Raila deploys aspirants to drive Azimio grassroots campaigns

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Azimio la Umoja presidential nominee Raila Odinga will deploy hundreds of aspirants to bolster his countrywide campaigns in a strategy to counter Deputy President William Ruto.

The ODM leader will on Wednesday lead a joint meeting between Azimio aspirants across the country and and his presidential teams to integrate aspirants to his campaign teams.

The meeting at Safari Park Hotel will also be attended by the 11-member Raila Odinga Presidential Campaign Board chaired by Laikipia Governor Ndiritu Muriithi.

Multiple aspirants confirmed to the Star that Raila will lead the meeting to harmonise his campaign teams as the presidential battle enters the homestretch with less than 80 days to the polls.

But Raila’s close allies were on Tuesday cagey on the details of the Wednesday meeting.

“I have heard something about that, but I am not quite sure. Let me check please,” Makadara MP George Aladwa said.

However, the Star confirmed that messages had been sent out to aspirants for various seats within Azimio.

The former prime minister has already rolled out a comprehensive programme with back-to-back countrywide campaigns that have seen him split his teams into regional groups.

The aim is to propel a grassroots driven campaign programme that will be all-encompassing to deliver a precise political assault on Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza brigade.

Raila’s fresh approach is expected to rev up the Azimio campaigns at the grassroots, provide the much needed combined political firepower and ensure efficiency in coordination.

While the Raila presidential campaigns is largely run by the 11-member national board, there will now be regional teams that will for the first time include aspirants.

Aspirants within the jumbo coalition of more than 24 parties, have felt being left out of the presidential campaigns, threatening to deflate the ODM boss’ grassroots momentum.

On Monday Raila unveiled his presidential campaign teams that will popularise his candidature, clustering the the country into 16 regions.

The team is made up of at least 50 political heavyweights including Raila’s loyalists as part of the strategy to strengthen the grassroots campaigns.

The national team has been tasked with transversing all parts of the country in the hunt for votes.

The team consists of MPs Junet Mohammed, Mishi Mboko, Opiyo Wandayi, Maina Kamanda, Kanini Kega, Richard Onyonka, Caleb Amisi and Babu Owino as well as former presidential candidate Peter Kenneth.

Nyeri Deputy Governor Carol Karugu and Phillip Pande, an unsuccessful Kisumu Senate aspirant, were also named as part of the national presidential campaign.

Apart from the presidential team, Raila’s campaign listed nine regional teams namely Western, the Rift Valley, Coast, Nairobi, Ukambani, Maa, Mt Kenya, Northern Eastern and Nyanza.

Cabinet secretaries Ukur Yatani, Eugene Wamalwa and Peter Munya as well as Governors Charity Ngilu, Wycliffe Oparanya, Hassan Joho, Joseph Lenku, Lee Kinyanjui and James Ongwae lead some of the teams.

The move is meant to counter Ruto, who has also split his teams into various regions.

The DP listed Central Kenya, Mt Kenya East, the Rift Valley, Lower Eastern, Upper Eastern, Nyanza, Western, Coast and Northeastern regions as the bases for his campaigns.

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