Rumble in ANC: You are on your own, party officials tell Mudavadi

ANC Secretary-General Omboko Milemba.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

The confusion within the Amani National Congress (ANC) party over plans to fold and join President William Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance (UDA) continued yesterday, with more officials disowning such talks.

The current confusion within the party founded by Prime Cabinet Secretary (PCS) Musalia Mudavadi has only intensified with the party’s top brass rejecting any dissolution to create a giant ruling party in the country.

ANC Secretary-General Omboko Milemba said the party is not folding, assuring party supporters they are here to stay. 

Instead, the Emuhaya MP said they are currently going on with a mass membership recruitment drive to strengthen the party by netting more members.

“I want to tell everyone that we are not folding. We are not collapsing the party but we are in the process of recruiting even more members,” said Mr Milemba.

“ANC will be a very important party and that is why we shall not fold it and it shall be the baseline to accommodate various candidates. We shall also be shopping for the best candidate,” he added.

He was speaking in Kakamega during the party’s sensitisation exercise to rally its members from Bungoma, Busia, Kakamega and Vihiga counties - the party’s bedrock.  

The party’s national chairperson, Kevin Lunani, also laughed off talks of collapsing the party, saying President Ruto should seek his re-election on the party ticket.

“ANC is here to stay and no one should spread fear that we are folding. They should not think of folding ANC but think of the President vying with the ANC in 2027. We will ensure we have more power and if possible be one of the principals in any new coalition in 2027,” said Mr Lunani.

“ANC is not folding. We have strategies and plans to commence recruitment which promises to be very competitive as we are the second largest party in KKA,” he added.

The latest development follows Mr Mudavadi’s remarks in Bomet, where he hinted at another wave of the “political earthquake,” akin to the one which marked his official entry into President Ruto’s political fold ahead of the August 2022 elections. 

The Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary also suggested a fresh move he said would help strengthen the UDA party, with insiders saying he sees no problem convincing his ANC brigade to join UDA to strengthen the ruling party ahead of the 2027 elections.

“I want to make it clear to other ANC supporters, although I may not be the official party leader today, as a strong member of the ANC party, I must tell you frankly our conversation must be serious about how to strengthen the Kenya Kwanza administration and how to work very closely with UDA which is the principal party in the coalition and to even engage in deeper debates,” said Mr Mudavadi.

“Don’t ask me which deeper debates. That’s for another day. Another earthquake is in the offing,” he added.

On Tuesday, ANC Political Affairs Director Mr Kennedy Omulo Junior said Mr Mudavadi’s remarks in Bomet were taken out of context, saying the former deputy prime minister meant there was the need to work together and support President Ruto’s agenda concertedly without internal competition or sabotage.

“He (Mudavadi) meant that leaders must take political responsibility to ensure that all the promises made by Kenya Kwanza to the people of Kenya are fulfilled,” said Mr Omulo Junior.

He added that ANC is a political movement with members and elected leaders, and folding it will need the consent of all members in line with the Party Constitution.

“To this end, I must say that if ANC were to fold, then all other affiliate parties within Kenya Kwanza, including UDA, must also fold to form one political party,” he said.

Kakamega County Assembly minority leader David Ndakwa said they are strengthening the party to have more bargaining power at the negotiating table with other affiliates of Kenya Kwanza Alliance.

“When they register, we are also registering. When they go for elections, we are also going for elections because politics with parties is about structures and numbers. We want to get the numbers so that when we go to the negotiating table with other affiliates we also have bargaining power as the ANC,” said the West Kabras Ward MCA.

Mr Milemba said the party is preparing to embark on a grassroots election at the end of the mass recruitment drive next month.

Milemba said they already have the funds and all logistics ready to begin from the grassroots to the national level.

“Let us continue with our recruitment to give us more power in the party. We have agreed that all delegates continue with the mass registration. We are telling those who have ambitions to hold party positions to continue with strengthening their factions in readiness for the grassroots elections,” said Milemba.