The Jubilee Party is planning a massive campaign in Nyanza to harvest maximum votes from Opposition leader Raila Odinga’s undisputed stronghold.
In an interview with The Standard on Sunday, the head of Jubilee’s campaign secretariat Raphael Tuju said they are working on a fierce campaign in Luo-Nyanza and any attempts to block it will backfire.
“Jubilee has not made in-roads into Luo-Nyanza but I will make sure President Kenyatta gets a good share of votes in the region,” said the former Cabinet Minister.
President Kenyatta has made several forays in areas considered Opposition strongholds in Coast and Western, but has not been frequent in Luo-Nyanza area, save for Kisii.
Tuju, now President Kenyatta’s point man in Nyanza, following the defection to ODM of former TNA Chairman Onyango Oloo said the ruling party has its eye on the price.
A confident Tuju said they will not be intimidated by perceived intolerance towards them in Opposition strongholds.
“I do not fear stones. We will look for votes everywhere, and we will protect our votes in Nyanza from the voting time to the announcement of the results, even if they are two votes. Tell the leaders from Luo Nyanza who incite people not to accept Jubilee in the area that they need to grow up,” said Tuju.
He went on: “But remember that anybody who thinks they will block Jubilee from getting into their perceived strongholds should also not expect to be welcomed in Jubilee strongholds.”
Tuju dismissed claims by Oloo, which were exclusively reported in The Standard on Sunday last week that with his exit, Jubilee was dead and buried in Nyanza.
Oloo had said he had crossed to ODM with baskets of secrets from Jubilee, which he will pass over to ODM leader Raila Odinga. In the expose, Oloo claimed Raila was robbed of victory in 2013.
Tuju revisited his foul relationship with the Opposition leader Raila, indicating that his differences with the former premier were more ideological than personal.
“I will not get back to the elective politics for as long as Luos still believe that the only way to elective leadership is through following Raila,” he said.
Tuju revisited a 2002 General Election incident where he claimed Raila’s elder brother, Oburu Odinga, had vowed not to have him get the party nomination certificate even after he won.
“Oburu wanted the certificate given to my opponent, Moses Owiti Malo Malo, but it got to a point that he could not substantiate how the opponent had beaten me in the nominations. That is how I ended up with the party ticket and got to Parliament,” he said. But Oburu rubbished his claims.
Stay informed. Subscribe to our newsletter
“Tuju rigged the nominations and got the certificate through backdoor. He bribed people at the headquarters and made his way through. We however supported him and pleaded with Malo Malo not to move to another party,” said Oburu.
Oburu laughed off Tuju’s role in President Kenyatta’s re-election saying Tuju cannot even manage his own campaign.
“He (Tuju) dropped his political ambitions because he cannot manage to get votes himself. Who cheats you that he will get any votes for Kenyatta?” posed Oburu.
Tuju, is known for taking conflicting positions from the people of his Luo Nyanza backyard.
During the 2005 clamour for thr new constitution, Tuju joined President Mwai Kibaki in the ‘Yes’ campaign against Nyanza political kingpin Raila Odinga who championed for the trashing of the Constitution.
Meanwhile, politicians perceived to be loyal to the establishment continued to receive opposition from locals.
Early this week, Kisumu Central Member of Parliament Ken Obura met a cruel reception in his own constituency as he led a voter mobilisation campaign.
His Karachuonyo counterpart James Rege has also faced rebellion in his home tough since joining Jubilee Party last year.