Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga has moved to consolidate his political base as he casts his net wider in battle for Central, Rift Valley and North Eastern regions..
The former Prime Minister will deploy his key allies in his strongholds in Nyanza, Coast, Nairobi and Western to excite the base and ward off competition from rivals breathing down his neck.
This means fewer leaders will accompany him in his nationwide tours as he seeks to win over the moderates and the undecided ahead of the 2022 General election.
Deputy party leaders Ali Hassan Joho and Wycliffe Oparanya, national chairman John Mbadi, secretary general Edwin Sifuna and other top allies will spearhead the campaigns.
“We’ve been standing with our party leader all this time and accompanying him to various tours, which hasn’t been the case in the past few weeks. We want to allow him to be with his new allies, especially from Central, as we solidify his votes back home,” Mr Mbadi told Nation.
Mr Joho has been on the campaign trail in the Coast region, where there was rebellion. Last Saturday, the Mombasa governor was in Kiamaiko in Nairobi, where he rallied the youth to register as voters.
On Sunday, he was in Kawangware.
On Sunday, a section of political leaders from the vote-rich Western region endorsed Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu-K) secretary-general Francis
Mr Atwoli, who supports Mr Odinga, as the new regional negotiator.
Governors Oparanya (Kakamega), Wycliffe Wangamati (Bungoma), Sospeter Ojaamong (Busia) and Wilbur Ottichilo (Vihiga) held a seven-hour meeting with 18 MPs that endorsed the veteran trade unionist.
Okoa Kenya Alliance (OKA) presidential hopeful Mr Musalia Mudavadi has been the region’s spokesperson following his ‘crowning’ at the Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega in December 2016. The leaders asked Mr Atwoli to ensure the area is included in the next government.
Mr Atwoli will begin negotiations with leading presidential contenders in the Handshake team before December 31, when the Bukhungu II meeting will be held to review the strategic engagement of the region.
Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala dismissed Mr Atwoli’s ‘appointment’, saying it was an attempt by regional governors to undermine Mr Mudavadi’s influence in the region.
The ODM point men have also been selected to spearhead the recently launched voter registration exercises. Mr Odinga has pegged his candidature to the outcome of the voter registration exercise in his bases.
In Siaya, former Bondo MP Oburu Oginga and Governor Cornel Rasanga are spearheading the voter registration drive. In Homa Bay, Governor Cyprian Awiti and county Woman Rep Gladys Wanga are leading the exercise with support from local politicians.
Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o, his deputy Mathews Owili and other elected leaders are spearheading the drive in Kisumu, while Kisii Senator Sam Ongeri and Governor James Ongwae are rallying their supporters in Gusii. Dagoretti North MP Simba Arati has camped in Kisii.