Raila unveils campaign dream team

Azimio flag bearer Raila Odinga has unveiled teams to drive his campaigns in 16 regions. 

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Cabinet Secretaries, Governors and MPs are leading 16 teams that will spearhead Mr Raila Odinga’s presidential campaigns across the country.

The Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition party has mapped the country into 16 regional teams, with each having between six and 16 members. 

Mr Odinga and his running mate Ms Martha Karua head the presidential team that has 11 members- “surrogates”- majorly drawn from ODM and Jubilee.

These are 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. 

Cabinet Secretaries Ukur Yattani, Eugene Wamalwa and Peter Munya as well as Governors Charity Ngilu, Wycliffe Oparanya, Hassan Joho, Joseph Lenku, Lee Kinyanjui and James Ongwae lead the other teams. 

Other team leaders are MPs Gladys Wanga, John Mbadi, Simba Arati, Tim Wanyonyi and Sabina Chege as well as Cabinet Administrative Secretary Rachael Shebesh, Feisal Abbas, Philip Pande and Stephen Tarus, former Kenya’s ambassador to Australia. 

Another parallel team to be spearheaded by Ms Karua, sources intimated to Nation, will also be unveiled to tackle particularly Mt Kenya region, which is crucial if Mr Odinga’s run. 

While Mr Odinga’s campaign has divided the country into 12 formations, his main opponent, Deputy President William Ruto, named nine regional campaign teams.

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

Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho with Suna East MP Junet Mohamed addressing the Press in Malindi, Kilifi County on May 12, 2022. 

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Uhuru Kenyatta

President Uhuru Kenyatta with (from left) Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua, Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu and Murang’a Woman Rep Sabina Chege on April 21, 2022.

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Additionally, three women and two youth teams, respectively.

“In the quest for this new Kenya, I have worked out a program that I believe will make our dreams come true. First, I have created 12 formations to drive the Azimio campaign,” Mr Odinga said last week as he announced Ms Karua his running mate.

Dr Ruto listed Central Kenya, Mt Kenya East, Rift Valley, Lower Eastern, Upper Eastern, Nyanza, Western, Coast and North Eastern regions as the bases for his campaigns.

The Kenya Kwanza Alliance leader said the team will be tasked with strategising how to win the 2022 elections in round one. 

"We have agreed on the coordination of Kenya Kwanza campaigns across the country as well as modalities on how our candidates will engage in campaigns without necessarily being bogged down with unhealthy competition," said Dr Ruto as he named Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua his running mate recently. 

In Central Kenya consisting of Kiambu, Murang’a, Nyeri and Kirinyaga counties, the DP’s campaigns will be spearheaded by Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru, who was among his running mate candidates, and Kandara MP Alice Wahome. 

They will be helped by former Cabinet secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri, former Kiambu Governor William Kabogo, Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichung’wah, Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga, Patrick Mariru, and Faith Gitau.

The team will go head to head with Mr Odinga’s Mt Kenya team led by Mr Munya, Ms Chege and Mr Kinyanjui.

Its members include Laikipia Governor Ndiritu Muriithi, who is also the chair of the board of the Raila Odinga 2022 Campaign, Jubilee Secretary General Jeremiah Kioni and Nyandarua governor Francis Kimemia. 

In Mt Kenya East, Dr Ruto’s campaigns will be shepherded by National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi, Meru Senator Mithika Linturi and Tharaka Nithi woman representative Beatrice Nkathaa.

Susan Kihika

Senator Susan Kihika. She is accused of interfering with the recently concluded UDA primaries in Nakuru County.

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The DP’s campaigns in the Rift Valley region – his political bedrock, will be coordinated by Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika, her Elgeyo Marakwet counterpart Kipchumba Murkomen, former Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter, Turkana Governor Josephat Nanok, his Samburu counterpart Moses Lenolkulal, Narok Governor Samuel Tunai, Kajiado East MP Peris Tobiko, Margaret Wanjala and Immaculate Shamala.

Mr Tarus, who unsuccessfully sought to be Mr Odinga’s running mate, will lead his charge in Rift Valley, assisted by West Pokot governor John Lonyangapuo, MPs Joshua Kuttuny, David Pkosing and Samwel Poghisio as well as Turkana governor hopeful and former CS John Munyes, among others. 

Mr Lenku will lead Mr Odinga’s campaigns in the Maa region helped by Senator Ledama Ole Kina, MPs Memusi Kanchori and Gideon Konchella among others. 

In the lower eastern region consisting of the three counties of Ukambani - Kitui, Machakos and Makueni, former Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama, Machakos Governor Dr Alfred Mutua, Penina Malonza, Adelina Mwau and former Nairobi Deputy Governor Jonathan Mueke will take charge of the DP’s campaigns.

