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UDA secretary Cleophas Malala softens stance on merger of parties

United Democratic Alliance(UDA) secretary general Cleophas Malala has appeared to soften his stance on the merging of parties.

Speaking on March 14, 2023, at a press briefing where he welcomed six parties to UDA, the former Kakamega Senator stressed that Kenya Kwanza affiliate parties will not be forced to fold and join the ruling party.

“Political parties have a right to choose where they belong,” he explained.

“There are those who will choose to be independent and we will still work with them, there are those who have agreed to join UDA, we welcome them and offer roles to their officials in our party. They will be allowed to participate in UDA grassroots election.’

The parties that have joined UDA are Umoja na Maendeleo associated with former Embu Governor Martin Wambora, Chama Cha Kazi (Trade Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria), Farmers party (Irungu Nyakere) Chama Cha Mashinani (Isaac Ruto), Economic Freedom Party (Billow Kerrow) and National agenda party.

Malala’s sentiments come a week after he specifically warned Prime cabinet secretary Musalia Mudavadi and National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetangula to fold their parties and join UDA or risk losing their plum positions in government

“We shall not go into 2027 before we organize ourselves better and this is a sign that President Ruto plans his politics under one colour,” Malala said at his unveiling ceremony in Nairobi on February 27, 2023.

Malala also urged Wetangula and Senate Speaker Amason Kingi, who are the Ford-Kenya and PAA partly leaders respectively, to resign from their position in the party in line with the law which does not allow state officers engage in politics.

“They are all lawyers, let them resign and allow us to engage the new party leader,” Said Malala

Mudavadi and Wetangula appeared to publicly disagree with the statement.

“We need to dialogue on the issues affecting the country at the moment, rather than bury our heads in the sand and concentrate on the rhetoric about merging political parties,” Mudavadi said.

And speaking during a church harambee in Kakamega, Wetangula argued that Kenyans are democratic and that voters should be left to make political choices to ensure the country runs well.

Earlier, officials from the Amani National Congress (ANC) party also dismissed calls to merge with UDA.

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