The wheelbarrow has now been officially been incorporated as a symbol for a registered political party in Kenya.
In a gazette notice dated December 28, 2020, the Registrar of Political Parties announced that the wheelbarrow would be the symbol identifying the United Democratic Alliance (UDA).
UDA is the new name that will be used to identify the political party that was previously identified as the Party for Development and Reform (PDR).
PDR, which is largely associated with the pastoralist communities, previously used the bull as its political symbol
“In exercise of the power conferred by section 20 (1) (d) of the Political Parties Act, 2011, the Registrar of Political Parties gives notice that the Party of Development and Reform (PDR) intend to effect changes on their particulars as follows; slogan from Mabadiliko na Ustawi to Kazi ni Kazi” the notice reads in part.
Any person with written submissions concerning the intended changes by the political party is advised to within seven days from the date of publication deposit them with the Registrar of Political Parties.
It was not immediately clear if the move was in any way linked to Deputy President William Ruto, the self-declared leader of the Wheelbarrow Movement who is also the Jubilee Party Deputy Party Leader.
However, the DP has a past association with the leadership of the PDR which at one time was hosted at his private office in Transnational Bank, Nairobi.
The DP popularised the wheelbarrow in his countrywide tours supporting Kenyans in their ‘hustles’.
He has also used the phrase “kazi ni kazi” in reference to the so called Hustler Movement.
The party’s decision further casts shade on the political cloud surrounding the DP with regard to him joining a new party, after he along with his camp were barred from accessing the Jubilee Party headquarters.
DP Ruto has in the past attracted criticism for his choice of the wheelbarrow as an empowerment tool, from leaders and a section of Kenyans including ODM leader Raila Odinga.
“Now we are saying that you stop giving young people wheelbarrows, instead give them your helicopter that you move around with,” Odinga threw shade at the DP while attending the launch of the CBK in Kisii on October 20, 2020.
The decision by the party also proceeds a deadline announcement by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) requiring parties interested in the upcoming by-elections to submit party particulars including symbols to the commission.
Incidentally, UDA was founded in 2012 by the current Jubilee Secretary General Raphael Tuju – initially as the Party of Action (POA). It changed hands and rebranded to PDR.