Opiyo Wandayi

Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi.

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Mr Kibwana will lead Mr Odinga’s camp in Ukambani assisted by Kitui south MP Rachel Nyamai, Machakos governor hopeful Nzioka Waita, Kibwezi West politician Seth Kakusye among others

In Upper Eastern region constituting of Samburu, Marsabit and Isiolo counties, Dr Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza team will be led by Colonel Rasso Dido Ali and Hassan Tene while Mr Odinga’s camp has Governor Mohamud Ali, Mohammed Kuti, Fatuma Dullo.

Former National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale and Ahmed Kolosh will lead campaigns for the DP in the North Eastern region counties of Garissa, Wajir, Mandera, Isiolo and Marsabit.

Mr Yattani will lead Mr Odinga’s campaigns in Northern Eastern that covers Wajir, Garissa, Mandera, Isiolo and Marsabit. Governors Ali Robam and Ali Korane as well as MPs Adan Keynan, Fatuma Gedi and Fatuma Dullo among others are also in the team. 

At the Coast Dr Ruto’s team is led by Governors Salim Mvurya and Amason Kingi, former Lamu County boss Issa Timamy and Lydia Haika as they seek to topple Mr Odinga's stranglehold of the six counties of Mombasa, Kwale, Kilifi, Tana River, Lamu and Taita Taveta.

Mr Joho is leading Mr Odinga’s camp alongside Taita Taveta Governor Granton Samboja, MPs Abdulswamad Shariff and Naomi Shaban as well as Mr Suleiman Shabhal. 

Mr Joho told DP Ruto’s camp to prepare for a battle royale.

“Raila is a man of history. By choosing a female Deputy, we are destined for victory and we are ready to roll up our sleeves and hit the ground,” Mr Joho said.

Spearheading Mr Odinga’s campaigns in Western are Mr Oparanya, who is ODM deputy party leader, and Mr Wamalwa.

In the team also are Governors Sospeter Ojaamong, Wycliffe Wangamati and Wilber Otichillo as well as MPs Wafula Wamunyinyi, David Eseli, Ayub Savula and David Eseli. 

Mr Ongwae, Mbadi and Arati are the team leaders for Mr Odinga’s campaign in Nyanza. Governor Cornel Rasanga, Senators James Orengo, Ochillo Ayacko and Okong’o Omogeni as well as MPs Millie Odhiambo, Peter Kaluma and Gladys Wanga are members. 

Rachel Shebesh

Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs CAS Rachel Shebesh during the interview at her office in Nairobi.

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In Nairobi, Mr Wanyonyi and Ms Shebesh will lead the team that has MPs Babu Owino, Tom Kajwang, George Aladwa, Esther Passaris and Mercy Gakuya. Others are Nairobi governor aspirant Polycarp Igathe, Senate hopeful and ODM Secretary General Edwin Sifuna. 

Dr Ruto did not name a team that will lead the hunt for 2.5 million votes in Nairobi. 

"We will also provide a template on how our candidates will be coordinated in every county and every constituency," said the DP. 

Dr Ruto said that there will be no zoning as all parties will be allowed to field their candidates.

"We will however as Kenya Kwanza empower our candidates in every ward, constituency and county with scientific information on the performance of each and every candidate and encourage local agreements amongst the different parties in different electoral areas, to negotiate and agree on the best approach to our alliance winning a majority of seats at every level," he said. 

In addition to the regional campaign teams, Mr Odinga also set up the National Azimio Women and the National Azimio Youth.

The women team has been divided into three – Team women A led by Ms Ngilu, B led by Gladys Wanga and C under the auspices of Rahab Muilu while the youth team is divided into two – Team youth A led by IG Ngugi while Mr Philip Pande leads team B.

Ms Ngilu’s team consists of; Beatrice Elachi, Rachel Shebesh, Rosa Buyu, Beatrice Askul, Fatuma Gedi and Judy Pareno while Ms Wanga’s team has Jerusha Mong’ina, Naisula Lesuuda, Naomi Shabban, Florence Mwangangi and Janet Ongera.

Ms Muilu has on her side the Maendeleo ya Wanawake wing to healp spearhead the ZAzimio presidential campaigns.

The youth team under Mr Ngugi consists of Hezena Lemeyatian, Dennis Mbada, Alex Matere, Ivy Muchoki, Antony Manyara, Advice Mundaro, Solomon Kuria, Jaoko Oburu, Jeremy Ochieng’, John Anditi and Charles Dienya.

Team B led by Mr Pande has Janet Ruthuku and Leah Thanji.