Deputy President William Ruto will contest the presidency on a United Democratic Alliance (UDA) ticket as it emerges that Kenya Kwanza will be coalition of parties, not a coalition party.
Further, the coalition agreement the Kenya Kwanza team has been negotiating will provide that sharing of government positions will be pegged on the performance of every constituent party in the General Election.
This will potentially give the DP’s party more powers and positions in government than coalition partners. At the same time, the running mate position remains a key issue in Kenya Kwanza.
Away from the public eye, Dr Ruto’s Mt Kenya allies are engaged in fierce rivalries as he prepares to name a running mate.
For the last nine years, there has been an unwritten understanding between the DP and Mt Kenya politicians that they will support his presidential bid. But they also expect Dr Ruto to name running mate from the region.
However, the rule has been put to test with the creation of Kenya Kwanza.
With yesterday being the deadline for depositing agreements for coalition parties, Kenya Kwanza alliance which brings together DP Ruto’s UDA, Amani National Congress (ANC) of Musalia Mudavadi and Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula’s Ford Kenya, the Sunday Nation learnt that it has not been registered with the Registrar of Political Parties.
In January, President Kenyatta signed into law the Political Parties (Amendment) Bill that allowed for registration of coalitions as political parties.
Only the Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya Coalition Political Party has been registered in this dispensation.
According to the new law, coalition agreements must be registered at the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties by April 9, exactly four months before the General Election.
Registrar of Political Parties Ann Nderitu yesterday said only the agreement of Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya Coalition Political Party has been deposited with her office.
“April 9 is the deadline for coalition parties to deposit their agreements while the one for the coalition of parties is May 8. The others still have time,” she said.
Negotiations to continue
UDA chairman Johnson Muthama said Kenya Kwanza alliance has not been registered but the name has been reserved for negotiations to continue.
“On whether it will be a coalition party, those are details being discussed. It will be known after tomorrow’s deadline,” Mr Muthama said on Friday.
The Kenya Kwanza Coalition name was reserved by Mr Mudavadi through his chief of staff, Godfrey Kanoti, last year when the ANC leader, alongside his Ford-Kenya colleague were still members of One Kenya Alliance (OKA).
OKA’s name was reserved by Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka’s camp.
Allies of the DP yesterday said UDA would sponsor him as the presidential candidate.
Murang’a Senator Irungu Kang’ata told the Sunday Nation that there is no agreement on the DP using the Kenya Kwanza alliance ticket in his presidential bid.
He added that the DP’s allies have been campaigning for UDA knowing he would use the party to contest the presidency.
“UDA will be his party. That is why he has been selling the party,” Dr Kang’ata said.
“The deadline is about depositing a coalition agreement. That doesn’t necessarily mean the agreement must provide that the presidential candidate must come from the alliance. It can provide the opposite. We shall have to disclose this information in the agreement by tomorrow.”
Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa said though Dr Ruto partnered with Mr Mudavadi and Mr Wetang’ula, he would not contest the presidency on the coalition’s ticket.
“Kenya Kwanza is only a coalition agreement which the parties will append signatures. Ruto will contest the presidency on a UDA ticket,” Mr Barasa said.
During the introduction of National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi to the Ruto camp yesterday, leaders allied to the DP said the decision to share government positions based on performance is aimed at rewarding parties in the alliance, while averting a possible fallout.
Democratic Party patron Joseph Munyao said the deal between parties making up Kenya Kwanza is in such a way that every outfit would be treated equally.
“The Democratic Party joins Kenya Kwanza as a distinct party. All party leaders are equal in the management of the coalition,” Mr Munyao said.
“Any member of the coalition can exit within 30 days from now. The Kenya Kwanza government shall be shared on the basis of the elected numbers that is MCAs, MPs, woman representatives, senators, governors and the rest.”
The alliance has proposed consensus to decide on its presidential candidate, even though Dr Ruto is the leading contender.
Reported by Onyango K’Onyango, Walter Menya and Silas Apollo