‘I’m part of the deep state’- Cleophas Malala breaks silence after poll defeat
Former Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala now says he remains influential in local politics despite his humbling defeat in the August general election.
Speaking during a church service at Kabarnet ASK Showground in Baringo on Sunday, November 13, Malala, who lost the Kakamega governor's seat to Fernandes Barasa in the hotly contested election, said poll losers who supported President William Ruto's State House bid are close to power.
Malala, who has kept a low profile since his defeat, affirmed that leaders from the Luhya community are part of the government after delivering about one million votes for the Kenya Kwanza Alliance leader, despite the Western and the Coast regions being viewed as the strongholds of Ruto's main challenger Raila Odinga.
"To those who supported William Ruto, I want to assure you that we as leaders from the Western region are fully in government and at the centre of power. Elected leaders from this region like Kipchumba Murkomen, Aaron Cheruiyot are the State, but for us who lost the election are the deep state," he said to cheers from the congregation.
"So those who have raised their concerns about hunger and security, we as the deep state will have a sit down with the president and solve that issue," he added.
Malala ran for the governor's seat on an Amani National Congress (ANC) party ticket.
The outspoken former legislator is said to have played a big role in the coalition deal between then ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi and Ruto of the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party, leading to the birth of the Kenya Kwanza coalition.
The deal saw Mudavadi last month appointed and sworn in as the Prime Cabinet Secretary after Ruto's victory in the August 9 presidential election.
Mudavadi's close ally Moses Wetang'ula of the Ford Kenya Party was also part of the deal. Wetang'ula, who had been elected Senator for Bungoma county, was elected Speaker of the National Assembly after the Kenya Kwanza victory.
Malala was among a few leaders who conceded defeat in the August polls.
In his concession speech in August, Malala said the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) conducted a credible election.
"Tumekubali kama vichwa vyetu viko juu zaidi. Nawapongeza wapinzani wangu Fernandez Barasa na Ayub Savula. Hakuna kura iliibiwa Kakamega County napongeza IEBC Kwa kazi nzuri (We accept the results with our heads high. I congratulate my competitors Fernandes Barasa and his deputy Ayub Savula. No vote was stolen in Kakamega County and because of that we commend IEBC for the good work)," Malala said.
He expressed interest in working with the new county boss to move Kakamega forward.
"Huu ni mwanzo mpya, nawashukuru wote walionipigia kura na wale hawakunipigia. Niko tayari kufanya kazi na Fernandez Barasa akiwa gavana, kama Kuna mahali manifesto yangu ilimfurahisha aniite tufanye kazi (This is a new beginning. I thank all those who believed in my dream and those who didn't vote for me. I am ready to work with Barasa and if there is something he liked in my manifesto I am ready to offer my services to his administration)," he added.
The electoral body held the Kakamega elections on Monday, August 29, after postponing the exercise twice.
IEBC suspended the Kakamega and Mombasa gubernatorial polls a day before the August 9 general election citing a ballot mix-up.
IEBC Chairperson Wafula Chebukati said ballot papers for the respective elections bore wrong images as names.