UDA alleges plot to wrestle party from Ruto

United Democratic Alliance (UDA) officials yesterday alleged a plot to wrestle the party from Deputy President William Ruto over its growing influence across the country.

Dr Ruto has declared that he will use the party for his first stab at the presidency next year following an onslaught against him by the ruling Jubilee party led by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

UDA chairman Johnston Muthama alleged a plot to try to frustrate the DP and probably deny him the party due to its growing ‘hustler movement’ influence.

This follows a move by the party’s former chairman Mohamed Noor to petition the Political Parties Disputes Tribunal (PPDT) seeking to regain control of the party.

Currently, Mr Muthama is the party’s chairman while Ms Veronica Maina is its Secretary General.

Mr Noor, however, accuses Mr Muthama and Ms Maina of illegally taking over the party leadership without regard to its constitution.

He wants the changes to party leadership rescinded and to reinstate him as the bona fide chairman.

Tuju’s Party Of Action

He claims that the Registrar of Political Parties unlawfully made changes to the party’s National Executive Council (NEC) officials through Gazette Notice No. 1233 dated January 29, 2021, and 2739 published on March 19, 2021.

UDA was formerly Jubilee secretary general Raphael Tuju’s Party Of Action (POA) before it transformed to Party for Development and Reforms (PDR) that has since been rebranded to UDA.

But yesterday, Mr Muthama claimed that the DP’s detractors were once again out to attempt to destabilise his rising political status.

“Our detractors are the ones using them because they want to reduce our popularity and the speed with which we have taken off,” Mr Muthama said.

“They just want to dirty the party and make it sensitive to Kenyans not to trust it but we believe Kenyans know where we have come from and where we are going and understand what we are selling to them and they will stick with us,” he added.

Mr Muthama pointed out that they were ready to appear before the tribunal and any other court of law to prove their rightful acquisition of the party.

Mr Muthama however, argues that they were confident they would win the matter since “the process that we went through to acquire this party was legal.”

Seek legal redress

“There is no way we could have done what we did without having a clear agreement with the officials of the party who were there. It has taken months for someone to come out now claiming that the party belongs to him. Where have they been?” Mr Muthama posed.

He went on: “What we know is that this party was PDR, we went into it, became members, and followed the due process to change the name to UDA.”

He, however, welcomed the move by Mr Noor to seek legal redress, noting that it is the best one “because the constitution is very clear that you can be heard by the court of law.”

“They chose the right route and we shall also put our defense and we hope the court will pronounce itself in our favour. But I don’t think after the rigorous process we underwent to put our case to acquire the party they should take this direction,” added Mr Muthama.

Should the suit go Mr Noor’s way, he shall have succeeded in destabilising the DP’s cause as it happened in the run up to the 2013 elections when his attempt to take over United Democratic Movement (UDM) were thwarted by the late General (Rtd) John Koech.

The DP had just decamped to UDM from ODM after he fell out with its leader Raila Odinga, then Prime Minister.

He then moved to the United Republican Party (URP) which he used to team up with President Uhuru Kenyatta of The National Alliance (TNA) to clinch the presidency in 2013.

Currently, the DP is basking in the glory of winning the recent Kiambaa Parliamentary by election, where the UDA candidate John Wanjiku trounced President Kenyatta’s Jubilee candidate Kariri Njama by 510 votes.

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