President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to meet a team of 30 top civil servants, professionals and businessmen from Ukambani region on Thursday this week to review his re-election strategy.
Coming hot on the heels of the naming of Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka as the Nasa presidential running mate, the meeting is expected to evaluate the chances of getting more votes for Jubilee in the Opposition leaning region.
TARGET IS 500,000 VOTES
The team has formed a lobby group named Woni, headed by Mr Musyoka’s former law partner in the defunct Musyoka and Wambua Company Advocates, Prof Paul Musili Wambua.
Prof Wambua is also the chancellor of Embu University.
According to Mr Joe Kithyaka, a businessman in Machakos who heads the Woni secretariat, the team was targeting to get 350,000 votes for Mr Kenyatta across the three Ukambani counties and now feel emboldened by the political disquiet in the region after Mr Musyoka failed to clinch the Nasa presidential ticket.
“Our target is now 500,000 votes for the President and that will be a comfortable figure if we achieve it; it will be much more than what the Jubilee duo got in 2013,” Mr Kithyaka told the Sunday Nation on the phone yesterday.
He said the team, which includes principal secretaries from the region, has been holding strategy meetings but will from now roll out grassroots mobilisation to recruit Jubilee supporters.
The Woni lobby group does not comprise politicians and is, therefore, neutral and largely removed from internal political competition because its members are not interested in elective seats.
“We are able to advise Jubilee leadership objectively and correctly on the dynamics on the ground because we are not interested in any political positions, and we’ve already recruited 3,000 foot soldiers to help in mobilisation,” he said.
The strategy is also seen as an attempt to politically weaken Mr Musyoka’s standing within Nasa because the entire team consists of his former allies who were instrumental in his 2007 presidential bid.
Key figures in the team include Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu, Deputy Chief of Staff Nzioka Waita, principal secretaries Monica Juma (Foreign Affairs), Mutua Kilaka (Treasury), Victor Kyalo (ICT) among others.
They have been roped into Jubilee’s political strategy to lead the President’s re-election campaign and help in wooing the community, and their target is only to deliver at least 30 per cent of the Kamba vote.
In the last presidential contest, Jubilee garnered 89,064 votes across the region.