NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 11 – Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) women leaders have asked embattled Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa to respect party leader Raila Odinga and cease immediately linking him to her woes.
Led by the Deputy Secretary General Agnes Zani, the women MPs say the party’s decision to expel Jumwa over her rebellious behaviour was arrived at democratically, insisting the party constitution clearly stipulates provisions for kicking out a member deemed to be defiant.
The MPs’ remarks are the latest salvo to Jumwa’s supporters who have accused the Opposition outfit of being dishonest in their message of spreading unity and being champions of the handshake that brought forth a political truce between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Odinga.
“The party top organs sat and listened to Jumwa’s submissions and consequently made a decision about her fate. Claiming that our party leader is chasing out women from the party is a lie because ODM is a party of structures and we respect them and we would like other people to respect the structures as well,” she said Monday at the party’s headquarters.
Zani said their statement over Jumwa’s ouster from the party was prompted by concerns from their colleagues at the grassroots who demanded to know the party’s women position over the matter.
She was categorical that Jumwa had undeniably violated the party’s constitution by expressing interest towards another political party and this warranted disciplinary action.
Jumwa who has not shied away from expressing her support towards DP William Ruto on her part insists that her actions are purely backed by “towing the line in the spirit of the handshake”.
While acknowledging the role Jumwa played in the party, Zani challenged her to leave harmoniously if she feels she was accorded an unfair hearing and treatment and warned that hurling insults at Odinga would only damage her reputation.
Jumwa was expelled from the Opposition outfit early this month by the ODM National Governing Council but later got temporary reprieve after the Political Parties’ Disputes Tribunal suspended her expulsion.
The tribunal stopped the de-listing of her name from the ODM membership list and ordered for an inter-parties hearing.
“We have practiced a lot of restraint in this matter but we want to make it very clear and tell Jumwa that she is one of us but if you feel that the time has come for you to join other parties us being democrats in ODM all we can say is go well and in peace but please respect our party leaders and those who do,” she said.
Deputy President Ruto who has been at the centre of Jumwa’s tribulations because of her dalliance with him, recently defended Jumwa and castigated ODM for what he termed as barbaric and insincere democracy practiced by the Odinga-led group.
He accused ODM and its top leadership of advancing chauvinistic action against Jumwa.
In the meantime, Jumwa has vowed to stay put in ODM until 2022 when she is likely not to contest under the ODM ticket in Malindi or any other elective post.