Kenya: Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza Alliance grows as nine parties sign up

By Victor Abuso
Posted on Thursday, 14 April 2022 14:57

Deputy President William Ruto attends a church service in Karen, Nairobi
Deputy President William Ruto attends a church service in Karen, Nairobi, Kenya, August 13, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

Deputy President William Ruto's Kenya Kwanza Alliance has attracted other political parties, and as a result, also drawn criticism and praise in equal measure.

The Democratic Party, led by the National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi, is one the parties that has aligned itself with Ruto’s coalition.

“I am joining Kenya Kwanza because I believe in it,” Muturi said after signing the coalition agreement in Nairobi. Other parties include:

  • Chama Cha Kazi;
  • Communist Party of Kenya;
  • Devolution Party;
  • Economic Freedom Party;
  • Farmers Party;
  • The Service Party;
  • Tujibebe Wakenya Party;
  • Umoja Maendeleo Party.

Formidable power

Ruto believes that the decision of the parties to support his candidature signals the formation of a formidable political power that will help him clinch the presidency come 9 August. “There are many coalitions in town, but this is a coalition with a difference,” he said on 12 April.

Comparing his alliance to that of Raila Odinga’s Azimio la Umoja party, the deputy president says: “The alliance we put together today is the alliance of the free, the alliance of the willing.”

This is the time for each coalition to show its political strength to woo voters.

However, shortly after announcing his coalition, four parties from Raila’s Azimio wrote a protest letter to the Registrar of Political Parties asking for an immediate halt to the registration of Ruto’s alliance. They claim that certain clauses of the agreement were amended or altered.

Make it public

Even though the details of the agreement have not been made public, Moses Kuria – who leads the Chama Cha Kazi Party (CCK) – has told his supporters that there were no hidden pages in the agreement, and that the details were clear to them.

READ MORE Kenya’s Ruto: ‘[I] will accept the outcome of the election whichever way it goes’

“All parties agreed with the content. Then all parties signed the agreement. There were no hidden pages,” he said on his Facebook page.

However, George Mwangi, a taxi driver in Nairobi who supports Ruto’s run for presidency, wants the agreement to be made public so the coalition supporters can better understand what their leaders signed.

“We want to know what they signed and how power will be shared if we win,” he tells The Africa Report. 

Collins Okaka, who says he will vote for Raila for the third time, has dismissed claims that the nine parties joining Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza will pose a threat to the Azimio One Kenya Coalition.

According to him, they are small parties with few followers. “Those are small parties, they are not a threat to us,” he tells The Africa Report.

I don’t see anything new they are bringing on the table, the signing was only good for public perception.

The Kenya Kwanza outfit has announced a deadline of 9 May to other political parties willing to join the formation. Even so, Kevin Kegoli, a Nairobi based political analyst, says Kenyans should expect more political parties to either join Ruto or Raila ahead of the official campaign period from May.

“This is the time for each coalition to show its political strength to woo voters,” he says. He however warns that Ruto should not expect much from the nine parties, because his party (the United Democratic Alliance – UDA) already has a strong following in Mount Kenya, the region where the recent parties that signed the agreement come from.

“I don’t see anything new they are bringing on the table, the signing was only good for public perception,” he says.

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