Ruto dream for mega-party ahead of 2027 still alive, says Cleophas Malala

Cleophas Malala

United Democratic Alliance Secretary-General Cleophas Malala during a press conference at the party's headquarters along Ngong Road in Nairobi on April 12, 2023.

Photo credit: Wilfred Nyangaresi | Nation Media Group

President William Ruto's United Democratic Alliance (UDA) Secretary General Cleophas Malala now says the plan for a mega party to contest the 2027 General Election is still on, even as he defended his inclusion in Cabinet, saying, it was a way for the party to ensure fulfilment of campaign promises.

In an interview with Nation, Mr Malala said that, of the 13 parties in the Kenya Kwanza Alliance that UDA approached for the mega-party deal, seven had already agreed to merge, leaving only six parties to make their official decision.

Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi's Amani National Congress (ANC), National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetang'ula's Ford Kenya, his Senate counterpart Amason Kingi's Pamoja African Alliance (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 Alfred Mutua's Maendeleo Chap Chap (MCC) and Mandera Senator Ali Roba's United Democratic Movement are some of the parties in Kenya Kwanza.

Others are Communist Party of Kenya, former Principal Secretary Irungu Nyakera's Farmers Party, Devolution Party of Kenya, Economic Freedom Party, Umoja na Maendeleo Party, National Agenda Party of Kenya, Grand Dream Development Party, Ugenya MP David Ochieng's Movement for Democracy and Growth (MDG) and former Bomet governor Isaac Ruto's Chama Cha Mashinani.

"I have not been slow so far. Out of 13 parties, seven have already agreed to join. We are left with six but they have not officially folded because they have to hold their National Delegates Conference (NDC) and follow the procedures laid out in the Basic Political Act," Mr Malala said. The former Kakamega senator stressed the importance of ensuring that the decision to merge does not appear to have been forced on the parties involved.

Instead, he said, UDA wants to find a consensus that reflects the diverse ideologies and political strategies within the coalition.

He revealed that the strategy involves President Ruto leading the conversation and helping others see the benefits of unity. Mr Malala expressed confidence that the remaining parties will eventually agree to merge, believing that forming a united front will be necessary to counter rivals.