UDA has managed to present fairly organized party primaries in the history of Kenyan politics when older political parties still prefer to impose a candidate and coerce other aspirants to back them.
Latest opinion polls are showing that UDA leader DP William Ruto is ahead of Azimio’s Raila Odinga as their parties tie up nominations exercise where DP’s party excelled over Odinga’s ODM.
UDA primaries produced a 24-year-old Linet Chepkorir, popularly known as ‘Toto’ who captured the attention of the country after she beat all odds to clinch the coveted UDA ticket in Bomet County without resources.
That’s how the DP’s party made news when adherents of the ODM party were complaining about Raila Odinga issuing a direct ticket to his elder brother Oburu Oginga and imposing a candidate in Homa Bay.
But ODM despite being one of the older parties in the run-up to August polls still shies away from conducting nominations because its history is tainted with violence and protests.
Only ODM leader Raila Odinga has scoffed at the UDA nominations terming them shambolic and disorderly. He claimed that the entire exercise was marred with violence and irregularities because it is not organized.
DP’s response is calm and collected. He is instead receiving UDA aspirants at his Karen residence and sending congratulatory messages to party followers. His competitors like Jubilee have all shied away from nominations like ODM and are busy issuing out direct tickets to relative of party bosses.
As Ruto heals from exercise which was only marred by a few hitches, cracks are emerging within ODM in Mombasa where direct tickets were issued to special ones including Said Abdalla who is related ODM deputy leader Hassan Joho.
Joshua Ndere who was also eying the same ticket to run for the Nyali parliamentary seat has threatened to quit ODM which favors Abdalla. The party had initially invited him to Nairobi where he refused to be coerced to support Joho’s cousin.
ODM also gave direct tickets to Mishi Mboko (Likoni), Omar Mwinyi (Changamwe), Badi Twalib (Jomvu), Rashid Bedzimba (Kisauni) and Masoud Machele (Mvita) among other regions in Mombasa.
The Hustler Nation is grateful to Hon. Gichuhi Mwangi, MP Tetu, for graciously accepting the outcome of our party nominations. You have shown true leadership by agreeing to support Geoffrey Wandeto who emerged the winner. pic.twitter.com/KOkxlHkqKW
Odinga’s party has over the time been under criticism for offering free tickets to candidates who end up disappointing the electorates and the party after every election. They lost the Nyali seat in the election after rigging out Mohamed Ali who won as an independent candidate.
ODM had elections in five wards rocked with violence in Mombasa where it used should command solid support. In Tudor nominated MCA Moses Aran quit the party to run as an independent after he unfairly lost to incumbent Tobia Samba.
There is also uproar in sections of Odinga’s Nyanza backyard where voters are warning the ODM party against imposing candidates and favouring relatives of the party leader. Oburu Oginga who is Raila’s elder brother was also given a direct ticket to contest the Siaya senatorial seat and Gladys Wanga to run for Homa Bay gubernatorial seat.
Wanga is seen as a replica of the outgoing governor Cyprian Awiti whose tenure has been rocked with controversies and massive looting. Senator James Orengo was given a direct ticket to contest the Siaya gubernatorial seat because of his proximity to Odinga who owns ODM.
But UDA is being lauded for its promising democracy. Big names fell in the April 14 nominations included DP’s right-hand man Charles Keter, Soy MP Caleb Kositany, former KNUT Secretary General Wilson Sossion and Laikipia Women Rep Cate Waiguru among others.