Inside UhuRuto presidential campaign teams
Lobby groups scale up vote hunting for Jubilee Party, NASA
With less than a week to the General Election, political parties are employing last-ditch efforts to woo the more than 19.6 million registered voters.
Jubilee Party is leaving nothing to chance as the campaign period comes to an end, with the party led by President Uhuru Kenyatta counting on various lobbies that have intensified their vote-hunting missions.
The teams complementing the campaign activities of the President and his Deputy William Ruto have concentrated their efforts in National Super Alliance (NASA) strongholds and areas mapped as swing-vote regions.
Some of the notable lobby groups that have been marketing and selling the Jubilee manifesto at the grassroots include Mbele Iko Sawa, Ukambani na UhuRuto, UhuRuto Rift Valley, UhuRuto Express Central and Tokelezea na UhuRuto.
Apart from Mbele Iko Sawa, a nationwide lobby led by Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria and Nairobi politician Millicent Omanga, the rest are confining their marketing activities to specific regions.
The Ukambani na UhuRuto group is headed by Mwingi Central MP Joe Mutambo and businessman Peter Muthoka, while UhuRuto Rift Valley is co-ordinated by Baringo Governor Moses Cheboi and Baringo Central MP Sammy Mwaita.
UhuRuto Express Central is under Kigumo MP Jamleck Kamau and boasts a membership of MPs who include Njogu Barua (Gichugu) Nelson Gaichuhie (Subukia), Samuel Gichigi (Kipipiri) and Mary Wambui (Othaya) among others.
Speaking to The Standard yesterday, Mr Kuria said his group was targeting areas where the top Jubilee leaders had not reached. He said their campaigns, which have seen them traverse counties in Western, Coast and Nyanza regions, have been fruitful.
“Working with local Jubilee nominees we have managed to make inroads in counties perceived to be Opposition strongholds. The difference with us and the presidential team is that we go directly to the villages and grassroots,” said the MP.
“NASA has five principals who can campaign separately. Basically what we have been doing is bridging the gap and ensuring that there is no mismatch between the Uhuruto team and the Opposition,” added Kuria, who also disclosed that they intend to double their efforts in the remaining few days before the campaigns come to a close.
Jubilee Party Secretary General Raphael Tuju yesterday acknowledged the existence of some of the groups but he clarified that they did not receive funding from the party. [Daniel Psirmoi]