Azimio presidential candidate Raila Odinga is dangling state jobs for various electoral candidates to be axed in an elaborate scheme to shore up his numbers in Parliament, as the coalition’s top decision making organ chaired by President Uhuru Kenyatta meets today (Friday) to finalise the decision.
President Kenyatta, who is the Azimio Coalition council chairperson, Wednesday convened the second council meeting to be held at Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) today to deliberate on various strategies to win the August 9 elections as campaigns enter the homestretch.
Among the strategies is a controversial plan to weed out ‘weak candidates’ using opinion polls in a strategy to win a majority of seats in Parliament and the Council of Governors.
In a notice to the coalition’s council members yesterday, President Kenyatta said the meeting would review the party’s campaign strategy and plan to ensure Azimio flagbearer — Mr Odinga — wins the elections.
“Take notice that a meeting of the Coalition Council, to be chaired by the Party Leader (Mr Odinga), will be held on the 24 June, 2022, at KICC starting at 10am,” reads the notice signed by President Kenyatta.
He said the meeting would also review, formulate and approve party policies, and discuss strategies to ensure the coalition party bags a majority in Parliament and in the 47 county assemblies.
Reports from pollsters
The Nation established that at today’s meeting, the council is expected to discuss reports from various scientific pollsters and agencies that had been deployed to conduct opinion polls on various positions before a final decision is made.
The council consists of President Kenyatta (chairperson), Mr Odinga (party leader), his running mate Martha Karua and members Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper), Gideon Moi (Kanu), governors Hassan Joho (Mombasa) and Charity Ngilu (Kitui) as well as Suna East MP Junet Mohamed, who is the coalition’s secretary-general.
Other members are Murang’a Woman Rep Sabina Chege, Taveta MP Naomi Shaban, her Kanduyi counterpart, who is also the DAP-K party leader Wafula Wamunyinyi, and Mr Abdi Noor.
On Wednesday, the National Coalition Executive Committee (NCEC) chairperson, Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya, told Nation that their target in all the positions, including the presidential race, is 60 per cent, hence the need to put in place elaborate measures to ensure this is realised.
“By the end of the month, we shall know which candidates [will] fly our flag where and in which positions,” he told the Nation.
Azimio is targeting Nairobi, Western, Eastern, and Coast, as well as parts of Rift Valley and Mt Kenya regions, where the Kenya Kwanza Alliance is likely to win seats and deny it a majority in county assemblies, the Senate, National Assembly and in the Council of Governors.
The head of Mr Odinga’s presidential campaign board and Laikipia Governor Ndiritu Muriithi Thursday told Nation that the aim of the consensus was not to hurt any candidate or party, but to ensure the coalition sweeps majority seats and even have an opportunity for more nominees to the county assemblies, National Assembly and Senate.
“It is also in the interest of the individual candidates because then you don’t waste your resources for nothing. It is a win-win for everybody,” Mr Muriithi said.
Meanwhile, calls for peace dominated Azimio rally in Marsabit County Thursday. Mr Odinga addressed rallies in Moyale and Marsabit as he concluded his tour of the region.
Bring warring parties together
Speaking at Marsabit stadium, Mr Odinga said he would invest resources and bring warring parties together.
“Peace is very important because no area can develop where there is war. My government will ensure there is security in this region,” Mr Odinga said.
Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka appealed to residents to unite and build their county.
Before Mr Odinga’s arrival, rival groups supporting various candidates clashed before police moved in to quell the violence.
Azimio running mate Martha Karua urged residents to maintain peace. “Even if you support different candidates you should remain peaceful because without it, there is no development,” she said.
Additional reporting by Gitonga Marete