President Uhuru Kenyatta has launched a strategy to eat into the opposition’s strongholds by showering them with goodies, aiming to win by 70 per cent next year.
Key are presidential visits in areas perceived to be CORD strongholds, intense courtship of local leaders and opinion shapers, completion of promised projects, with pledges of more development and political influence to come.
“ The Jubilee government will serve all areas of the country equally, regardless of political affiliation,” Uhuru said in Nyamira town yesterday. “ Our hope is to unite all Kenyans into one peaceful society.” He officially commissioned Nyamira County Referral Hospital, saying it marks the start of better and more accessible services. The first phase of the big strategy was naming a team to set up campaign structures, including a secretariat and a political party.
That team is led by President Uhuru’s personal aide Jomo Gechaga. The second phase is being rolled out. It involves reaching out to Cord areas, offering political and development benefits and winning over county leaders. Jubilee strategists expect to get 20- 30 per cent of the vote where they performed dismally in 2013. In the next couple of months, the President will visit counties in South Nyanza and Lower Eastern perceived to support Cord.
In lower Eastern the president is said to launch projects targeting water dams, roads and hospitals worth a staggering 140 billion Kenya shillings.
In Western Kenya the President added Mumias Sugar an additional 1 billion shillings to help it operate fully after it emerged the cane crusher was still in the red. In addition to that the President also announced Pan Paper mills in Webuye will resume operations soon after an investor accepted to pump in 6 billion shillings.
In Nyamira County the President and his deputy Ruto presided over the launch of the Nyamira Level Five Hospital and commissioned medical equipment worth Sh800 million.
“I see no reason at all why one should travel all the way to Nairobi to get some of these services,” he said.
The President later commissioned a 14km road, which will cost the government some Sh450 million to construct.
He further announced that some Sh1 billion had been set aside to construct the Kijauri-Nyansiongo-Matamaywa road with another Sh1.5 billion to be spent on constructing the 25km Obwari-Mabiria-Chabera road.