The United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party that is associated with Deputy President William Ruto won’t field a candidate in the Garissa Senatorial by-election scheduled for May 18, his ally Aden Duale has revealed.
In an interview with a local publication, the former National Assembly Majority Leader intimated that the party will back the second-born son of the late Senator Yusuf Haji, Abdul Haji, who has been endorsed for the seat by local clans.
This, Duale said, is “in honour and respect of the late senator” who died on February 15, 2020, after a long illness.
Abdul’s candidature was recently supported by two major clans of Abduwak and Aulihan after his father’s clan of Abdalla endorsed him.
Haji’s clan and community leaders have been lobbying to have Abdul run unopposed on his late father’s Jubilee party.
Duale, who was stripped of his majority role in June over association with DP Ruto, said UDA had resolved to support Abdul to complete his father’s second term in the Senate on the same party.
“As as the DP ordered in Huruma ward, Uasin Gishu county, we agreed that due to the position as respect that we have for our former senator, we unanimously agreed that our candidate will be Abdul,” Duale told the Star.
The Garissa Township MP, however, stated that come 2022 he will rally the pastoralist community to switch to UDA which rebranded recently from the Party of Development and Reforms that has roots in the region.
“For now, the party is not that critical factor compared to the interests of the community. We are optimistic that once the term of this government comes to an end, we will embark on a new journey where we know the aspirations and development agenda of our people will be taken care of,” he added.
UDA, which is touted as the vehicle that Ruto will use in the 2022 race to State House following the deep divisions in the ruling Jubilee party, fielded its first candidates in the March 4 by-elections as part of efforts to popularise its “hustler” ideology across the country ahead of the next year elections.
Out of the seven by-elections conducted by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) last Thursday, the party won Nakuru’s London Ward seat.
UDA’s Anthony Nzuki trounced Francis Njoroge of Jubilee after he garnered 1,707 votes against Njoroge’s 1,385.