Deputy President William Ruto has stepped up Jubilee’s strategy to penetrate opposition strongholds and neutralise NASA captain Raila Odinga.
Raila on Friday was given the nod by ODM to fly the party’s presidential flag against President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is seeking a second term.
Ruto, the key pointman leading Uhuru’s reelection, has for the past one week held a flurry of meetings at his Karen home with Jubilee leaders from Coast, Western and Ukambani.
The meetings previewed Jubilee’s progress in those areas and set new targets for winners of Jubilee tickets.
Yesterday, Ruto’s spokesman David Mugonyi confirmed the DP has been holding meetings.
“The DP has met the leaders who have also met the President. This is part of Jubilee’s campaign strategy,” he told the Star on the phone.
Ruto is responsible for political mobilisation, and of late has intensified meetings with key figures from regions considered NASA strongholds.
On Thursday last week, the DP met Jubilee nominees from opposition strongholds Bungoma, Kakamega, Busia, Vihiga, Trans Nzoia counties.
The Star has established the DP is keen on delivering at least five seats from Ukambani in the August 8 election.
“We have a strategy. We know some of the aspirants from Ukambani will not make it, but we are sure to deliver not less than five parliamentary seats,” said a top Jubilee campaign strategist at the Office of the President.
Machakos Town MP Victor Munyaka, a Jubilee pointman, yesterday said JP is unstoppable in Ukambani.
“We have sat and agreed how we will proceed with our campaigns. We want to teach some people a lesson by delivering a good a number of seats to Jubilee.
The DP’s sustained onslaught against Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka has put the two on a collision path.
Kalonzo last week accused Ruto of being behind the closure of his Kalonzo Musyoka Foundation
“I am not exonerating the President, but I would be very surprised if he would besmirch a family. We know people who are driven by vendetta and it is his [Uhuru’s] Number Two and his people. We know the vendetta people and we will deal with them,” he said.
Speaking at the ODM National Delegates’ Convention at Kasarani gymnasium on Friday, Kalonzo hit out at the DP and rallied the opposition to make “sure Arap Mashamba” does not become Deputy President.
On Friday, Ruto hosted leaders from Kisii and Nyamira counties, considered opposition bastions, as he intensified his onslaught on NASA.
The delegation from Kisii was led by Jubilee governor nominee Senator Chris Obure, while that from Nyamira was led by governor aspirant Walter Nyambati.
“The people have given us their preferred representatives. We will work with them closely to campaign for a second term and accomplish our agenda for the country,” Ruto said after the meeting.
The Jubilee team from Mombasa, Kilifi, Kwale, Tana River and TaitaTaveta counties was led by Governor Salim Mvurya.
Mugonyi yesterday said he is not aware of scheduled meetings for the DP this week, but hinted that the campaign strategy is broad-based, with possibilities of more meetings.
National Assembly majority leader Aden Duale said Jubilee will continue raiding opposition strongholds relentlessly.
“We want to tell opposition leaders that Kenyans have no time for them. We will move from Mombasa to Kisumu, to Tharaka Nithi to Turkana and Baringo to tell all Kenyans why Jubilee deserves a second term,” he said.
“We will not be intimidated by anybody.”
Kigumo MP Jamleck Kamau said he will not run as an independent candidate after he lost the JP Murang’a governor ticket to incumbent Mwangi Wairia.