Jubilee Party has zoned the country into its strongholds, those of the Opposition and what they think are swing counties in its strategy for re-election.
The party has classified 17 counties in Central and Rift Valley as well as Upper Eastern as its strongholds in a campaign strategy document seen by the Nation.
President Uhuru Kenyatta’s team has also named at least 17 counties as pro-National Super Alliance (Nasa). Those from Gusiiland, Maasailand, North Eastern – generally considered Kenya’s swing vote areas – and Nairobi, are listed as the counties where the battle for the constitutional threshold of at least 50 per cent plus one vote will be held.
According to the document, the party will pump in resources to mobilise high voter turnout during the election.
Jubilee plans to put as much vigour into the rallies as that witnessed during President Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto’s whirlwind tours of the country when they mobilised Kenyans to register as voters.
Those allied to Jubilee have been named as core counties, same as those that support Nasa.
“These county zones should be used to interpret voter registration figures. Core and swing clusters have been allocated due to past voting patterns and tribal and clan demographics within particular counties,” the strategy document says.
And in a country where ethnic numbers are still an integral part of any campaign, the Jubilee team still plans to bulldoze their Nasa counterparts with the numerical strength of Central Kenya and Rift Valley, their strongest base of support.
Those classified as core Jubilee counties are Nyandarua, Nyeri, Kirinyaga, Murang’a, and Kiambu in Central. In the eastern region, they are Meru, Tharaka-Nithi, and Embu counties.
The party has listed Rift Valley counties of Laikipia, Nakuru, Uasin Gishu, Elgeyo-Marakwet, Nandi, Baringo, Kericho, Bomet, and West Pokot as its strongholds.
An equal number of counties (17) have been marked as pro-Nasa and from which they hope to get at least a third of the votes.
Mr Ruto has run an aggressive and sustained campaign in the Coast, western Kenya and Ukambani – considered as the Opposition strongholds – in what he hopes will add to the Jubilee vote basket in the August poll.
“In 2013, you slipped from our fingers and voted for the other side. In 2017, we are not going to leave you in the cold, that is the Opposition,” Mr Ruto has consistently told the Opposition zones.
In Gusii, the team has named Kisii and Nyamira as swing votes while Garissa, Wajir, Mandera, and Marsabit are the battle areas in North Eastern, according to Jubilee.
Other swing vote areas the team identified are Nairobi, Isiolo, Trans Nzoia and Turkana counties.
Those counties the Jubilee team has classified as Nasa’s are Nyanza’s Siaya, Kisumu, Homa Bay, and Migori. From the Coast, they are Mombasa, Kwale, Kilifi, Tana River, Lamu, Taita-Taveta, while in Kalonzo Musyoka’s Ukambani zone are Kitui, Machakos and Makueni.
In Western, the party has listed Kakamega, Vihiga, Bungoma, and Busia as pro-Nasa.
The swing vote areas as per Jubilee’s strategy are the Maasailand counties of Narok, Kajiado and Samburu constituting about one million votes.
Last year, the party engineered exits of over 40 MPs from ODM, Ford-Kenya and Wiper parties in what it said was the beginning of a plan to eat into the Opposition turfs.
The government hopes to use Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery as well as MPs Katoo ole Metito, Moses ole Sakuda, and other Jubilee-leaning leaders to woo the Maa support.
Just last week, TNA-elected MP Moitalel ole Kenta defected to Mr Odinga’s ODM supported the rising star of Kajiado Central’s Memusi ole Kanchori.
In Kisii, former ambassador to the UN Habitat Sam Ongeri defected to ODM while the Jubilee team has wooed Kisii senator ChriS Obure and former constitutional implementation head Charles Nyachae as well as county deputy governor Joash Maangi in a full-blown battle for numbers.