Kenya: The Kingpin of Mandera and his party switch sides….

Azimio la Umoja’s Ali Roba, UDM party leader joins Kenya Kwanza. Sources confirm Roba led a delegation of UDM politicians who were elected under his party to join president-elect William Samoei Ruto’s coalition. He and his contingent were welcomed by Ruto at his Karen residence” (Lolwe TV Kenya, 18.08.2022).

Today it’s clear that the purge on Azimio la Umoja coalition is on. The Kenya Kwanza Coalition is now seeking to broaden their mandate and get fellow allies in the Parliament. It is now clear that the Party, which the President-Elect was part of in 1999. When Ruto and other KANU rebels started the United Democratic Movement. A party which wasn’t allowed registration at the time. Ruto sought refuge in the party in 2007, but was claimed to have a hostile takeover. That meant that Ruto had to start his own party, the United Republican Party (URP) which formed an alliance with Uhuru Kenyatta’s The National Alliance (TNA). The rest from here is history and now after being Deputy President for two terms and elected President. The party is returning as an ally of Ruto, which is so interesting in the grand scheme of things…

How the UDM did in this election:

The surprise kingmaker of the northern region is Mandera Governor Ali Roba. His United Democratic Movement (UDM) pulled a surprise by winning two governor positions, nine parliamentary seats and at least 35 ward representatives. UDM bagged the Mandera governor seat through County Assembly Speaker Adan Khalif. Marsabit Governor Mohamud Ali choose to defend his seat on its ticket. Mr Roba is the new Mandera Senator on the party ticket. New Wajir senator Abass Sheikh Mohamed also sailed through on UDM ticket. The party bagged the Mandera Woman Representative position through Ms Umulkheir Kassaim. UDM won the Mandera North, Mandera South, Mandera West and Banisa parliamentary seats as well as Lunga Lunga in Kwale and Laisamis constituency in Marsabit county” (The Daily Nation – ‘Election shows who regional kingmakers are, with Roba the new kid on the block’ 14.08.2022).

The UDM party really matters in the North-East and Hassan Ali Joho wrote this after the polls:

Mandera County: Ali Roba is the king of politics in North Eastern Kenya. His newly formed UDM party won Governor position, Senatorial, Women Rep and four MPs. ODM and Jubilee has one MP respectively” (Hassan Ali Joho, 11.08.2022).

So, just mere days after the Declaration of President-Elect Ruto. He has been able to get 10 independent MPs on his side and now 7 MPs and other elected officials as well. Because, the UDM are changing sides. They are doing this even before any petition to the Supreme Court and doing their bidding to be part of the newly elected government. Which by acts of KKA and UDA is getting a stronger majority by the day.

This is just the beginning of the purge. Others will follow the UDM. They want to have a say and possibility of plum-jobs in government. These folks wants titles and the benefits of being associated with the ruling elite. That’s the gist of it.

That’s why the kingmaker, the kingpin and the king of politics in Mandera switched sides and joined Ruto. He ditched Odinga the first moment that he could. The UDM party leadership knows this will benefit them and it’s a reason for the turn of events.

Azimio shouldn’t be surprised. They should just expect more parties to join. As they want their cut and their place in the hierarchy. They don’t want to be left alone in the dark. No, they also wants to shine. Their bet was the wrong one and now that why they are fleeing the sinking ship. Peace.

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