NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 19 — A new conflict pitting the vote-rich Mt Kenya region against the Rift Valley bloc is threatening to destabilize the governing party after details emerged over behind-the-scenes intrigues preceding elections for the East Africa Legislative Assembly (EALA).
Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga on Friday claimed United Democratic Alliance (UDA) lawmakers from the region were unhappy with the outcome of a Parliamentary Group meeting hosted by President William Ruto during which members voted to endorse five of the party’s fifteen cleared candidates.
“That is the reason we voted Kanini Kega and we will continue to vote for our own if this kind of games continue. It is still too early in this marriage but dalili ya mvua ni mawingu (the sign of an impending rain is clouds). We have urged our people to stay alert and we will not allow anyone to play with us,” Kahiga said.
He faulted the endorsed list that lacked a candidate from the region, saying the decision to back Azimio’s Kanini Kega was a deliberate move to show discontent.
The Governor, who temporarily endorsed Ruto’s chief rival Raila Odinga before making a U-turn, cautioned unnamed individuals in the ruling outfit of consequences for playing what he termed as politics of deceit.
“We promised to walk this journey together we are however not married to one person who can control us politically. During the EALA elections we realized there are people who want to play with us and bring political deceit to us,” said Kahiga.
The State House meeting settled on Hassan Omar Hassan, Fred Muteti, Zipporah Kering, David Sankok and Falhada Dekow as UDA representatives for the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA).
Omar was the United Democratic Alliance’s (UDA) Mombasa gubernatorial candidate in the August polls but lost.
Sankok is a former Nominated Member of Parliament, while Kering and Dekow are both former Women representatives in Nandi and Garissa Counties, respectively.
Muteti was Ruto’s 2022 Campaign Coordinator in the South-Eastern Region.
The lineup was narrowed down from a list of 15 members to fit the slots allocated to Ruto’s led coalition at the regional Legislative Assembly.
Mt Kenya MPs however felt shortchanged after a candidate from the region missed out of a PG endorsement.
The MPs claimed that their colleagues from Rift Valley were determined to deny them a slot by declining to vote for a candidate from the region.
When the voting time process was concluded Hassan Omar Hassan (UDA) came in first after he garnered 253 votes in the high stakes elections.
Zipporah Kering came in second with 223 votes while Sankok garnered a similar amount of votes.
Godfrey Karobia emerged the biggest winner defying the odds to become the fourth in the Kenya Kwanza Alliance list.
Despite having lost in the secret ballot elections conducted during the party’s parliamentary group meeting he resurfaced making it to the final list.
Muteti who garnered 189 to come in fifth was dropped due to gender parity considerations in favour of former Nominated Senator Falhada who obtained 174.