• This could dent Deputy President William Ruto's efforts to make inroads in the region ahead of next year's general election.
• The officials accused Eliud Owalo, who is the UDA point man in the Nyanza region, of ignoring the disputes in Homa Bay.
The UDA team in Homa Bay is headed for turbulent times following internal divisions.
This could dent Deputy President William Ruto's efforts to make inroads in the region ahead of next year's general election.
Some officials, led by coordinator Everest Okambo and chairman Ben Onyango, said on Tuesday a splinter group comprising church leaders and traders has hijacked the membership registration drive.
Speaking in Homa Bay town, they said the faction, calling itself 'Friends of Ruto', has been moving around discrediting them and mobilising residents to meet with Ruto in preparations for the 2022 polls.
Also present were members Kevin Ondeyo and Rose Auma.
The officials accused Eliud Owalo, who is the UDA point man in the Nyanza region, of ignoring the disputes in Homa Bay.
Owalo is said to be focussing on his PhD studies and is unable to intervene.
“The splinter group must have been working with Owalo to edge us out of UDA. But we’re not ready to give them room,” Onyango said.
Okambo said the faction claims they are the bonafide members in charge of UDA in the county.
Okambo argued that the people collect money for registration and promise locals they will take them to visit the DP.
“We smell a rat; these people are out to ruin the gains we’ve made in promoting UDA in Homa Bay. Let it be known we’re not part of them,” he said.
The group is also accused of having printed UDA T-shirts.
Okambo expressed concern that the faction was weakening the party and ruining Ruto's chances of winning the region's support.
He said they seek to register over 50,000 people and have already listed 20,000.
“We list people for free, but these people (splinter group) demand registration fees,” Okambo said.
Onyango said the rivalry has caused uncertainty over the DP's visit to the Nyanza region.
Initial plans were that Ruto would tour Migori and Kisumu counties in the third week of this month and Homa Bay and Siaya in the last week of the month.
But DP’s director of communication Emmanuel Talam was quoted saying the plans had been halted until further notice.