Inside Politics

‘Our social media pages are hacked’ – Malala says as UDA squabbles escalate

Thursday, May 30th, 2024 22:05 | By
UDA Secretary General Cleophas Malalah
UDA Secretary General Cleophas Malalah. PHOTO/@Cleophasmalala/X

United Democratic Alliance (UDA) secretary general Cleophas Malala now claims the party's official social media accounts have been hacked.

In a video statement released to the media, Malala said they are trying to recover the accounts, and asked the public to disregard any information posted on the pages.

This comes after a series of statements claiming to be from party officials were posted on the pages contradicting a statement he had earlier issued postponing the party's grassroots elections in West Pokot.

"We want to announce that our communication platforms, that is the official UDA Facebook page has been hacked by an unknown person who is not a member of the secretariat. I'd like to urge the members of the public to ignore any communication (from the page) moving forward. We've made reports to the Facebook administrators that our account has been hacked," Malala said.

Earlier on, Malala ordered UDA's National Elections Board (NEB) to postpone West Pokot's grassroots elections following complaints filed on May 21, 2024, to the party's Electoral & Nomination Disputes Resolution Committee.

"This communication addresses the complaint filed on 21st May 2024 concerning the aforementioned elections. The complainant's complaint dated 21st May 2024 discloses weighty issues. The Ruling on the complaint is hereby deferred for the next seven days. The Respondent (National Elections Board) is hereby ordered not to conduct any further elections in the affected constituencies until the committee delivers its ruling," Malalah stated.

"In adherence to the UDA Party constitution and to respect the integrity of the party's organs we hereby postpone the planned constituency elections in the affected constituencies to a later date that will be communicated by the National Elections Board."

Statements from UDA officials

However, according to a statement posted on official UDA social media pages, Electoral and Nomination Disputes Resolution Committee vice chairperson Adrian Kamotho denied Malala's allegations that the party had made such a decision.

"Our attention is drawn to a public notice issued by the acting Secretary General of the UDA party purporting to reference an Order of the Electoral and Nomination Disputes Resolution Committee (ENDRC). The referenced Order is FAKE and the same did not emanate from the ENDRC," Kamotho stated.

Kamotho's statement was preceded by a statement from UDA's NEB chairperson Anthony Mwaura, who told off Malalah, claiming he has no mandate in handling election affairs in the party.

"Reference is made to a Notice by the acting Secretary General purporting to postpone the ongoing elections in West Pokot County. Article 21 of the UDA constitution establishes the National Elections Board as an independent organ of the Party that must act independently of any direction from anybody or any party organ," Mwaura stated.

"Resultantly, any notice purporting to address election matters is unlawful, without basis and is therefore null and void. For greater certainty, this position was clarified by the Political Parties and Disputes Tribunal in Complaint 23 of 2023, Walter Trenk & Another Vs. Cleophas Malala."

UDA Party National Election Board Chairman Anthony Mwaura
UDA Party National Election Board Chairman Anthony Mwaura. PHOTO/@UDAKenya/X

Mwaura has directed that the elections in West Pokot will go on as earlier announced.

"The UDA party will carry on with ALL the Constituency level elections scheduled to take place tomorrow the 31/5/2024, in compliance with the earlier notice. All subsequent elections will continue in accordance with the schedule or as shall by time to time be notified," Mwaura said.

Another statement from the UDA executive director Nicodemus Bore, shared through UDA social media pages indicated that election matters are a preserve of NEB, and thus any other communication should be ignored.

"Pursuant to and in accordance with the Constitution, the Election and Nomination rules and of the UDA Party, Elections are the sole and exclusive responsibility of the National Elections Board. We advise members of the Party to disregard and ignore any notice or Communication emanating from any other office and purporting to address matters concerning elections. Any such Notice must be signed and authorised by the National Elections Board Chairman," the statement from Bore claimed.

It is not yet clear whether it is internal conflict within the party or hacking as Malala claims.

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