Realignment looms after Ruto and Mudavadi agree to form new party

President William Ruto and Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi during a meeting with Amani National Congress leaders. [PCS]

United Democratic Alliance, the party that propelled President William Ruto to power and was poised to rule for a century, could be on its deathbed.

The party has now agreed to merge with Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi’s Amani National Congress (ANC) in a move that will give birth to a new-look outfit.

In a meeting at the State House on Wednesday, the two parties announced the formation of a committee to oversee the merger.

According to sources, the new outfit will come complete with a new name, slogan, logo and colours ready for the 2027 General Elections.

“ANC and UDA both agreed and resolved to form a joint implementation committee comprising of both political and legal minds to expedite the merger process,” said ANC Party Leader Issa Timamy.

The parties NEC meetings will have to meet separately and agree to fold.

According to Timamy, the meeting extensively discussed the impending merger, with both parties believing that combining strengths, resources and expertise would create a formidable force.

Besides Ruto and Mudavadi, others at the meeting, which started at about 8am and ended at 1pm, were ANC Secretary General Omboko Milemba (Emuhaya MP), and chairman, Kelvin Lunani.

Others were UDA chairperson, Cecily Mbarire, Secretary General Cleophas Malala, National Assembly Majority Leader Kimani Ichung’wah, among others.

According to sources, the new committee would also come up with a new structure to accommodate all regions, including Mt Kenya, as well as the party draft constitution. 

The outfit is expected to inherit the existing parties offices and open new ones where there are none.

The announcement came a day after Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua left for South Africa to represent the country at Cyril Ramaphosa’s inauguration.

Gachagua has been at war with some of the Ruto allies, who are accusing of fanning ethnicity for fighting for My Kenya region.

Last year, the DP was in Colombia when Ruto shocked the nation when he announced that he had talks with the Opposition leader Raila Odinga. 

Yesterday, Ruto emphasized that Kenyans voted againts tribalism in 2022. “We are here because we want to consolidate and solidify the place of a democratic nation. Because the people of Kenya have the final say, not the deep state, not the system.They have told us they don’t want the politics of tribalism.”

Personality cults

“And the replacement for politics of tribalism is making sure we consolidate the place of our political parties as the institutions of democratic governance. You cannot have a democracy without solid political parties built not on the basis of personality cults or tribes but based on the solid basis of an agenda, of a vision, of a plan.”

While lauding ANC, the President said the new political outfit would help the country to deal with ethnicity even as he expressed his commitment to create a “bigger, united, more representative formation that brings the aspirations of more Kenyans into an organisation that will help us drive Kenya forward in the near future.”

 “When he (Mudavadi) made the decision to work with us many people were not sure whether it was the right decision but it was a good decision because we formed government. We will have a stronger party and we will have a stronger Kenya going into the future,” he said.

The announcement comes at a time UDA was in the process of holding grassroots polls, which has seen the emergence of two factions allied to the President and Gachagua.

Mudavadi, who resigned after his state appointment, assured the ANC members that they were safe in Ruto’s hands, and committed not to sponsor candidates against the President.

“After my moment of meditation I’m satisfied that with Ruto you are in safe hands. The alternative would have been to keep quiet and to let you go into wildernesses. That would have been highly irresponsible of me. He has not forced it to have a conversation going on,” he said.

“Who signed the gazette notice that made me Prime Cabinet Secretary? Would it be fair if I am the Prime Cabinet Secretary and then I sponsor a candidate to take on the person who appointed me to the position? It is a serious conflict of interest.”

Mbarire said: “The journey we are starting today is a journey that takes courage and a journey that will put us in power beyond President William Ruto.

Ruto insisted that consolidating political parties would reduce internal conflicts and give room for effective service delivery. The President revealed that the discussion between him and the Prime Cabinet Secretary have been on.

“Strong political parties are the foundation of national unity and strong democratic governance. To consolidate their role in democracy, political parties must cease being mere election vehicles and become the rallying point for national cohesion and transformation,” he said.

Mudavadi urged ANC officials and members to “be pound-wise, not pound-foolish politically.”