• Kahiga regretted that the current acting Secretary General Cleophas Malala hails from an opposition zone that voted overwhelmingly for the ODM candidate Raila Odinga.
• A UDA National Steering Committee meeting chaired by Ruto last week pushed the UDA elections which had been scheduled for December 9, to April next year.
Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga has urged President William Ruto to designate the Secretary General position in the UDA party to a representative from the Mount Kenya region.
In an interview with Star, Kahiga emphasised the need for the region to be duly acknowledged for its strong support for Ruto in the last general election.
He noted that during the last election, the position of the secretary general was ably held by Senator Veronica Maina and saw the party through a transition.
"The position of secretary general should be given back to Veronica Maina as she did a nice job and this will be a great reward to the people of Mount Kenya,” he said.
Kahiga regretted that the current acting Secretary General Cleophas Malala hails from an opposition zone that voted overwhelmingly for the ODM candidate Raila Odinga.
"The Luhya community is firmly aligned with parties like ANC, Ford (K), and ODM. I don't see how Malala will convince them to break away from their traditional affiliations," Kahiga observed.
He said the Western region tends to mobilise financial support for the ruling party but doesn't consistently vote in Ruto's favour.
The governor said that by having a secretary general from Mt Kenya, UDA party will serve the interests of the region ahead of the next general election noting that if well nurtured, the party has the potential of evolving into a national party.
He further said the numerous calls for Mt Kenya region to form its own party is unhealthy noting that UDA party needs to be strengthened to serve the region's needs as a national party.
"I feel that we don’t necessarily need a party. We need to strengthen our stake in the UDA which if well nurtured has the potential to morph into a national party that will bring Kenya together," he said.
A UDA National Steering Committee meeting chaired by President Ruto last week pushed the UDA elections which had been scheduled for December 9, to April next year.
Sources suggest that the delay may be linked to Mt Kenya leaders' demand to amend the party Constitution to allow for a single deputy party leader, a move seen by some as an attempt to limit the influence of DP Gachagua in the 2032 succession politics.
A host of Mt Kenya leaders, among them the Nyeri governor and Mathira MP Eric Mwangi recently claimed that having more than one deputy party leader could be a wider plan targeted at clipping the influence of Gachagua in the succession politics.
Governor Kahiga insisted that the deputy party leader position should be reserved for DP Gachagua, while the secretary general's role should be assigned to a leader from Mt Kenya.
He emphasised the importance of maintaining a strong leadership structure within the party.
Mt Kenya leaders had earlier cautioned President Ruto against any potential reconciliation or handshake with former Prime Minister Raila Odinga.
Political analyst Albert Kasembeli warned that any handshake with the opposition could jeopardise Ruto's relationship with DP Gachagua.
Kasembeli emphasised the significance of heeding the voices from Mt Kenya, stating that Ruto should address the region's concerns to secure continued support.
In light of potential fallout between Ruto and Gachagua, Kasembeli advised both leaders to handle their disagreements discreetly to avoid public scrutiny.