Storm in William Ruto camp over 2022 coalition

William Ruto

DP William Ruto (centre) chats with former Nairobi Deputy Governor Jonathan Mueke when he hosted leaders from Kitui County at his Karen residence. 

Photo credit: DPPS

A storm is brewing in Deputy President William Ruto’s camp over a push for the DP to enter into coalition agreements with affiliated parties in the race for State House.

Former Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri’s The Service Party (TSP) and Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria’s People’s Empowerment Party (PEP) are affiliated to the DP and have indicated that while they back Dr Ruto for the top job in 2022, they will not fold their outfits.

But leaders allied to the DP-linked United Democratic Alliance (UDA) say that demands for a coalition with the DP were premature, and that the leaders should instead disband their outfits and join the re-branded party.

“Some of us strongly believe that forming a regional party purportedly to negotiate with DP Ruto is irrational; it does not make sense. We, as UDA, cannot talk of coalitions now. For me, coalitions should be post-election.

Mt Kenya leaders

“But that does not mean we are not amenable to talks now. But what we know is we are not seeking a coalition or a regional party, we are building UDA,” Murang’a Senator Irungu Kang’ata said on Sunday.

Mr Kang’ata, a key ally of the DP in Mt Kenya, said regional parties were a bad idea.

“I am aware of some Mt Kenya leaders saying they want a regional party. We from Murang’a do not subscribe to that. We want a unified party that brings everyone together to bring up all the people at the bottom of the pyramid, and that party is UDA,” added Mr Kang’ata.

Though the DP has shown signs of dropping his hard stance on building a national party, he has insisted that his Hustler Nation troops were enough to send him to State House next year, with no need for a coalition.

“I am not looking for any alliance with anybody. We have millions of hustlers behind our quest, and those people – the grocers, the boda boda, and the small business owners – will take us to State House,” the DP said in an interview recently.

National party

Mr Kiunjuri has said the notion by Mr Kang’ata that theirs are regional parties was misplaced.

“Nobody can boast in this country that they have a national party. They are first of all regional parties,” said Mr Kiunjuri over the weekend.

 “It is only a fool who will go into 2022 to be subjected to the tricks that happen during the nominations, where people were literally plucked out of the contest not by the power of the voters but by personalities seated in an office,” Mr Kiunjuri said in a previous interview.

Speaking in Kinamba in Laikipia on Sunday, Mr Kuria, whose PEP candidate George Koimburi won the Juja parliamentary by-election in May, said he was still fully behind Dr Ruto.

Elgeyo-Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen said UDA’s focus is to build itself. “Our focus now is on building this new party, but we cannot block anybody from supporting the DP. We are not in a fight... but we will try as much as possible to get people to support us and the DP’s presidential bid,” Mr Murkomen said in a previous interview.

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