Rift grows in Kenya Kwanza over seats Western

ANC party leader Musaliia Mudavadi

ANC party leader Musaliia Mudavadi addresses the press at a Nairobi hotel on April 9, 2022 where the National Assembly Speaker and also leader of the Democratic Party (DP) Justin Muturi inked a deal to join the Kenya Kwanza alliance led by Deputy President Ruto.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

A political war is playing out among political parties in Kenya Kwanza over fielding candidates in Western.

The battle pits Deputy President William Ruto UDA party against ANC and Ford-K led by Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetang’ula.

The UDA Party is rooting for its candidates to be elected despite disquiet among coalition members from Western region, an area perceived to be Mr Mudavadi and Mr Wetangula’s backyard.

The region is presumed to be the preserve of ANC and Ford Kenya whose leaders are charged with the burden of delivering at least 70 per cent of Western votes to Ruto, for them to benefit from government if they win.

Mr Mudavadi and Senator Wetang’ula parties are hurt by UDA move to make inroads in Western and the ANC honcho had to plead with residents not to elect candidates of the DP’s party.

In a video that has gone viral, Mr Mudavadi now wants his backyard to support leaders vying on his party ticket and not those seeking seats under UDA.

He asked residents not to embarrass him by voting in UDA candidates as the area is perceived as his political bastion.

“If you look keenly, do you think Sugoi residents can elect an ANC MP in their backyard despite some of us being in one coalition? Let’s be honest and say the truth much as we are going to form a government... Ruto's home MP will be from UDA. Don’t embarrass me in this forthcoming general election; just give me an ANC MP in my backyard,” said Mr Mudavadi.

UDA has fielded Mr Clement Siloya for the parliamentary seat in Sabatia, Vihiga County, the home turf of Mr Mudavadi. The ANC leader said that because they had given UDA the two top positions of president and his deputy, Dr Ruto should not interfere in the other seats. He lamented that Dr Ruto fielding candidates in Vihiga Count is denying him the chance to have an ANC legislator in his own home turf.

“Let us, therefore, respect each other and observe boundaries because these numbers are very crucial in the coming days. We shall not get the 70 per cent if we do not have our own governors, senators, MPs and MCAs,” he added, urging UDA to consider withdrawing Mr Siloya from the race.

Mr Siloya is seeking to replace Mr Alfred Agoi, who succeeded Mr Mudavadi as MP in 2013.

UDA chairman Johnson Muthama told Saturday Nation that the agreement with those parties is based on supporting Dr Ruto’s State House bid but not supporting each other parties’ aspirants.

“Our coalition is based on supporting the presidential candidate, not on supporting each other’s candidates. Those claiming that they are being discriminated against are mistaken,” he said.

Mr Muthama said the parties are free to hold their rallies and even use DP Ruto’s photo on their posters and their leaders should be campaigning for them because UDA will continue supporting its own contenders.

Former Senator Boni Khalwale, who is the UDA senatorial candidate in Kakamega, said Kenya Kwanza is not a coalition party but a pre-election alliance of parties with distinct identities.

By Shaban Makokha, Onyango K’Onyango and Ndubi Moturi