Kakamega Senator Bonny Khalwale, who is a founder member of the UDA and a close ally of Mudavadi, has now come out openly to file a petition before the UDA Party Disputes and Resolutions Committee seeking the removal of Malala as the party’s Secretary General over allegations of gross misconduct. In the petition, Khalwale and another member of the UDA party, Walter Mkinginyi Trenk, want Malala kicked out for allegedly usurping the powers and functions of the National Elections Board of the party
In politics, nothing happens by chance where happenings are plotted, scripted and executed to serve targeted objectives. The appointment of Mr. Cleophas Malala as the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) Party Secretary General caught many by surprise. Political pundits, however, believed that President Ruto was trying to avoid picking a Kalenjin of a Kikuyu as the party’s spokesman; hence, they opted for Malala, who, at the time, was a member of the Amani National Congress (ANC).
The appointment of Mr Malala as the UDA party Secretary General was intended to achieve specific goals, especially as far as the Luhya community’s next political direction is concerned. The president’s plot was to use Mr Malala to arm-twist Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi and National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetangula into folding their parties, ANC and Ford-Kenya to join the UDA. Mr. Malala, however, failed to give the issue a professional approach; instead, he used threats and intimidation against Musalia and Wetangula, which backfired badly on him.
Luhya politicians allied to Mudavadi are totally opposed to Malala’s persistent attacks on Mudavadi and Wetangula; a plot has now been hatched to kick him out of the UDA party. Sources say Malala is opposed to the secret proposals by President Ruto to pick Mudavadi as his running mate in 2027. It is alleged that Mr Malala is Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua’s right-hand man, whose main job is to fight Mudavadi on the ground and make him irrelevant in 2027.
Kakamega Senator Bonny Khalwale, who is a founder member of the UDA and a close ally of Mudavadi, has now come out openly to file a petition before the UDA Party Disputes and Resolutions Committee seeking the removal of Malala as the party’s Secretary General over allegations of gross misconduct. In the petition, Khalwale and another member of the UDA party, Walter Mkinginyi Trenk, want Malala kicked out for allegedly usurping the powers and functions of the National Elections Board of the party.
The petitioners accuse Malala of taking advantage of his position as the SG to exploit situations that would be beneficial to him to the detriment of other party members. In his petition, Khalwale claims that Malala has usurped the power of the party’s National Elections Board by hiring regional and county managers to conduct the forthcoming grassroots elections, which are scheduled to take place on December 9, 2023.
Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa has also joined Khalwale in pushing for the removal of Malala as the UDA SG. Barasa accused Malala of allegedly working with the opposition to wreck the party from within. Barasa claimed that he has evidence showing that Malala was being used by ODM to incite the people in the Western region against Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetang’ula. It is claimed that the decision by the UDA Secretary General to hold meetings in Bungoma and Vihiga counties to incite locals against Mudavadi and Wetangula was a clear indication that he was working against the interests of President Ruto and the Kenya Kwanza Alliance in the region.
Sources now say that Khalwale is eyeing the SG’s position in UDA and is planning to run against Malala in the forthcoming party polls in December. Khalwale is already lobbying for the position and has received backing from major political players in Western Kenya. Although Wetangula and Mudavadi will not participate in the UDA elections, they enjoy the political goodwill in the region that will influence the voting pattern in the event that the two vie for the SG’s position.
The UDA party elections have renewed political rivalry between Malala and Khalwale. It is imperative to note that the two politicians were eyeing the Kakamega governor’s seat in the last general election before the UDA top brass prevailed on Khalwale to shelve his bid in favor of Malala, who lost the seat to ODM’s Fernandez Barasa while Khalwale emerged victorious in his senatorial bid.
The forthcoming UDA party elections could be a rematch between the two politicians, as Khalwale has promised to beat Malala in the December elections. What is not known is whether Ruto will take sides with his appointee (Malala) against Khalwale or if he will let the people decide who the substantive SG of UDA becomes. Analysts, however, believe that Didmas Barasa wants Malala kicked out for interfering with Bungoma County 2027 politics. It is being whispered that Malala has brought on board former Bungoma Governor Whyclife Wangamati, who recently defected from DAP-Kenya to UDA.
The defection did not go down well with Barasa and his allies, as it was seen as a counter to Barasa’s 2027 Bungoma gubernatorial bid.