By Joe Dinga Pefok
Apparently the only noticeable change that occured in the composition of the Bureau of the Senate for the 2021/2022 parliamentary year that took place yesterday (Thursday, March 18, 2021), was the replacement of one of the Vice Presidents, Senator Mme Nkeze Emilia Kalebong, of the frontline opposition party, SDF.
She was replaced by Senator Vanigansen Mochiggle, who for many years has been a close and trusted collaborator of the National Chairman of the SDF, Ni John Fru Ndi. It should be noted that this change was supposed to take place last year, but Senator Nkeze exploited Fru Ndi’s absence from the country, and played a fast one to hang on to the post for another one year.
Fru Ndi Plays Gender Politics
Meanwhile in a bid to play some gender politics, the Investiture Committee of the SDF, or better still the National Chairman of the party, Ni John Fru Ndi, put Mme Nkeze Emilia as Head of the SDF list for the Northwest Region at the last senatorial elections which took place on March 25, 2018. SDF won the elections by absolute majority in the Northwest Region, and thus grabbed all the seven seats.
Well it happened that SDF won only in the Northwest Region , and thus had to enter the Senate only with that seven seats. But it also happened that the ruling CPDM was declared winner in all the other nine regions of the country. Further more, the 30 senators that were appointed by the President of the Republic, were also almost all of the CPDM.
So the SDF with its seven elected senators, maintained its second position in the Senate, and as is the tradition was allocated one of the five posts of Vice Presidents. Still in line with gender politics, Chairman Fru Ndi designated Senator Nkeze Emilia to occupy that post of Vice President allocated to the SDF. There was also a gender balance here, because by then Hon Joseph Mbam Ndam (now of blessed memory), was occupying one of the five posts of Vice President of the National Assembly. A post that then was occupied by the SDF which was the second patty in the National Assembly in terms of seats. Worthnoting that today that post is occupied by Bello Bouba Maigari’s UNDP, which is the second party in the National Assembly in terms of seats.
Senator Nkeze Fails To Live Up To Expectations
Meanwhile it didn’t take long for the National Chairman of the SDF, Ni John Fru Ndi, and others to get disappointed with the way Senator Nkeze Emilia, who had the opportunity to occupy one of the posts of Vice President of the Senate, was doing things. Fru Ndi had expected her to become a close collaborator as Hon Mbah Ndam had been doing, but she was unfortunately not doing things as expected of a close collaborator. SDF sources say she did not make her weight fell through her contribution in the party in different aspects.
Rather, Senator Nkeze Emilia apparently thought that her own turn had come for her to chop. The SDF leadership was reportedly not also please with the way she was getting very close to the CPDM – led management of the Senate, The CPDM was reportedly happy to work with her, because they considered her weak.
First Attempt To Remove Senator Nkeze.
Meanwhile we learnt that the relationship between the National Chairman of the SDF and the Vice President of the Senate, got really sour when Fru Ndi was abroad for medical attention, and Nkeze would rarely call him, even though she was supposed to be one of his close collaborators. The lady could stay for three months or even more, without bordering to give Chairman Fru Ndi a call.
Suffice to say in March last year when there had to be the traditional composition of the Bureau of the Senate for the next one year, the SDF leader who was then out of the country, addressed a correspondence to the Secretary General of the Senate to inform the institution that the SDF leadership had designated Senator Vanigansen Mochiggle to replace Senator Nkeze Emilia in the post of Vice President.
The 1st Vice National Chairman of the SDF, Hon Joshua Nambangi Osih, to whom Fru Ndi sent the correspondence to take to the Senate, called all the SDF senators including Mme Nkeze, to a meeting, and presented the message or decision of the National Chairman.
But it soon turned out that Senator Nkeze who did not raise any objection at that meeting, had her secret plan to block Chairman Fru Ndi’s decision. It happened that Fru Ndi’s correspondence was in French, apparently in a bid to avoid any misunderstanding by those to who it was addressed. It is certain that Fru Ndi’s wrote the correspondence in English, and it was translated into French, and then he signed.
Meanwhile we learnt that when Hon Osih deposited the correspondence at the Senate and left, Senator Nkeze told her CPDM friends that were incharge of the composition of the Bureau of the Senate, that the correspondence was fake. Her argument was that Fru Ndi does not write French.
But even though the CPDM guys reportedly recognised Fru Ndi’s signature, they however agreed to exploit that allegation and maintain Nkeze in the post of Vice President of the Senate. Suffice to say by the time Osih and others realized what was happening, and tried to push back against the allegation that the correspondence from the Chairman Fru Ndi was fake, it was too late.
Senator Nkeze thus successfully played her gane, and one more year as a Vice President of the Senate, with all the advantages that go with the post.
Worthnoting that for the five year mandate she as Senator, she has occupied the post of Vice President of the House for three years. Not bad! She should have made some good money.