joseph Juma Nyongesa of Tuti ward, and it was alleged that Wetangula was behind the move to replace her. Nyongesa was keen on the oversight role of the assembly, something which displeased Governor Wangamati as a result. , “Wetangula can’t interfere with the County Assembly because its role is to provide oversight,” affirmed Wamalwa.

The growing discord stretched further, when Tongaren MP and Ford Kenya Secretary General David Eseli wrote a letter to the County Assembly, saying he doesn’t affirm the leadership changes in the party because they had not been ratified by the party leadership, “We told him that he did things against the law by writing a letter to the Assembly. It’s an independent body,” added the Kiminini MP. He said after the Karen meeting, they didn’t see Onyonka again, but party members were flown in from far flung areas like Kisumu, Siaya, Mombasa, Kwale and were taken in at Radisson Blue hotel in Nairobi, “It’s said they were each given Kshs 50,000,” he said.

The announcement on Wetangula’s ouster followed hours later, and the Kiminini MP, who was also ousted as the opposition deputy minority leader, has questioned who financed the meeting and how the party members could be flown in yet the party can’t avail such a hefty sum of money. Governor Wangamati allegedly rejected the chance to lead the party because he has hurdles to deal with in Bungoma County and Eseli also rejected the party leader seat according to Wamalwa. Wamunyinyi declined at first offer but accepted it after some consideration.