Ruto allies intensify UDA recruitment drive in Nyanza

Former Nyatike MP Omondi Anyanga leads UDA membership recruitment drive in Ndiwa. [James Omoro, Standard]

Allies of President William Ruto stormed parts of Nyanza in a renewed push to register UDA members.

This came as Azimio leader Raila Odinga’s former aide Silas Jakakimba announced that he was joining the ruling party.

The UDA leaders said the charm offensive is expected to shore up the ruling party’s numbers in opposition strongholds ahead of the 2027 General Election.

Kenya Nuclear Regulatory Authority Board Chairman and former Nyatike MP Omondi Anyanga said an aggressive member listing drive in Migori, Homa Bay and Kisii counties had registered a 70 per cent success rate.

“Our plan is to enlist close to 200,000 new UDA members in Migori alone. This is why we came here to take advantage of the long Easter break to support our registration clerks as they traverse every sub-county starting today,” Anyanga said in Homa Bay town.

In Migori, of interest to the UDA brigade is the vote-rich Nyatike and Kuria sub-counties where the former MP and his team pitched tent on Saturday to woo residents to join the ruling party. Luo Nyanza has an estimated 2,160,439 voters.

Of Migori’s eight sub-counties, Nyatike commands most of the county’s 469,019 registered voters. Other sub-counties are Rongo, Awendo, Suna East, Suna West, Uriri, Kuria East and Kuria West. UDA is also eyeing a slice of Kisii and Nyamira counties.

In Homa Bay County, former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero and the interim UDA chairman in Suba North constituency Okuku Miregi led the party's membership registration.

Dr Kidero said they want to change Nyanza politics to ensure the people elect leaders of their choice.
“All we want is the people of Homa Bay County to join UDA in large numbers,” he said.

Miregi said time has come for Nyanza to stop relying on one party, a situation that leads to abuse of the people’s political rights.

“Let us join UDA to enable the people to have alternative choices for electing their political leaders. UDA leader President William Ruto is equally our son,” he said.

Anyanga, who was accompanied by a host of MCA’s and former senior ODM officials, said the voter registration drive will continue until the projections are met.

“We have a target and we will not relent in our efforts to ensure a new beginning for the region. President Ruto and his deputy Rigathi Gachagua have shown a lot of goodwill and we must reciprocate by supporting them to transform the country,” Anyanga said.

National Assembly Minority Leader Opiyo Wandayi has in the past laughed off UDA leaders' forays in Raila strongholds, likening the move to shadow-boxing. “Those who are running around here marketing UDA don't represent anybody. They have gone to UDA on their own,” Wandayi said.

Felix Odiwour alias Jalang’o of Lang’ata, Kisumu Senator Tom Ojienda, Gem MP Elisha Odhiambo, Suba South's Caroli Omondi, and Gideon Ochanda of Bondo constituency are among leaders from the region who decided to work with President Ruto’s government.

While on a visit to Homa Bay town in February and Uriri constituency last year, Ruto called on Nyanza residents to work with the government of the day, saying Kenya Kwanza will not discriminate against them on account of how they voted in the last General election.