Inside Politics

Ruto, Gachagua steer clear of storm engulfing UDA party

Friday, May 31st, 2024 04:18 | By
President William Ruto, First Lady Rachel Ruto, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua and his wife Pastor Dorcas Rigathi during the National Prayer Breakfast at Safari Park Hotel.PHOTO/PCS

President William Ruto during yesterday’s National Prayer Breakfast meeting steered clear of the current storm in his United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party, instead choosing to focus on his government achievements since he was elected in office.

 There was very little to betray the tension between the two leaders and their allies in their ruling party as the DP received the President and ushered him into Safari Park hotel where the meeting was taking place.

 Only a day earlier, allies of the president and those of DP Rigathi Gachagua publicly clashed over the on-goings in the party as it held its grassroots elections.

 But during yesterday’s prayer breakfast, Ruto chose not to delve into the infighting within his party as he only chose to call for unity among Kenyans.

 He instead used the opportunity to appeal to leaders that regardless of how intense Kenya’s political contests get, despite the heat of the debate, they must never forget that Kenya is a great county.  He asked Kenyans and leaders to embrace one another as a nation united by hope so that the country can move forward.

 He said: “I have often reminded my fellow citizens that we might not agree on how to take Kenya forward, but we all agree that we have a common cause to take our country to the next level. And that is what matters. Our democratic culture is a powerful source of resilience and dynamism and an anchor of unity and strength.”

Centre of storm

He added: “Regardless of how intense our political contests get, and despite the heat of our debate, we must never forget what a great country God has bequeathed us, and the opportunity we have to build a strong, secure and prosperous nation. “Gachagua who is at the center of the current storm also chose to keep off the saga, instead focusing on the power of prayer which he said is the answer to many challenges Kenyans are facing.

Quoting Jeremiah 29:11-14, Gachagua said he is a living testimony that prayers work and thus encourage all Kenyans to go the same route.

 He said: “The power of prayer has been significant in our lives both individually and as a nation. President Ruto and I were prayed into victory and we know the power of prayers.   When we came into office, we had the worst drought in five year and through prayers God gave us rains beyond our share. Through prayers we are now food secure. I am also a living testimony of the power of prayers because I live with a pastor in my house who prays for me every day.”

Leaders clashed

 The silence by the two comes just a day after leaders from UDA clashed following warnings from their Secretary General Cleophas Malala that disciplinary action will be taken against the leaders should they continue to disrespect their leaders.

 At a press conference, Malala singled out Githunguri MP Gathoni Wamuchomba, her Kapseret counterpart Oscar Sudi and Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga.

He also called out Public Service Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria and Roads and Infrastructure CS Kipchumba Murkomen for engaging in active politics.

 He said: “ I have been deeply concerned by reports of indiscipline amongst a section of elected leaders within our party, UDA. My attention has been drawn to the fact that certain individuals continue to show blatant disrespect to the party leadership.”

 As the President spoke unity, his ruling United Democratic Alliance was plunged into further crisis last night after the party,s electoral body overruled a decision by Secretary Malala postponing the grassroots elections in West Pokot constituency.

Malala had issued a statement calling off the polls on grounds that he had received complaints which he said raised “weighty” issues.

But in a move that is likely to deepen the rifts in the party and put to severe test Malala’s position, the party’s electoral board chairman Anthony Mwaura and Vice Chairman Adrian Kamotho issued another statement, dismissing the postponement and stating that the polls would go as scheduled today.

The two officials maintained that the purported complaint had been dispensed with and asserted that the polls would go on as scheduled today.

 He said: “As I said on 21st May, I will not make any political statements till 20th August. Someone is not happy with this and is trying to provoke me. In any case that statement could not be from Cleophas Malala because it was ion good English.” 

 Nairobi governor Johnson Sakaja also waded into the debate and for the first time gained courage and called out Gachagua asking him to respect Ruto.

 Sakaja who likened Gachagua’s situation to his own, told him to keep desist from claiming that he helped him clinch the Nairobi seat insisting that the capital was not a reserve of one community.

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