UDA MCAs divided over new Minority Leader, Whip in Nairobi


United Democratic Alliance (UDA) Secretary General Cleophas Malala (second left) addresses a press conference alongside a section of Nairobi MCAs on Monday, October 9, 2023. [Samson Wire, Standard]

The United Democratic Alliance (UDA) has faced an unexpected twist in its political process to change the leadership team in the Nairobi County Assembly.

On Monday, UDA Secretary General Cleophas Malala announced that Minority Leader Anthony Kiragu and house Minority whip Mark Mugambi had been ousted.

In a letter dated October 23, Malala stated that the party had appointed Waithera Chege, a Member of County Assembly (MCA) from Nairobi South, as the new Minority Leader. She would be deputized by Deonysias Mwangi, an MCA from Githurai Ward.

The new lineup also included Joyce Muthoni, a nominated member, who had been appointed as the Minority Whip, and Mwaura Samora, an MCA from Clay City, who had been appointed as the Deputy Minority Whip in the assembly.

The changes were prompted by a petition signed by 35 out of 52 UDA MCAs, who wrote to the party on October 18 seeking for new leadership.

However, the party has put the process on hold for now after some members claimed that their signatures were forged to support the change.

Malala explained that the MCAs who had raised the complaints were asked to swear affidavits to back their claims, in a twist that has exposed some irregularities.

“They presented the affidavits and we as a party have decided to call for a meeting on Thursday for all the MCAs. Those who are pushing for the change of leadership will append their signatures in the presence of the secretariat,” Malala said.

He added that “that means the status quo remains until we have the meeting to resolve the matter. At the same time, the new changes have not been communicated by the speaker yet.”

Malala also noted that some signatures in the earlier petition and those of the MCAs who claimed their signatures were forged looked similar, which he termed as unprofessional by the leaders.

Meanwhile, the new team led by Waithera Chege issued a joint statement saying that there have been issues affecting both the Assembly and the Executive for one year and they must be resolved.

They said that the issues included a complacent Assembly that did not ask questions, citing that the previous leadership only pursued personal agendas instead of offering support in terms of criticism and legislation.

They also highlighted poor delays in funding assembly activities, lack of meaningful legislative support and disconnect between the Executive’s priorities and the realities on the ground.

“Our people have already told us what they want the government to address, such as collection of garbage, traffic congestion, supply of clean water, repair of impassable roads among other issues,” Waithera said.


She pointed out that “unfortunately, this is not what the executive is implementing. We want to see results and not rhetoric. Payment of huge legal fees and harassment of traders by County Askaris can never be the people’s priority.”

The Waithera-led faction also noted that there have been delays in the implementation of projects, especially those under the Ward Development Programme.