2022 poll losers now eye key seats in UDA polls

UDA election

 A UDA party member votes during the second phase of the grassroots elections at Asumbi Primary School in Rangwe Constituency, Homa Bay County, on May 18, 2024.

Photo credit: George Odiwuor | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • In West Pokot, the defection of Prof Lonyangapuo to UDA has triggered fierce political battles.
  • In Homa Bay, former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero described the elections as largely successful.

Some of the 2022 poll losers who defected from their parties to join President William Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance (UDA) have entered the battle for key party positions with an eye on the 2027 General Elections.

UDA on Sunday conducted ward level elections in Nairobi, Narok, Homa Bay, Busia and West Pokot counties with more 24,000 candidates contesting various positions.

Former governors Evans Kidero (Nairobi) and John Lonyangapuo (West Pokot) are some of the big names that have shown an interest in the positions.

Dr Kidero told the Nation that he will be running for one of the top positions nationally.

“I will make the position known at the right time,” said Dr Kidero, who is one of President Ruto’s key allies in Homa Bay County.

Those in his circle disclosed that he is likely to run for one of the newly created Assistant Deputy Party Leader positions.

In West Pokot, the defection of Prof Lonyangapuo to UDA has triggered fierce political battles. Pokot South MP David Pkosing, a Kenya Union Party (KUP) legislator, has indicated that he could run on a UDA party ticket in the next elections.

Both Prof Lonyangapuo and Mr Pkosing are eyeing the governorship and might face the incumbent, Mr Simon Kachapin, who is gunning for the county’s UDA chairmanship against Senator Julius Murgor.

Largely successful

Kapenguria MP Samuel Moroto is vying for the county secretary-general post and will face off against Mr Mzalendo Plimo.

In Homa Bay, Dr Kidero described Sunday's elections as largely successful after the party added a physical register for identification of delegates.

"We had a few incidents in the last exercise. Today, however, everything is fine," he said.

At Sero Primary School in Homa Bay Town Constituency, voting went on smoothly despite some hitches. A candidate, Mr Thomas Odoyo, who is vying for the position of secretary in Homa Bay Town Central Ward, claimed his name was missing from the system and no one could vote for him.

Former Rangwe MP Martin Ogindo, who voted at Sero, said the case was presented before the UDA elections tribunal.

He said he witnessed people whose names are missing from the electronic register and all the complaints have been forwarded to the relevant offices.

"The process has been successful," Mr Ogindo said, adding that no incident of violence was reported anywhere in the county.

In Nairobi, voting began around 10 am. These elections were only restricted to delegates previously elected in phase one of the elections conducted in April and May, the party said.

“Eligible voters include elected polling centre delegates from the grassroots election conducted on April 26, 2024, and May 4 to 5th 2024 … as well as nominated and elected members of the county assembly,” said National Election Board chair Anthony Mwaura.

Reporting by Moses Nyamori, Oscar Kakai, George Odiwuor and Daniel Ogetta