Malala to Mudavadi, Wetang’ula, Mutua: Fold parties or quit posts
New United Democratic Alliance (UDA) Secretary General Cleophas Malala has told senior government officials in the Kenya Kwanza administration who are still clinging to their parties to choose between being in government or quitting the positions and holding on to their political outfits.
Mr Malala who spoke in Ahero, Kisumu County during a UDA party membership recruitment exercise said those who fail to relinquish their party positions will have to forget about their positions in government.
The former Kakamega senator said the officials must ensure their parties, as well as all parties in Kenya Kwanza, are dissolved to join UDA – the party that sponsored President William Ruto to power.
“You have no business being a Cabinet Secretary if you are still holding onto your party,” said Mr Malala.
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The remarks could be seen to be targeting Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Alfred Mutua, who heads the Maendeleo Chap Chap party, and National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetang’ula, who is the Ford Kenya leader.
Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi ceded his leadership of the Amani National Congress (ANC) party to Lamu governor Issa Timamy, while Trade Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria’s Chama Cha Kazi (CCK) has already started the process of folding to join UDA.
Mr Malala spoke in the political backyard of the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition leader Raila Odinga, saying his first assignment was to try and turn the political wave in the opposition stronghold in favour of the ruling UDA party.
Mr Malala further warned politicians who troop to the State House to meet President Ruto without any serious agenda to promote UDA at the grassroots.
He said the party will no longer accommodate such politicians and had chosen to work with leaders who have remained loyal to UDA and President Ruto.
He urged UDA delegates from Kisumu County to refrain from internal conflicts and instead focus on recruiting new members.
This follows a confrontation that almost saw the party meeting turn chaotic in Ahero following party differences among the senior members.
Former Kisumu Senator Fred Outa had asked Mr Erick Osenya and Mr Clive Natome who are running parallel UDA offices to shake hands and work together for the sake of unity when part of the delegates started protesting.
The two are said to have built separate UDA offices in Kiboswa, Kisumu West and Milimani, Kisumu Central using their own funds.
"We will be having the party elections in August, those who want to be party chair, secretaries, or treasures should, therefore, focus on recruiting new members for them to remain relevant during elections," said Mr Malala.
This has come even as a section of the party members dismissed claims of division in the party while saying most of the offices had been opened to serve members in the sub-counties.
Mr Malala said that the party elections will be based on the popularity of the individuals vying for elective positions.
“Even if you keep opening more party offices across the county, without anyone in the office, you can never be a chairman," said Mr Malala.
He said: “I am begging you the people of Kisumu, let us agree to focus on voter registration, we will then focus on party elections.”
Mr Malala was accompanied by Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei, UDA party treasurer Japheth Nyakundi, former Sports CS Rashid Echesa, former Kisumu governor Jack Ranguma, former Kisumu Senator Fred Outa and former Nyakach MP Ochieng Daima.
According to Mr Malala, the party targets to register over 240,000 new members before the end of the month.
He also said that the party will open offices across the wards and sub-counties.
"We are open to new members regardless of their political background or parties they are from, we are working towards making UDA the main party in Kenya apart from being the ruling party," said Mr Malala.
Mr Malala further assured the residents that the government is working on lowering the cost of essential commodities including cooking flour to at least Sh100 in the next four months.
The UDA party members scoffed at anti-government rallied by Mr Odinga over the high cost and the push for reforms at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
Led by Nandi Senator Mr Cherargei, the leaders called out the Azimio rallies claiming they are campaigns meant to destabilize the Kenya Kwanza government.
“Mr Odinga has been protesting election results since the era of Moi, down to Kibaki, Uhuru and now Ruto. He should have also organised himself to rig the election in his favour,” said Senator Cherargei.