Ruto talks up UDA merger, polls
President William Ruto has reiterated his commitment to fostering national unity by encouraging all affiliate parties in the Kenya Kwanza coalition to merge and join the United Democratic Alliance (UDA).
Speaking in Nyeri on September 9, 2023, the Head of State emphasized the significance of creating a national party that transcends tribal affiliations and champions the interests of all Kenyans.
“We are going to make sure we build a national party that is going to unite the country, communities, and interests from every corner so that we can eliminate the politics of ethnicity in Kenya and change it to the politics of parties around issues that will drive the country into prosperity into the future,” said Dr. Ruto
This move, the Head of State stressed, is aimed at addressing the deeply entrenched issue of ethnic politics in Kenya and redirecting the country’s focus towards key issues that can propel it towards prosperity.
The consolidation of Kenya Kwanza affiliate parties into the UDA is seen as a step towards achieving this objective as the President also announced the ruling party will hold its elections in December.
Kenya Kwanza affiliate parties, in addition to the United Democratic Alliance (UDA), include Amani National Congress (ANC), Forum for the Restoration of Democracy (FORD–Kenya), Economic Freedom Party (EFP), and The Service Party (TSP), among others.
However, ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi and Ford-Kenya’s Moses Wetangula have in the recent past appeared reluctant to fold their parties and join UDA.
Mudavadi and Wetangula dumped Raila and joined President Ruto in the run-up to the 2022 presidential elections, in a move that is said to have been crucial to the President’s victory over Azimio’s Raila Odinga in the polls.
Besides President Ruto, UDA secretary Cleophas Malala has also been behind the push to solidfy the ruling party at the expense of its affiliates.
He recently announced that upto seven parties, which he did not name, had agreed to be swallowed by UDA. Malala has in the recent past also appeared to criticise Mudavadi for hoping to win the presidency using a village party.