NASA flag bearer Raila Odinga. (Photo: Courtesy)
With less than two months to the General Election, the National Super Alliance (NASA) is putting together an elaborate campaign team to lead its presidential offensive.
Sunday Standard has established from multiple sources that the Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka campaign machinery has been divided into six distinct units, whose mandate is to deliver presidential victory in round one.
The teams were assembled after wide consultations within NASA’s campaign steering committee chaired by co-principal Musalia Mudavadi. Their task is to deliver a winning formula in an election seen as a rematch between Raila and Jubilee’s Uhuru Kenyatta.
Apart from the coalition’s National Campaign Steering Committee led by Mudavadi and his deputies Senator Johnstone Muthama and ODM Deputy National Treasurer Olga Karani, there is a team of foreigners working behind the scenes.
Raila and Kalonzo faced the Jubilee duo of Uhuru and William Ruto in the 2013 General Election in which only 8,000 votes tilted the scales in favour of Jubilee to achieve the required threshold of 50 per cent plus 1.
According to a strategy document seen by the Sunday Standard, the team includes a Ghanaian billionaire who led campaigns for President Nana Kuffor Ado and a German strategist who regularly meet at an undisclosed office in Westlands, Nairobi. A month ago, the NASA summit members led by Raila, Kalonzo, Mudavadi, and Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto met with the group of the foreigners at Vipingo Ridge, where the team whose operations are being kept secret presented proposals on how NASA should conduct its campaigns to secure victory.
There is another bigger and more strategic team comprising economists, lawyers, political scientists, researchers, statisticians, analysts and support staff. There are at least 300 people manning the Raila Odinga Presidential Campaign Centre based along Church Road, Westlands.
Here, the technical committee that includes economist David Ndii, lawyers Dan Ameyo, Willis Otieno, Abubakar Zein, Halima and Ole Kina and political anaylst Adams Oloo operate. The experts from Ghana and Germany engage with the team at the campaign centre, regularly.
The third team is based at the Alfa Centre in Lavington, which is the nerve centre of data and call operations. The group, headed by Walter Mhindi and Immaculate Mbegwa, will act as a the link between party candidates and the campaign centre and it is tasked with assembling presidential agents.
The Lavington team will coordinate the ‘adopt-a-polling station’ strategy. Each of the NASA leaders is being asked to nominate at least 8 supporters from all the 4,500 wards to be incorporated into the team. Alfa Centre is where Okoa Kenya secretariat was based, the same venue the principals used to plan the unveiling of the presidential campaign team last week.
The Lavington team will also coordinate the development of a tallying centre that will collate results from the regions on real-time and record and analyse them. Majority leader Aden Duale recently accused NASA of putting up a tallying centre in Tanzania too.
The fourth group will be at the Raila’s office at Capitol Hill where NASA secretariat headed by Raila’s chief of staff Andrew Mondoh, and the coalition’s Chief Executive Officer Norman Magaya are coordinating operations.
The team at Capitol Hill is led by Raila, Moses Wetangula, Issa Timmamy, David Nkedienye and Joseph Tiampati. In the secretariat, the principals often meet to review the campaign programme prepared by the Mudavadi-led team. They also take their time to consult the rest of the teams.
The fifth and the second last group is a lobby dubbed the ‘NASA Champions’ that consists of young professionals. They are expected to energise the campaigns across the country. The group, led former SONU boss Moses Oburu, national chairman Mwange Ifedha and political analyst Dismas Mokua has set up a structure that runs right into the wards. The team has offices on two locations, Riara Road and Hurlingham, Nairobi.
Sixth in Raila’s political machinery is the media centre that will be headed by Kathleen Openda and two television personalities from two main media houses who have already resigned and are serving notice. They are expected to take up their new roles at the centre next week.