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September 25, 2017

Jubilee plots first round knockout in August poll

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto with a section of political Parties leaders and officials at State House after they announced the official merger of a section political party's to the Jubilee Alliance Party.Photo/HEZRON NJOROGE
President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto with a section of political Parties leaders and officials at State House after they announced the official merger of a section political party's to the Jubilee Alliance Party.Photo/HEZRON NJOROGE

Jubilee's robust campaign strategy targets 11 million votes to deliver an unassailable first-round victory against a resurgent NASA on August 8.

It aims for 65 per cent of the vote, not the razor-thin margin of the disputed 2013 polls.

Strategists have advised President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto to reshuffle regional point men countrywide.

They aim to get rid of old-timers and the officials who messed up Jubilee primaries in a humiliating exercise that was supposed to run like clockwork.

Replacing them will be wealthy businessmen, popular professionals and retired powerful political figures. They will include billionaire businessman Peter Muthoka, retired military chief General Jeremiah Kianga, among others.

Changing the regional pillars is a move to galvanise and bolster Jubilee's foot soldiers, many of whom were angry and disappointed by the nominations.

Jubilee mandarins have identified 13 swing-vote counties, decisive in delivering a knockout victory as the battle for Kenya's 19 million voters hots up.

NASA is targeting 10 million voters for the"10 Million Strong" campaign.

The 13 targetted counties have slightly above 4.75 million registered voters. They are Garissa, Isiolo, Kajiado, Kilifi, Kisii, Kwale, Lamu, Mombasa, Narok, Nyamira, Taita Taveta and Wajir.

Read: Uhuru will win in Round One with 70-plus per cent

In strategy Jubilee documents seen exclusively by the Star, the ruling party says it believes the election will a round one stunner.

It says the President will formally launch his reelection bid at the end of this month, then campaign countrywide.

Uhuru will commission mega projects, including the series of roads whose construction he already launched.

The idea is to reinforce the image of Uhuru as a development-conscious leader by showcasing some projects he launched.

"It is of critical significance that completion of most of the projects launched by His Excellency the President be accelerated for commissioning," one document says.

"To be given urgent attention are projects that impact the livelihoods of Kenyans directly. Relevant implementing agencies must ensure the projects are on course," one of the documents says.

Deputy Chief of Staff and head of Pubic Service Nzioka Waita has been tasked to monitor the progress of the projects countrywide and give a weekly update to State House strategists and the Jubilee Secretariat at Pangani.

Pangani will be the nerve centre the President's reelection campaign.

Waita is in charge of the President’s Delivery Unit, Office of Budget Management, Performance Contracting and Oversight Office and the State Corporations Oversight Office.

"The President's diary will be managed by State House as it has been, but the campaign secretariat will coordinate campaign activities from Pangani," a document says.

The President is keen on completion of most road projects he launched so he can commission them as he campaigns from June.

Jubilee leaders, including incumbent MPs where projects were launched, are said to be concerned that Jubilee's fortunes may dwindle if mega projects are not completed and commissioned before August.

In an aggressive strategy to eat into opposition strongholds and ring-fence their backyards, Uhuru and Ruto have recently held closed meetings with large delegations from perceived opposition strongholds.

Read More: Jubilee maps stongholds, battle zones

Political analysts say they are trying to bring on board regional leaders, key business figures and professionals who can help them penetrate NASA strongholds.

Jubilee has identified prominent figures from Wiper-controlled Ukambani — Kitui, Machakos and Makueni — to energise campaigns by elected MPs.

Those spearheading the Jubilee campaign include billionaire businessman Peter Muthoka and retired military chief General Jeremiah Kianga.

A week ago, Muthoka, Kianga and other professionals were at State House where they donated 12 Jubilee Party branded cars, equipment, materials and a fleet of trucks to be used by candidates in Ukambani.

Muthoka briefed Uhuru and Ruto on the Jubilee strategy in the Lower Eastern region.

He said he was certain of a win in Ukambani.

“We are confident Jubilee Party this time will get most votes in Ukambani because in 2013 you were giving Kenyans a promise. But this time, you are talking to Kenyans with a scorecard of your achievements for roads that they have travelled on, electricity that they can see, a standard gauge railway put up in record time and ground-shaking education reforms,” Muthoka told Uhuru.

He added, “On the other hand, we have an opposition without a promise other than empty dreams, propaganda and criticism of your government.”

In the 2013 presidential contest, Uhuru garnered 89,064 votes in the region against Cord’s 768,025 votes. Former Lands CS Charity Ngilu led Jubilee’s campaign in the region.

She has since fallen out with Uhuru and Ruto.

Others leading campaigns in the region include first-time MPs Rachel Nyamai (Kitui South), Kisoi Munyao (Mbooni), Joe Mutambu (Mwingi Central) and Francis Mwangangi (Yatta).

Others are lawyer Paul Wambua, the Chancellor of Embu University, and environmentalist Isaac Kalua.

More on this: Ukambani Jubilee team targets 350,000 votes

In South Nyanza, Jubilee is relying on Kisii Senator Chris Obure, who is running for Kisii governor, and former chairman of the Constitution Implementation Commission Charles Nyachae.

Others on the team are Joel Onyancha (Bomachoge Borabu), Richard Tongi (Nyaribari Chache), Joseph Kiangoi (East Africa Legislative Assembly and Stephen Manoti (Bobasi).

“We have formed a formidable team to ensure Jubilee wins as many seats as possible and votes by the Abagusii community. This will be confirmed on August 8,” Obure said.

Onyancha added, “Our people have come to terms with the fact that opposition leaders have nothing to offer the Omogusii. That is why there is a shift to Jubilee has a vision for all Kenyans."

The Coastal team leading the UhuRuto campaigns include Governors Salim Mvurya (Kwale) and Hussein Dado (Tana River), MPs Dan Mwanzo (Taita Taveta), Harrison Kombe (Magarini), Gideon Mungaro (Kilifi North), Gonzi Rai (Ganze), Naomi Shaban (Taveta), Mustapha Idd (Kilifi South), Fahim Twaha (Lamu East) and Zainab Chidzuga (Kwale).

Mvurya said the ruling coalition is more "visible and vibrant” in the Coast than in 2013.

"The Coastal region has embraced the Jubilee Party. We will get more votes," he said

The Western region is led by Bungoma Governor Kenneth Lusaka assisted by MP Ben Washiali of Mumias East, John Waluke of Sirisia and Mary Emase of Teso South, among others.

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