Why DP William Ruto’s UDA Party Is the ‘New KANU’

Musalia Mudavadi, Moses Wetangula and William Ruto

Deputy President William Ruto, Amani National Congress (ANC) party leader Musalia Mudavadi to Moses Wetangula of Ford Kenya party are President Moi’s political protégés, they morphed out to form own political outfits that have now banded together under one alliance, Kenya Kwanza

The United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party of Deputy President William Ruto and the Kenya Kwanza outfit has turned out to be the real home to the late President Daniel Arap Moi’s era political students. Most of the politicians now comfortable in Ruto’s UDA party are products of the once-powerful independence ruling party KANU. The party dominated Kenya’s political space from independence in 1963 to 2002 when the late Mwai Kibaki took over as president under NARC.
Deputy President William Ruto, Amani National Congress (ANC) party leader Musalia Mudavadi to Moses Wetangula of Ford Kenya party are President Moi’s political protégés. They morphed out to form their political outfits that have now banded together under one alliance, Kenya Kwanza ready to battle it out for the Presidency in the August 9th, 2022 general elections. 

Deputy President William Ruto first plunged into the country’s politics through the notorious cash splashing group called Youth For KANU 1992 (YK ’92) as the outfit’s organizing secretary. The YK ’92 outfit was created by president Moi’s administration ostensibly to fight against an overwhelming wave of multi-party politics after the repeal of Section 2(a) of the old constitution that threatened the very existence of Kanu. As the organizing secretary of YK ’92, Ruto had a stranglehold on the bottomless cash coffers. The outfit lavishly splashed the cash on voters, bribed politicians, some members of the defunct Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) and even opponents.

It is when the Kshs. 500 banknote denomination was first introduced in the economy, the note became synonymous with YK ’92 chairman Cyrus Jirongo. Both Ruto and Jirongo went on to gravitate into elective politics and the cabinet of the late President. Musalia Mudavadi was groomed into the country’s national politics following the death of his father the late Moses Mudamba Mudavadi, a close ally of Daniel Moi. Mr Moi ensured that the young Mudavadi won the Sabatia constituency seat in the subsequent by-election succeeding his father.

Moi then appointed him into the cabinet as a minister, a career that saw him move through the ministries of Trade, Finance and then the Vice-Presidency in the last days of Moi’s administration. He was bundled out when his mentor chose him as Uhuru Kenyatta’s running mate on a Kanu ticket in the 2002 general elections; they lost to President Mwai Kibaki.

The Ford-K leader Moses Wetangula though hailing from a mostly opposition area at the time, made his entry into politics after the late President Moi eased his way into parliament. He was nominated as a Kanu MP after the 1992 general election, serving until 1997. He had served in various capacities previously, including that of a magistrate and the chairman Electricity Regulatory Board. He also offered his legal services to the late Moi and his associates, Kanu as well as state corporations then moved into elective politics on a Ford party ticket, this saw him land an appointment into the cabinet as a foreign affairs minister under the late President Kibaki administration.

Though the wavering Wiper leader is considering quitting the Azimio outfit to join the Ruto outfit if he is not appointed Raila’s running mate and ultimately Deputy President, he is also a creation of the late President Moi.

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