The next general election will be won on voter
This was the reason why I was concerned
when the idea of a merger of all Jubilee affiliated
parties was first mooted. My fear was that
it would adversely affect President Uhuru
Kenyatta’s ultimate presidential vote due to
voter apathy, in case of intra-party fights after nominations.
My position was based on how the ODM nominations in
2013 aff ected Raila Odinga’s presidential vote.
He lost over
200,000 voters he had mobilised to vote for him just two
months earlier, because they were angry their preferred
candidates were rigged out during the ODM
nominations and were not on the ballot.
However, when I got the chance to listen
to the President as he explained why a single
Jubilee Party is important, I understood
why he was willing to take this route. The
President and DeputyPresident William Ruto
are determined to have Kenyans stop ethnic
Merging the Jubilee
affi liated parties into the Jubilee Party is
their way of passing the message that they do not want to
be supported by ethnic blocs; they want to be backed by
all Kenyans irrespective of their ethnic background.
It is a
powerful message. It is also a direct distinction between
Jubilee and Cord, who are still a conglomerate of ethnic
political mobilisation units. Jubilee is asking Kenyans to
chose between tribalism and unity.
By the way, eradicating ethnic political mobilisation is a
key legacy project for President Uhuru. It is so important to
him that he is risking his presidency by forcing all Jubilee
supporters to vote in one party, while his competitors take
the easier route of mobilising tribe-against-tribe.
has taken the harder route to victory and this is what
positively distinguishes him from the rest.
But for Uhuru to win, the entire Jubilee leadership must
understand his thinking and align their local politics to his
ideology, especially in Jubilee strongholds.
JP leaders must
understand that they have three primary tasks for them to
win in 2017.
One, they must immediately embark on a campaign
to popularise the new party across the country, village by
They must go out and explain to Kenyans what
Jubilee stands for; that it is a mass movement owned by the
local people wherever they are, and a political home for any
Kenya irrespective of background. They must explain that
the Jubilee Party is being built bottom-up; member-by member,
not top-down. is is the essence of Uhuru and
Ruto’s message of no preferred candidates.
Two, they must aggressively explain the
achievements of the Jubilee administration in its
first term.The Jubilee Party machine is where
Kenyans get to hear the immense progress made
over the last four years in infrastructure, health,
education, security, etc.
Local Jubilee leaders must
therefore use the party infrastructure primarily
as the platform where these achievements
are articulated in a way that the local people
Finally, they must aggressively mobilise the people to
register as voters without concern as to whether these
voters will vote for them or their competitors at the local
The main objective is to get as many as possible to
vote for Uhuru at the national level.
They must explain to
their supporters that Uhuru’s victory hinges on every single
supporter registering as a voter and getting out to vote,
irrespective of local dynamics.
To all incumbent and aspiring Jubilee politicians, this is
not the time to fight over political party positions at county,
subcounty and ward levels; or to divide party positions
This is the time to recruit massively into
the party, push for voter registration aggressively, and sell
Jubilee achievements articulately.
Whoever does this best at
the local level deserves to get the party ticket .
Meanwhile, welcome to Nyeri President Uhuru Kenyatta.