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UDA SG Cleophas Malala backs Gachagua in succession debate

By Mercy Simiyu January 24th, 2024 2 min read

United Democratic Alliance (UDA) secretary general Cleophas Malala has backed Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua in the ongoing succession talk pitting several leaders from Central Kenya.

In a radio interview on January 24, 2024, a day after President William Ruto called for an end to the succession talk, Malala said the ruling party’s hierarchy has confidence in Gachagua’s ability to deliver.

“We have a lot of confidence in Gachagua, and we don’t want to see people disrespecting him. We are concentrating on working and delivering what we promised our people,” the outspoken Malala declared.

Malala, who unsuccessfully contested for the Kakamega gubernatorial seat in the 2022 polls, and has in the past been rumoured as a possible running mate should Gachagua contest for the presidency in the future, further praised the second in command for his proactive approach towards addressing challenges affecting the nation.

“When the Deputy President was elected, he started dealing with matters such as drought, fighting to eradicate drug abuse, and championing the cause of coffee farmers. He is a leader who is working for the people, and some people do not like it because he is fighting corruption. Rigathi Gachagua is a man made of steel, and we are confident in his leadership,” Malala affirmed.

Malala further dismissed recent suggestions President Ruto would drop Gachagua for Kiharu lawmaker Ndindi Nyoro as running mate in the 2027 polls.

He further stressed that the party’s leadership is fully focused on realizing the ambitious promises made to Kenyans and building a democratic space within the party.

“We have democratic space; our party leader and his deputy are Gachagua, and we issue a direct endorsement for him. Ndindi Nyoro is a strong member of UDA and a leader of the future, but what we are asking for is patience as we focus on our agenda. For now, Ruto and Gachagua is the winning team until 2032,” Malala asserted.

The youthful politician urged party members and the public to remain patient and trust the party’s leadership decisions.

The emphasis on continuity with the current leadership signals a commitment to stability and the ongoing efforts to fulfill the promises made by the UDA to the Kenyan people.

Lawmakers from Central Kenya have recently appeared to front for Ndindi Nyoro as President Ruto’s running mate in the forthcoming polls.

Other names mentioned for the running mate post within the ruling party include Musalia Mudavadi, Kithure Kindiki, and Anne Waiguru. Gachagua has, meanwhile dismissed the succession talks and warned of a scheme by detractors, whom he did not name, to operationalise divisive politics in Central Kenya.

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