We didn’t send Cleophas Malala to William Ruto rally, ANC says

Cleophas Malala

Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala during the UDA rally at Eldoret Sports Club in Uasin Gishu County on January 08, 2022.

Photo credit: Jared Nyataya | Nation Media Group

Amani National Congress (ANC) party has distanced itself from the Eldoret rally that was attended by Kakamega senator Cleophas Malala to endorse deputy president William Ruto’s presidential bid ahead of the August election.

The party’s secretary-general Simon Kamau, in a statement to newsrooms yesterday, said that the presence of Mr Malala at the event was in his personal capacity and not as a representative of the party. Mr Malala is a member of the ANC party and a close ally of the party leader Musalia Mudavadi.

Mr Kamau said that the party, had at no time sent a delegation to represent it at the event which was held at the Eldoret Sports Club, and that no one had been sanctioned by ANC to speak on behalf of the party.

“The ANC party would like to disassociate itself from the activities taking place at Eldoret Sports Club Grounds where UDA party is holding its rally. ANC has not sent anybody to represent either the party or the party leader in the said function,” Mr Kamau said.

Mr Malala was one of the key figures present at the Eldoret rally organised by Dr Ruto to launch his country-wide campaigns and tours ahead of the election.

Mr Malala said that he had attended the rally with the blessings of the Luhya nation, adding that he was keen on negotiating a deal between Dr Ruto and Mr Mudavadi ahead of the election.

“If you see me here as Malala, I have come with the blessings of the Mulembe nation to look for friendship with the Kalenjins so that we can work together in approaching the August elections,” the senator said.

“Those in Azimio have started saying that I am taking Musalia to Ruto’s camp. They should know that their enemies are not my enemies and that their friends are not the same as mine. Let them plan their own plan as I plan mine. If Musalia comes to Eldoret and finds Ruto, is there a problem?” he added.

The senator has in the recent past been accused of flirting with Dr Ruto and his UDA-led party, with some critics suggesting that his overtures were part of a wider scheme to negotiate an alliance between UDA and ANC.

Mr Malala had last week also faced criticism after he hosted the DP at a football tournament dubbed the Malala Super Cup at the Mumias Sports Complex in Kakamega County, in what many saw as part of the growing dalliance between the two leaders.

But yesterday, Mr Kamau said Mr Malala had no capacity to speak on behalf of the party or its members, roles he said could only be performed by Mr Mudavadi.

“The official party position should only come from the party leader or the secretary-general,” Mr Kamau said.