UDA’s not so impressive outcome in mini polls serves to demystify numbers, money myth

Friday, March 26th, 2021 03:22 |
Deputy President William Ruto (left) with UDA chairman Johnstone Muthama at a past public function. Photo/PD/FILE


The United Democratic Alliance (UDA), the new political outfit associated with the Deputy President Dr William Ruto lost resoundingly in the just concluded by elections where it only won one seat-London ward in Nakuru county out of two parliamentary seats in western Kenya and several wards in other parts of the country.This is a devastating blow to the DP who put considerable effort to capture the seats.

Before that, the county assemblies across the country gave a resounding nod to the BBI bill-yet another defeat to the DP’s quest to stop the bill from going to the plebiscite. Even in his backyard-only three counties failed to endorse the bill. At the same time, the ruling Jubilee party-where the DP is the deputy leader has intensified efforts to kick him out of the party.

This course of events has created a scenario where the DP may be forced to go back to the drawing board- in his quest to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta in the forthcoming elections in 2022.Take for instance what happened in western Kenya. The DP has had a formidable team of legislators in western Kenya behind him and one would have expected UDA to bag at least one parliamentary seat. The outcome can only confirm one thing-the western Kenya MPs who are supporting the DP are not in sync with the electorate at the grassroots. They crisscrossed the constituencies warning of a resounding victory only to be thumped resoundingly.

The DP has gone on record saying that leaders in western Kenya only go to him when they need assistance and then they dessert him during elections. Already, some legislators like Kimilili MP Didimus Barasa are growing cold feet and showing signs of drifting apart. This is not a good sign for the DP.Apparently; there are some leaders in western Kenya who have quietly started gravitating towards their ethnic kingpins. This move may just be indicative of their hypocritical dalliance with the DP which he (the DP) cannot ignore.

The same thing has obtained in the Ukambani region where the Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka seems to have regained his superiority in the region. He managed to convince Maendeleo Chap Chap party to withdraw its candidature for the Machakos senatorial seat in Wiper’s favour and its candidate Agnes Kavindu resoundingly defeated the UDA candidate. It seems that even with the chairmanship of UDA domiciled in the region -with Johnstone Muthama, the electorate is still largely in favour of Wiper party.

As matters stand, it seems the DP’s strategy to capture the presidency is not working as he wants it to. In Central Kenya where the DP is perceived to be popular, it has been demonstrated that the leaders from the grassroots do not back him as shown by the outcome of the BBI bill in the county assemblies. One only needs to look at this development to guarantee that the same scenario will play out during the general elections. With the president firmly focused on how the central Kenya region will vote during the referendum and the general election, there is little chance of the DP making significant gains there.

Nonetheless, we are heading into the season of political alignments. The DP still has latitude to align with all manner of political formations. Should he survive the impending ouster from the Jubilee party mandarins-there is need for him to restrategise and come up with a formidable team that can propel him to state house. At the moment, he seems to have many hangers on who are not beneficial to him.

The hustler movement seems not to have gained traction as expected. The populist way in which the mantra is being sold is deceptive. The huge rallies presided over by the DP as he crisscrosses the country may not eventually translate into votes. The DP ought to craft a political strategy that can easily be embraced by think tanks- who can refine his vision and come up with a smart framework to win the election. The hustler strategy seems to be antithetical to the very precepts that ought to propel the DP to the house on the hill. He needs a rethink of this as soon as possible.

One thing is crystal clear-the DP has options galore. With the current political alignments that we are witnessing-the DP is the most lethal weapon. Though perceived as being isolated-the DP has the leeway to come up with a formation that can upset everything in play at the moment. As a smart politician-it is not inconceivable for the DP to change tack and come up with an entirely different strategy that can shake the political set up of this country. All eyes are on him.

The writer is the author of Aphorism and Poems of Light

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