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Former Raila’s Aide Silas Jakakimba Decamps To Ruto’s UDA Party

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Silas Jakakimba.

In a major political move, Silas Jakakimba, a former aide to former Prime Minister and Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party leader Raila Odinga on Monday made his move to the to the ruling United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party official.

Jakakimba who was flanked by other ODM defectors including former former Migori Governor Okoth Obado, Busia Woman Representative Florence Mutua, ex-MP Elizabeth Ongoro among others, was welcomed to the party by Cleophas Malala, the Secretary General of UDA.

“I am confident that Mr. Jakakimba’s expertise will be instrumental in advancing our Party’s agenda and strengthening our presence in the region. We look forward to working closely with him to serve the interests of all Kenyans.” Malala said in his welcoming remarks.

Jakakimba alongside other Nyanza leaders who’ve defected to UDA.

Silas Jakakimba: Why I dumped Raila

In making the decision, Jakakimba reiterated his unwavering support and loyalty to President William Ruto while vowing to join forces with like minded leaders in popularizing the UDA party in Nyanza where he noted the movement is already gaining momentum.

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Joining UDA affirms the party’s growing popularity in Nyanza and across the country. I intend to join the many Nyanza people who are now increasingly ready to mobilize, popularize and even contest for elections on the UDA platform.” He said in a statement.

He added that his decision was informed by digging through the party’s fundamentals that he found aligning with his principles. “Joining UDA confirms my belief that the party is a national party with a national constituency and an even brighter future in the path of grounding and consolidating democratic gains in our years-old quest for good governance in the Joint Republic. Needless to say, the UDA is the largest party by count in the county assemblies nationally, in the Senate, in the National Assembly and lastly – the party that delivered the presidency.”

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Jakakimba was also keen to clear the air on his relationship with his former boss Raila saying that his move is further strengthened by recent announcement of the former PM to seek African Union Commission (AUC) chairman.

He notes that Raila’s exit from the helms of local politics leaves a void that must then be filled with new leadership. He also acknowledged his former boss’s immense contribution to the country and his new found relationship with political rival Ruto, “I have severally, in the past year, expressed my strong belief that Baba needs to step back from the rigors of local politics and focus on a continental assignment. I am happy that President Ruto has deemed it fit and in the broader geopolitical interests of the Nation premised on a need to posture Africa’s potential to the rest of the world – to front the Former PM as a candidate for AUC Chairmanship. Jakom has done his bit locally, has had his chances and even within ODM, leave alone Azimio, the discussion now is: ‘Who next?’” He pauses.

The reality of our country is that we are now a strong and stable democracy which does not need any one individual to function. We have one of the most liberal and progressive Constitutions in the world, which primes a strong focus on good and accountable governance. Whereas there’s always room for improving it, the institutions created by this Constitution are strong enough to hold the state itself accountable to the people of Kenya.” He continued.

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UDA Secretary General Cleophas Malala formerly welcomes Silas Jakakimba to the party.

In decamping, Jakakimba was keen to elaborate his move not to be seen as a bitter divorce from his former employer but a democratic step in the right direction, “Like many people who have worked for HE Odinga for many years – in my case for more than 19years, there seems to be a belief that loyalty to the centre must remain a lifetime role. It is necessary that moving forward, all democrats agree that it is more important and urgent, to remain eternally loyal to democratic ideals and attendant principles of a strong and accountable governance. That is the space where I am today, politically. And, God plus time, are on our side.” He said.

He added that his support for Ruto also stems from his successful efforts in resuscitating the country’s economy that was on its death bed when the Kenyatta’s regime left. “Important to note is that President Ruto has within a very short time, stabilized the state and government, succeeding in managing a proper transition. I know this is now old news, but I wish to again state that President Ruto was given the people’s mandate to manage our country’s internal and external affairs. Immediately he was declared, I chose to support him because we strengthen our democracy when we respect the will of the people. In him, is a very deliberate and intentional leader who would stop at nothing in the journey to take Kenya to next level.”

He concluded his statement by assuring the party’s leadership of assured ground support, “Where I come from, the great Kavirondo Belt of Nyanza region, the delivery of THE PLAN is massively on-going. And we can see it all across the country. Today, I join the UDA formation willingly, aware of the work ahead.”

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Jakakimba has made his intentions clear to vie for the Suba North parliamentary seat in the 2027 elections. The seat is currently held by ODM’s Millie  Odhiambo.


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