In Kenya’s dynamic political landscape, the aftermath of the hotly contested 2022 elections kept the political arena buzzing throughout 2023.
The activities and events involving political parties took centre stage, shaping the political narrative for the year.
From failed political party coups, and hostile takeovers, to forced party mergers, Kenyans.co.ke takes a look at this year’s most significant political wars.
Jubilee Party Wars
Following the 2022 general elections, the Jubilee Party, led by former president Uhuru Kenyatta, faced internal wrangles after the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) won the race to State House.
The party became a battleground for leadership feuds, with two factions emerging—one led by EALA MP Kanini Kega and another by Jeremiah Kioni.
A photo collage of EALA MP Kanini Kega and former Ndaragwa MP Jeremiah Kioni.
This internal strife led to intense court battles, with petitions filed and court orders issued.
At one point, the Azimio Coalition-aligned faction even filed a petition against Kanini Kega and Nominated MP Sabina Chege, accusing them of falsely posing as party officials.
UDA NGC and Grassroots Registration
The United Democratic Alliance (UDA), having clinched the presidency and a majority in both houses, didn’t rest on its laurels.
The party focused on rejuvenating and strengthening its structure for the 2027 elections.
A National Governing Council Meeting at the Bomas of Kenya brought elected Governors, Senators, MPs, and MCAs together.
Party leader William Ruto presided over deliberations that saw the party propose that all affiliate parties dissolve and join UDA.
The party had initially scheduled grassroots elections for December but later postponed that to 2024, to allow the affiliate parties more time to fold up and the political party enough time to recruit more members.
This call targeted parties like Ford Kenya and ANC, urging them to fold and join UDA for a more nationally inclusive outlook.
The proposed merger however, was vehemently opposed by the parties involved, who argued that it posed a threat to multiparty democracy.
Political Parties Fund and Ensuing Disputes
Controversies surrounded the Political Parties Fund throughout 2023, with the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party contesting a reduction in funds, citing adverse effects on its political activities.
In a letter addressed to the Registrar of Political Parties Anne Nderitu, ODM Secretary General, Edwin Sifuna protested over what he described as the national government’s irregular reduction of the Political Parties Fund.
The Secretary General claimed that the allocation had been slashed by Ksh867 million.
“We note with concern that with the reduction of the Fund, political parties will be immensely deprived of the resources to fund programs and activities contained in their work plans for the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th quarters,” Sifuna remarked in the letter.
A photo of ODM’s Party Leader Raila Odinga (right) and Secretary General Edwin Sifuna (left).