No party will be coerced to fold up, DP Gachagua assures Kenya Kwanza parties

Rigathi Gachagua

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua says no one in Kenya Kwanza will be forced to fold up their parties to join UDA.

Photo credit: Pool I Nation Media Group

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has assured Kenya Kwanza affiliate parties that they will not be coerced to fold and join the United Democratic Alliance (UDA).

He said the merger in the ruling coalition will take place voluntarily.

Since assuming office as UDA Secretary General, Cleophas Malala has turned out to be rabble rouser in Kenya Kwanza saying that the likes of Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi, National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetang'ula and his Senate counterpart Amason Kingi and Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Dr Alfred Mutua who are associated with Amani National Congress (ANC), Ford Kenya, Pamoja African Alliance (PAA) and Maendeleo Chap Chap (MCC) respectively can only be in government after dissolving their parties.

But on Sunday, DP Gachagua broke his silence saying that he has advised Mr Malala not to force anyone in Kenya Kwanza to fold up their parties and join UDA saying that they believe in democracy.

"That's Mr Malala's idea of making UDA a strong party. When President William Ruto and I, with our National Executive Council (NEC) decided to pick him to be the Secretary General of UDA, it is because we really appreciated his qualities, his energy, his passion and vigour. That's what we need for a party,"

"Probably his style is a little bit different. I have discussed with him, we do not want to coerce anybody to fold up. We are happy with existence framework, but if along the way the constituent parties consider that it is desirable to fold up and join UDA, so be it," said Mr Gachagua.

The DP said the Kenya Kwanza affiliate parties who will want to remain independent in the framework of the ruling coalition will be respected.

If President Ruto and his team manage to persuade other party chiefs, it means that18 political parties including ANC,  Ford Kenya, PAA, Attorney General Justin Muturi’s Democratic Party, Laikipia East MP Mwangi Kiunjuri’s The Service Party, former Kiambu Governor William Kabogo’s Tujibebe Wakenya Party, Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Dr Alfred Mutua’s Maendeleo Chap Chap (MCC) and Mandera Senator Ali Roba’s United Democratic Movement will have to fold.

Other Kenya Kwanza affiliate parties are the Communist Party of Kenya, the Farmers Party, the Devolution Party of Kenya, the Economic Freedom Party, the Umoja na Maendeleo Party, the National Agenda Party of Kenya, the Grand Dream Development Party, Ugenya MP David Ochieng’s Movement for Democracy and Growth (MDG) and Chama Cha Mashinani of the former Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto.

In an event that President Ruto succeeds in persuading the Kenya Kwanza to fold and join UDA, he would bag Sh155.4 million more from the 13 parties which qualify for the political parties’ fund increasing UDA’s worth to Sh732.5 million and it is on this basis that these parties are not ready to fold.

According to the Political Parties Act, upon receipt of the request, the Registrar shall gazette within seven days the dissolution of and also transfer the records, assets, liabilities, rights, and obligations of parties to UDA including their entitlement to the Political Parties Fund under Section 25 of the Act.

Some UDA MPs like Nyaribari Chache MP Zaheer Jhanda have been asking President Ruto not to appoint allies of the likes of Mr Mudavadi, Speaker Wetang’ula, Mr Muturi and Dr Mutua as Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) and ambassadors until they dissolve their parties.

“We are saying that since we are in a coalition, why can't we come together and form one party just like CPC of China, African National Congress (ANC) of South Africa and Tanzania’s Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM). Since these leaders are serving in KKA under the leadership of Dr Ruto where we accommodated them after joining us on their own volition, now, let them fold up and join UDA,” said Mr Jhanda.

He added: “If they are not willing or uncomfortable with the idea, they can as well leave the government. At this moment, we are not requesting but demanding they fold their parties. I also dare them to resign from their positions in government if they cannot dissolve their parties. We have formed the government and what we are pursuing now is the future. They have to toe the line or leave the government.”