Cracks within the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party continue to manifest themselves, with a faction of Mt Kenya leaders associated with the party unequivocally expressing their opposition to the creation of an additional deputy party leader position.
As it stands the position is held by Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, but there are speculations that the party might establish another deputy leader role to accommodate an influential politician from a different region in Kenya, a move seen as strategic for President William Ruto’s 2027 reelection bid.
During a sensitization forum held at the UDA Mt Kenya headquarters in Nyeri, the leaders, led by Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga, not only voiced their resistance to the proposed new deputy leader position but also insisted that both the Secretary General role and the anticipated position should be reserved exclusively for leaders from the Mt Kenya region.
“There must be a Party leader and a Deputy Party Leader, the rest can be whatever they want, and we are demanding that as members of the UDA party,” Governor Kahiga posed.
“We have one party leader, and so importantly is to have one deputy party leader.”
Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua at a press conference on November 10, 2023
According to the politicians, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua should be the party’s only recognised deputy party leader.
The politicians further called for the consolidation of all parties within the region into UDA to ease the process of electing representatives ahead of the 2027 general elections.
The demand comes a month before the party’s grassroots elections scheduled to take place in December.
“We should appoint a UDA party candidate so that we can have a UDA government in 2027 which is very strong,” one of the leaders said.
The demands come a month after Kakamega Senator filed a petition with the party’s governing bodies seeking the removal of Cleophas Malala as the UDA Secretary General.
Khalwale accused Malala of making irregular appointments of regional and county managers without consulting other party organs.
“The Petitioners will suffer irreparable personal loss and prejudice if the Honorable Committee does not intervene,” read a statement issued by Khalwale at the time.
According to Khalwale, if the party’s disciplinary committee had not issued conservatory orders stopping the appointments of the regional and county managers, Malala would have continued making illegal appointments.
UDA Secretary General Cleophas Malalah speaking at Hustler Plaza in Nairobi on July 25, 2023.