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A look at the party primaries, lessons learnt


As the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) nominations slowly come to a close several incumbents have lost that is if the parties’ nominations results is anything to go by. Actually the leaders could be headed home should they ignore the next few days window to vie as independent candidates.

The political giants that were slayed in the UDA nominations and who opt for the independent candidate ticket will face the same electorates and those who trounced them in the August 9th general election. The window for independent candidates closes on 2nd of May.

Among vocal politicians who have lost in the UDA party primaries are nominated Senator Isaac Mwaura who has an unsuccessful bid for the UDA ticket in Ruiru parliamentary contest. Mwaura lost to incumbent MP Simon Kingara claiming the exercise was marred with irregularities.

“We will file a formal complaint to the party because what happened in Ruiru was not an election, it was shambolic. We want UDA party to declare the exercise null and void and allow Ruiru people engage in a free and fair electoral process, Mwaura said.

But he later changed tune and decided to support his main rival and Ruiru MP Simon King’ara saying it was time to forget the past and instead forge ahead to ensure that there party leader Deputy President William Ruto clinches the Presidency in the August 9th general election.

Other political causality is Laikipia woman Representative Cate Waruguru who was defeated by incumbent Mohammed Dedi, she was seeking the UDA ticket for the Laikipia East parliamentary race. A vocal critique of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration and a defender of Deputy President William Ruto , Waruguru was hopeful of a big win.


National Assembly deputy speaker Moses Cheboi was humbled by Alfred Mutai in the UDA contest for Kuresoi north parliamentary seat. Cheboi lost to Mutai an MCA representing Sirikwa ward in Nakuru county assembly

Soy Member of Parliament Caleb Kositany is yet another bigwig that was floored in the primaries, Kositany was defeated by Jonathan Bii popularly known as Koti moja in the race for the UDA flag bearer in Uasin gishu governors contest. Kositany was not the only one floored by Bii, immediate former Kenyan ambassador to china Sarah Serem and Julius Bitok also lost in the same race.

“Being close to the Deputy President is not an added advantage neither is it a negative advantage because he is the party leader …but one thing that we agreed is no matter how close we are as friends democracy must prevail and we must seek mandate of the people,” he revealed in an interview.

Former Energy CS Charles Keter who vied for the UDA ticket in the Kericho governor race was floored by political new comer university lecturer Dr Eric Mutai.

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It was also be premium tears to disgruntled former KNUT secretary general Wilson Sossion who was defeated, calling the whole primaries process a sham.

“UDA officials are crooks out to install their henchmen and business partners in leadership positions so as to facilitate looting of government resources at the national and county governments,” Sossion said while addressing journalists at St Bhakita hall in Bomet town.


Such embarrassing defeat is what pushed some aspirants to join smaller parties in order to avoid the nominations scare.

For instance, Democratic Action party of Kenya DAP K, Pamoja African Alliance,Chama cha Mashinani CCM, Maendeleo Chapchap , United Progressive Alliance UPA among others received aspirants who defected from other parties.

Kisii senator Sam Ongeri for example decamped from ODM party to DAP K to vie for the Kisii gubernatorial seat, Nyamira governor Amos Nyaribo on the other hand opted to defend his seat in the newly formed party UPA which is associated with the Gusii professionals, the governor bagged a direct ticket and hence hasn’t been subjected to party primaries

The UDA party nominations shocker should worry politicians who think that they are indispensible, or who think aligning themselves to who is who in the political scene was a sure bet for them to clinch party tickets. The recent party nominations though did have some hitches it showed that the electorates are awoke. It also showed that the country’s democracy was coming of age as parties let the electorates to elect the leaders they wanted this was witnessed in the number of youth and women aspirants who were elected to fly different party tickets in the primaries.

Political parties therefore should thus not shy away from embracing the open nominations process as it gives voters a variety of choices, aspirants including those who come from the marginalized areas like the youth, women and the disabled have a chance of soaring to leadership positions.