Ruto be crowned UDA flagbearer at NDC

Deputy President William Ruto at the Hustler Centre, Nairobi, March 12, 2022. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Deputy President William Ruto will officially be crowned as the United Democratic Alliance’s and Kenya Kwanza’s presidential flagbearer today at UDA’s National Delegates Conference (NDC).

The move solidifies Dr Ruto’s position in the presidential race against ODM leader Raila Odinga who was nominated as Azimio la Umoja presidential flagbearer on Saturday.

“UDA is going to unveil its presidential candidate who we believe is the next president of the Republic of Kenya, his excellency William Ruto,” said Tharaka Nithi Senator Kithure Kindiki.

The event scheduled to take place at Kasarani Stadium, Nairobi, is expected to hold around 5,000 delegates from across the country who will endorse the DP as the party’s presidential flag bearer.

“We will have delegates from every ward and every constituency in this country. It will not be a political rally but a party decision-making meeting,” said Kindiki stating that the NDC will be short of unnecessary drama.

Speaking to The Standard flanked by Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika, Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen and Lang’ata MP Nixon Korir, Kindiki stated the party has invited political partners such as ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi and other surprise guests such as Narc Kenya party leader Martha Karua.

Ms Karua’s supposed attendance of the event raises eyebrows on the fate of One Kenya Alliance (OKA), which saw some of its principals-Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka and Kanu Chairman Gideon Moi join Azimio la Umoja in support of Mr Odinga’s candidature.

The Narc Kenya leader recently on her social media pages dispelled a tweet alleging that “she would never join Azimio la Umoja”. 

NARC Kenya leader Martha Karua speaks during a rally at Thika Stadium, February 19, 2022. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

Ms Karua termed the tweet fake.

Also expected at the NDC are Chama Cha Kazi party leader Moses Kuria who has been in talks to joins Kenya Kwanza Alliance.

Kuria said he would not partner with Azimio but would likely work with Kenya Kwanza.

Delegates' meeting provide a stage for celebrations, political bragging and pre-election partnerships.

During United Democratic Movement's NDC party leader Mandera Governor Ali Roba declared his party’s support for Raila’s candidature.

The UDA delegates' meeting takes place at the same location as the Azimio la Umoja Convention of December last year and the ODM NDC of February 26.

With Alliances still in the making and many political actors still indecisive, more formations are still expected to take shape as the deadline to switch between political parties elapses on March 26.