Did UDA direct its members to avoid debating with Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna?

A statement attributed to the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) circulating on social media here, here, here, here, here and here on X and on Facebook claims that the party had barred its members from debating Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna. Posts with this statement started circulating on March 17, 2024.



Members of the ruling United Democratic Alliance party, including Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua and Tourism CS Moses Kuria, have previously criticised Kenyan media over a perceived bias in coverage. The statement alludes to this, claiming that there has been ‘a media conspiracy … intended to paint the members of the UDA party as a home for intellectually challenged people’.

On March 14, 2023, Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna and Mukurwe-ini MP John Kaguchia debated on Citizen TV over the Kenya Kwanza government’s reported plan to introduce Value Added Tax on milk and bread to boost revenues. According to Treasury CS Njuguna Ndung’u, the rationale for this new tax is that zero-rating milk and bread, where these products are not taxed in order to reduce the cost that would be passed on to the consumer, has failed to protect low-income consumers as intended.

Sifuna has gained praise for debating leaders on TV, particularly those drawn from UDA. Prior to the debate with Hon Kaguchia, he had debated Tana River County senator and former Garsen MP Danson Mungatana to similar effect.

The document claiming that UDA had directed its members not to debate Senator Sifuna began circulating soon after this debate on March 17, 2024.


Firstly, upon analysing the document containing the statement attributed to UDA Secretary-General Senator Cleophas Malala, one notices that the country code on the document is +253, the country dialling code for Tanzania, and not +254 for Kenya. All previous statements issued by the United Democratic Alliance have a number with the Kenya country code. See the comparison below.

Phone number on the Image circulating (left) has a code (+253) different from a legitimate statement (right) with the code (+254).

Another legitimate statement from UDA with a date and the legitimate phone number

Additionally, the fake letter does not have a date, unlike legitimate statements from the party.

For further verification, Piga Firimbi contacted UDA via WhatsApp, and an official confirmed that the image was Fake. A UDA representative subsequently shared the image below with this reporter via WhatsApp.

Image shared by UDA via WhatsApp confirming that the statement circulating is fake.


The statement claiming that UDA has barred its members from debating against Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna on talk shows is FAKE.


Add comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *