UDA Woos Kakamega Governor to Defect from ODM Amid Political Tensions

UDA Secretary General Cleophas Malala urges Kakamega Governor Fernandes Barasa to quit ODM and join UDA, citing Barasa's frequent meetings with President William Ruto. Barasa responds that he will continue working with Ruto for the sake of development in Kakamega county.

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UDA Woos Kakamega Governor to Defect from ODM Amid Political Tensions

UDA Woos Kakamega Governor to Defect from ODM Amid Political Tensions

UDA Secretary General Cleophas Malala has urged Kakamega Governor Fernandes Barasa to quit the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) and join President William Ruto's United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party. Malala cited Barasa's frequent meetings with President Ruto as the reason for his call during the funeral of the mother of Director of Public Prosecution Renson Ingonga in Makunga, Mumias East area on Saturday.

Why this matters: This development highlights the ongoing power struggleswithin, new blocs within the Kenya Kwanza Alliance, which could have significant implications for the country's political landscape ahead of the 2027 elections. The shifting alliances and rivalries within the alliance may also influence the direction of national policies and governance.

Malala challenged Barasa to publicly announce his support for the Kenya Kwanza regime, saying: "You, Barasa, frequent the State House at night and talk with President William Ruto at length, but tell a different story during the day. I welcome, governor to UDA so that we square out with you in the nominations come 2027." In response, Barasa maintained that he would continue working with President Ruto for the sake of development in Kakamega county, citing the Constitution's provision for collaboration between governors and the president.

The development comes amidst internal discord and power struggles within the Kenya Kwanza Alliance, which threatens to reshape the country's political landscape. The alliance is marked by intricate alliances, personal ambitions, succession politics, and growing dissatisfaction with the party's leadership. The tension within UDA and Kenya Kwanza is underscored by a series of alliances and rivalries, with President Ruto and Prime Cabinet Minister Musalia Mudavadi reportedly forging a partnership ahead of the 2027 polls.

Public Service Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria has protested a meeting between Ruto and Kiambu leaders in his absence, saying, "It is wrong to keep calling meetings of Kiambu leadership without the only CS from Kiambu County. No such a meeting with EMC meeting would happen without Kipchumba Murkomen." Speaker Moses Wetang'ula has entered into a local arrangement with Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, with insiders and pundits saying that each of the three factions appears to be positioning themselves with an eye on securing influence beyond the 2027 presidential elections.

Uasin Gishu Governor Jonathan Bii and Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja concurred with Barasa, saying the president was a liberal leader. Sakaja encouraged Barasa to join President Ruto's camp, while Bii said UDA would be the party to beat come the 2027 General Election. Cotu boss Francis Atwoli told Kakamega Woman Rep Elsie Muhanda to stop troubling Barasa and give him time to deliver to the people.

As the political landscape continues to shift, the Limuru III conference on May 17, 2024, where multiple parties including Narc Kenya will meet to iron out Mt Kenya issues, may provide further insight into the evolving alliances and rivalries. With key players positioning themselves for influence ahead of the 2027 elections, the political tensions and maneuvering welcome, governor within Kenya Kwanza and beyond show no signs of abating.

Key Takeaways

  • UDA Secretary General Cleophas Malala urges Kakamega Governor Fernandes Barasa to join UDA.
  • Barasa's frequent meetings with President Ruto spark speculation about his party allegiance.
  • Power struggles within Kenya Kwanza Alliance may impact national policies and governance.
  • Internal discord and alliances within UDA and Kenya Kwanza threaten to reshape the political landscape.
  • 2027 elections loom, with key players positioning themselves for influence and power.