UDA Vice President Kipruto Arap Kirwa joins Azimio
United Democratic Alliance (UDA) National Vice President Kipruto Arap Kirwa defected on Sunday May 29 to join coalition party Azimio la Umoja One Kenya.
Kirwa was unveiled by Raila Odinga’s running mate, Azimio’s flag bearer, Martha Karua. The trio addressed a public rally at Mayuba Stadium in Sirisia, Bungoma County.
The outgoing UDA official was one of the UDA’s most experienced politicians – having served as MP for Cherang’any for ten years and Cabinet Minister for five years during President Mwai Kibaki’s first term.
L to R: Azimio One Kenya Presidential Flag Bearer Raila Odinga, n Kipruto Arap Kirwa and Narc Kenya Party Leader Martha Karua attending a rally at Mayuba Stadium in Sirisia, Bungoma County on Sunday, May 29, 2022 .
The veteran politician cited the selection of MP Mathira Rigathi Gachagua as Vice President William Ruto’s running mate as a major factor in his exit.
He added that he was demoralized after the decision but only had hope after his former compatriot, Karua, was chosen to replace Raila.
“Mine was a two week trip, last Sunday but one, Kenya Kwanza announced their selection of Ruto’s running mate and that was the latest indication of many that there was a lack of democracy.
“The next day Raila unveiled Karua as his running mate and for the past 13 days or so I have been thinking about how and why would I stay on a side where democracy was going to be sacrificed?” he stated.
The former Minister of Agriculture hinted that he had contacted the leader of the Narc Kenya party on the evening of May 28, to inform him of his decision, which he wanted to make public at the next Azimio rally. Furthermore, he officially announced his resignation from the UDA and declared his support for Raila Odinga.
“Last night I called Karua and asked her where she would be and she told me at Bungoma. I told her that I would come to the rally to officially join Azimio
“As of today I Kipruto Arap Kirwa resigned as Vice President of UDA because democracy can fail in Kenya Kwanza. The law stated that the winner of an election must have 50% plus one, and I brought my only vote to Raila Odinga,” he added.
For his part, Karua welcomed the former cabinet minister to Azimio, saying it was the right place for leaders who deliver when in charge of public office unlike those in Kenya Kwanza.
“We received our brother Kirwa with warm hands. We understand him because he was a proven man when he was a minister because we at Azimio deliver unlike our opponents who make empty promises” , she said.
Speakers at the Sirisia Gathering hailed Kirwa’s entry as proof that Azimio was the gathering of integrity-minded reformers and leaders.
“When you see that Kirwa has left them, know that they are finished”, noted the CS of Defense Eugene Wamalwa while welcoming the former minister.
Vihiga County Governor Wilber Khasilwa Ottichilo poses alongside UDA National Vice President Kipruto Arap Kirwa.