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Wheelbarrow party unveils candidates for upcoming mini polls

By Mireri Junior | January 8th 2021

United Democratic Alliance (UDA), a party associated with Deputy President William Ruto, on Friday unveiled candidates for the forthcoming senate, parliamentary and ward by-elections in the country.

Former Assitant Minister Margaret Wanjiru will fly the UDA party ticket in the Nairobi gubernatorial by-election, former Kenya Revenue Authority board member Evans Kakai will fly the wheelbarrow party ticket in the Kabuchai Constituency seat while Alex Lanya will run for the Matungu parliamentary seat.

For Machako senator race, UDA is yet to settle on a candidate after 16 aspirants expressed interest in the party's ticket.

DP Ruto and party chairman Johnson Muthama met the 16 aspirants seeking UDA ticket in the Machakos Senate by-election on Wednesday and announced they will use a scientific poll to pick the candidate.

“Our breakfast meeting primarily focused on the upcoming by-election. We have agreed as the ‘hustler nation’ that a scientific opinion poll shall be carried out and aspirants have collectively agreed to respect and support the will of the people,” he said.

Speaking while issuing the aspirants with certificates at the Hustler Centre in Nairobi, Muthama said they had settled on the candidates after a series of consultative meetings.

He said the party has been in existence and that only the name has been changed from Party for Reforms and Development (PDR) to UDA.

“There is nothing strange with what we are doing, many of us have been in various parties and coalitions before but we didn’t achieve what we wanted and opted for a new outfit,” he said.

Muthama said the party is an inclusive outfit with representatives from all parts of the country

UDA chairman Johnson Muthama (centre) addresses the media at Hustler Centre during the unveiling of the party’s candidates for the upcoming by-elections. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

“We sat down with people from all parts of the country and settled on UDA as one of the most democratic parties in the country.

The function was attended by politicians allied to DP Ruto including Meru senator Mithika Linturi, his ELegoyo Marakwet counterpart Kipchumba Murkomen among a host of MPs.

The by-elections were occasioned by the deaths of Senator Bonface Kabaka (Machakos), MPs Justus Murunga (Matungu) and James Lusweti (Kabuchai).

The parliamentary and ward mini polls will be held on March 4, while the Machakos Senate by-election will be on March 18.

Nairobi governor by-election was slated for March 23 but could drag following court cases filed by former Governor Mike Sonko and the planned vetting of Anne Kananu who was nominated by Sonko before being blocked.

Ruto is building the newly formed party into a formidable political tool ahead of 2022 General Election after the wrangles that hit Jubilee after the Handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga.

Anne Nderitu, the Registrar of Political Parties, in a special gazette notice a week ago, had indicated that PDR was changing its name to UDA.

UDA was founded in 2012 by the current Jubilee Secretary General Raphael Tuju - initially as the Party of Action (POA). It changed hands and rebranded to PDR.

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