What few will admit about DP Ruto's UDA [Pulse Editor's Opinion]

The DP's new party was formerly the Party of Development and Reform, which officially changed its name to UDA in December 2020

UDA presidential flagbearer Dr William Ruto during a consultative forum with leaders from the North Eastern region of Kenya

Just one year after everything was made official through the Registrar of Political Parties and the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) launched its operations under the leadership of former Machakos Senator Johnstone Muthama, the party has risen to become a key player in the 2022 General Election.

Initially, Deputy President William Ruto had chosen to remain in the shadows as the party found its footing. Perhaps keeping a safe distance due to heavy criticism for campaigning for his presidential bid while still in office.

Details made available to the public indicate that the party was actually hatched in December 2020 after the Party of Development and Reform agreed to relinquish itself and fold into UDA.

PDR's then chairperson Abdi Noor Mohammed gave up his position to Mr Muthama but would later engage UDA in an ownership dispute. UDA claimed that Noor's objections were instigated by the Jubilee party.

The disputes have since subsided and in March 2021 UDA was officially listed in an edition of the Kenya Gazette along with its National Executive Council (NEC).

UDA would, in 2021, establish itself as a party of repute through participation in a number of by-elections succeeding in securing the Kiambaa seat at the National Assembly, and several MCA seats.

What few are willing to admit about the UDA party is, first, UDA is likely to be the Majority Wing of Kenya's 13th Parliament.

Going by the number of new aspirants looking to vie under the UDA party and the number of current MPs defending their seats as members of UDA, DP Ruto's party has very good odds working in its favour.

At this point, UDA - much like the Jubilee party of 2017 - has strengthened its standing such that campaigning for a 'six-piece-suite' vote may be feasible.

Boasting over six million registered members so far, the party may have attained its goal of dethroning the Chungwa party as the largest in Kenya.

Second, and possibly inadvertently, UDA is proving to be the more strategic bet for candidates who actually want to form the next government(s).

In any Kenyan election, politicians fall under two broad categories; those who are vying to win and; those who are angling for a place in government. If you're lucky enough to be Moses Kuria, then you're both.

Due to its now undeniable popularity, UDA has become a major factor to consider for those vying for governor as well as those seeking to attain posts in the next national government. Chances, Anne Waiguru will tell you, look better if you're a friend of UDA.

What even fewer may be willing to admit is; the minds behind UDA have a few things right, and with a bit of luck then their mind child may grow to be one of the reasons why those who fought for multi-party democracy have a reason to smile as they look down on the Kenya they birthed.

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