UDA revises campaign strategy in Mt Kenya ahead of polls


Deputy President William Ruto’s UDA party has revised its political strategy to form a formidable force in the Mt Kenya region.

The party has established a series of campaign trails across the Mt Kenya region to reach out to their supporters ahead of the August elections.

Several sources have said that the party is revising its strategy that had worked for them in past elections.

For instance, the party is extensively campaigning and recruiting members to join the ‘adopt a polling station’ campaign strategy.

Those joining are tasked with reaching out to their followers, who will keep vigil at polling stations on voting day and protect the UDA votes.

The party is also zoning areas perceived as friendly and protecting coalition partners from campaigning in such areas. For instance, UDA perceives Kiharu, Kandara, Mathira, Gatanga and Kikuyu as their territory.

Another strategy involves reaching out to aspirants from other parties within their coalition, poll losers and independent candidates, urging them to drop their bids and support UDA candidates.

Those who agreed to the strategy have been promised a prime position if they form the next government in August.

Deputy President recently said his team had agreed to coordinate all the campaign activities and modalities of how candidates will be engaged in the campaigns across the region.

Ruto recently unveiled the UDA party dream team led by Members of Parliament Alice Wahome, Rigathi Gachagua, and Senator Kithure Kindiki. He affirmed that they would pitch camp in the region to solicit votes for his Presidential bid.

Others in the list include governors Anne Waiguru (Kirinyaga) and Mutahi Kahiga (Nyeri) and MPs Alice Wahome (Kandara) and Kikuyu’s Kimani Ichungwa and Ndindi Nyoro (Kiharu).UDA has been insisting on six-piece voting in the coming election.

Last year, the Service Party (TSP) leader Mwangi Kiunjuri denounced Ruto’s call for six-piece voting, describing it as a threat to Mt Kenya parties.

The former Agriculture Cabinet Secretary told off the DP, saying that telling voters to elect only UDA candidates is tantamount to weakening Mt Kenya leaders.

Kiunjuri had said the electorate should be allowed to exercise their freedom in selecting their president, governor, senator, woman representative, MP, and MCA.

The strategy, where UDA candidates campaign as a team, was launched last week in Murang’a County. UDA governor aspirant Irungu Kang’ata and all aspirants in the county organised a rally in Maragua and traversed the region.

Speaking during Inooro TV, Mathira MP and Ruto’s deputy aspirant Rigathi Gachagua said that the team from Mt Kenya is not leaving anything at chance.

He said that the UDA party would have more representatives in all the houses after the August polls.“UDA party support in the Mt Kenya region is unquestionable, and we are sure we will get more votes,” Rigathi said.

Ruto will contest the presidency on a United Democratic Alliance (UDA) ticket as it emerges that Kenya Kwanza Alliance will be a coalition of parties, not a coalition party.

Political analyst Andrew Maringa has said that running on the UDA ticket alongside his deputy, Ruto will potentially have more powers and positions in government than coalition partners.

Maringa said that sharing the government based on elected members could be the reason the DP and his team have been advocating for the six-piece voting.

He said that Ruto and UDA fraternity are keen on making the party stronger and more famous.

“This is the strategy of ensuring that UDA has more slots during the sharing of the government positions, and that is why they are launching adopt a polling station and recruiting more members,” he said.

UDA secretary for legal affairs Edward Muriu has told the Star that the DP Ruto has more hopes with the Mt Kenya team.

He said that since the Azimio la Umoja is also eyeing the region’s votes, the party is engaging in grass-root mobilisation activities to make the party and its candidates more relevant.

Muriu said they had engaged players in all sectors of the economy to ensure that the bottom-up economy model program is entrenched at the ward and village levels.

He further said the bid to bring winners and losers together was for the sake of the party’s stability.

“It is not easy to bring opponents together, but we have made substantial progress by asking them to put the party’s interests first,” said Muriu.

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