William Ruto moves to avert fallout from UDA primaries

UDA Willam Ruto

Deputy President William Ruto addressing delegates at Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi on March 15, 2022 during the UDA National Delegates’ Conference.

Photo credit: Jeff Angote | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Deputy President calls a meeting on Monday next week that will bring together losers and winners.
  • Promises of nominations to county and national assemblies will be dangled to the disgruntled.

Deputy President William Ruto has moved to avert fallouts from the just-concluded nominations, with a meeting planned for Monday bringing together losers and winners in his party before the August 9 General Election.

With many losers in the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) threatening to vie as independent candidates, the DP, Nation has gathered, is seeking to reassure them of his support, with promises of nominations to county and national assemblies being dangled to losers to keep them from quitting the party and running as independents.

“The Deputy President has talked to most of those people who lost, and next week, we are planning to meet all the aspirants who participated in our elections to map out the way forward,” UDA National Elections Board (NEB) chairperson Anthony Mwaura said yesterday.

The meeting, it is understood, will happen on Monday.

UDA chairperson Johnson Muthama said the meeting, to bring together the 5,000 aspirants who contested for the party’s ticket, will go a long way to bringing them together and calming the nominations storm.

"We have agreed that we clear our situation and ensure that we do not have any outstanding issue, then meet all those who participated in the nominations," said Mr Muthama.

Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa yesterday told the Nation that party leaders want all those who clinched UDA tickets and the losers to work together, with the focus being on Dr Ruto's presidential bid.

"The bigwigs who have lost in the primaries join William Ruto's national presidential campaign team. They are still MPs, senators, hence we will make a concerted effort to have Ruto win," said Mr Barasa.

He went on: "William Ruto values people who have sacrificed to support him and he values the will of the people more, and that is the difference between him and his rival."

The meeting will come at a time the DP has to start a serious campaign and he is relying on both the winners and losers of the party primaries to help him.

“We are looking at a super majority in the Senate and National Assembly, just like Jubilee had. We have close to 165 MPs, but with Kenya Kwanza partners on board, the figures will be much higher. We expect to have 65 per cent of members in the National Assembly and the Senate. We want to win in at least 32 counties. This will ensure we do not encounter a challenge of numbers should our President need something done,” said UDA Secretary-General Veronica Maina.

Ms Maina said the meeting will also discuss strategies ahead of the August polls.

"Yes, DP will meet all the winners and losers of UDA nominations but the date is yet to be set. The meeting will be about strategies to be employed as we head to August General Election. Even if some feel disgruntled about the exercise, we have a strong Disputes Resolution Committee which is looking into those issues,” Ms Maina said.

UDA primaries witnessed a bruising battle in Uasin Gishu, Bomet, Kericho, Nandi, Elgeyo-Marakwet, Baringo, Embu, and Laikipia, especially in the governor races.

In Uasin Gishu, Soy MP Caleb Kositany, a close ally of the DP, was among those defeated. A similar fate befell former Devolution Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter, who was trounced by Dr Erick Mutai in the Kericho governor race.

In Elgeyo-Marakwet, former Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet was defeated by current deputy governor Wisley Rotich, while Mining Petroleum Chief Administrative Secretary John Mosonik lost to current Bomet Governor Hillary Barchok.

While for those in the Rift Valley, their wins in the primaries is as good as sealing their wins in the August General Election, those from Mt Kenya still have their work cut out for them, with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee waiting for them ahead.

It is believed that those with UDA tickets have an advantage over other political parties in Mt Kenya and Rift Valley regions, which played a key role in catapulting the current regime to State House in 2013 and 2017.

“Getting a UDA ticket in a county like Uasin Gishu is as good as winning the election, but those with UDA tickets in Mount Kenya are not yet off the hook because they will be facing other parties like Jubilee aspirants," said Prof Masibo Lumala of Moi University.

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s side is looking for a majority in the Senate, National Assembly, Council of Governors (CoG) and county assemblies.

“If we manage to post 11 counties to the Council of Governors, and an equal number of senators and woman reps, then top up with at least 50 MPs, Mr Kenyatta will be leading a vibrant legion and will have the direct ear of President (Raila) Odinga,” said Jubilee Secretary-General and Ndaragwa MP Jeremiah Kioni.


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