After months of speculation, Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru has joined the United Democratic Alliance (UDA), the party associated with Deputy President William Ruto.
Waiguru was on Tuesday, October 26 welcomed to the party by Ruto who hosted her and 23 Members of the Kirinyaga County Assembly at his Karen residence in Nairobi. The Governor had earlier gone public with fears that she would be unable to defend her seat on a Jubilee ticket thanks to inroads Ruto and UDA had made in Central Kenya since 2017.
At a rally in September, she maintained her stance that she would only be listening to her constituents by ditching Jubilee. Waiguru asked members of the public which party they wanted her to defend her seat on, to which the crowd responded with chants of ‘UDA’.
“If I ran today on a Jubilee ticket and someone else ran on a different party, even if people felt I had performed, it would be hard to convince them to vote for me,” she explained in a recent interview.
Interestingly, the move sets up a clash with her long-time rival, Kirinyaga Women Representative Wangui Ngirici who is eyeing the Governor’s seat in 2022.
Ngirici has been one of Ruto’s most vocal supporters in Kirinyaga and was widely expected to vie for the Governor’s seat on a UDA ticket. With Waiguru now in the DP’s camp, the political landscape is sure to change in the coming months.
On his part, DP Ruto has promised free and fair nomination exercises in UDA amid reports that some of his top lieutenants were seeking direct nominations by the party as a reward for their loyalty.
“Politics is about interests. All those contesting are not angels who fell from heaven, they have served in various positions and therefore can be judged based on what they did. I call on all the aspirants to campaign on ideologies and whoever loses should support the winner. Everyone will be accommodated in government as they are all leaders in their own rights,” he stated in October.