Ruto party’s new list of officials sparks a storm

William Ruto

Deputy President William Ruto with elders from Kuria in Migori during a grassroot leaders meeting in Transmara, Narok County on October 7, 2021.

Photo credit: DPPS

What you need to know:

  • UDA chairman Johnston Muthama on Tuesday said the officials would be members of the party’s National Executive Committee.
  • But even as the list generated mixed reactions, some UDA members welcomed the appointments.

A storm has erupted in Deputy President William Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance (UDA) over a new list of party officials.

Yesterday, some disgruntled members protested that the list of 31 officials, filed with the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties (ORPP), was not satisfactory.

UDA chairman Johnston Muthama on Tuesday said the officials would be members of the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC), an organ with a say in party elections and nominations.

The protests were so acrimonious that Secretary-General Veronica Maina in an attempt to calm members reportedly posted a statement in a party members’ WhatsApp group contesting the list published by the Nation yesterday.

“The party wishes to confirm that the list is not an accurate reflection of the actual representation of the party officials,” Ms Maina wrote.

When contacted, she did not, however, respond to inquiries about the statement which some UDA members sent to Nation.

However, Registrar of Political Parties Anne Nderitu confirmed the list of officials published by the Nation, saying: “Yes, that is the list that was presented to our office which we received.”

List of officials

The letter detailing the list of officials was received by the ORPP on September 15, two weeks after the resolutions were approved by the party on August 30.

Some of the disgruntled leaders who protested that positions had gone to some late entrants to the ‘hustler movement’ complained they had either been left out or their regions ignored. They were, however, not willing to go on record.

But as a pointer to the divisions the list has caused, some MPs argued it was not the final draft while some of the beneficiaries of the appointments celebrated.

South Mugirango MP Sylvanus Osoro at first dismissed the list even though he acknowledged Kisii region deserves the National Treasurer position, which was bagged by his predecessor Omingo Magara.

But when confronted with a copy of the list of officials received by the office of the Registrar of Political Parties, Mr Osoro replied: “Good.”

Murang’a Senator Irungu Kang’ata said Ms Maina, the UDA Secretary-General, had issued a “formal statement denouncing the list of the party officials.”

But even as the list generated mixed reactions, some UDA members welcomed the appointments.

“I'm grateful to the UDA party for granting me the opportunity to serve as the National Deputy Secretary-General responsible for the functional mandate of Strategy and Policy,” former ODM leader Raila Odinga’s aide Eliud Owalo posted on his Twitter page.

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