Raila Odinga and Martha Karua to virtually address Kenyan Diaspora

Azimio la Umoja presidential candidate Raila Odinga with his running mate Martha Karua. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya alliance is finalising plans for a virtual campaign rally to mobilise support from Kenyans abroad.

Presidential hopeful Raila Odinga and his running mate Martha Karua are expected to address an estimated 15,000 diaspora Kenyans tonight to make a case for their candidature.

The alliance has unveiled a team of 35 officials, led by Ali Ali in the UK and Otieno Ombok in the US, to coordinate Azimio events across borders.

Ali and Ombok are leading voter and resource mobilisation undertaken by Azimio supporters grouped in 17 campaign clusters.

The teams are tasked with crafting campaign messaging and strategy, overseeing resource and voter mobilisation abroad and back home.

According to a brief by the Azimio director for international and diaspora engagements, Ben Agina, Ali and Ombok will be the alliance’s lead coordinators abroad.

"Baba's support base in the diaspora is engaged in full campaign towards his victory in the coming elections. There are no two ways to it," Ali told the press yesterday.

The team says it hopes to tap into the diaspora’s significant voter influence back home. "We shall work around the clock and leave no stone unturned in the quest for Raila’s victory,” said Ombok.

Ali added, "We will conduct vigorous Zoom consultations to come up with various strategies and a plan of action with achievable targets."

Both Raila and Kenya Kwanza candidate William Ruto have been engaging the diaspora community in recent foreign trips, especially to the UK and US cities.

Two months ago, Raila and Karua led the Azimio top brass on a trip to the US, accompanied by governors Charity Ngilu, Wycliffe Oparanya and James Ongwae. Others in the team were Woman Rep Sabina Chege, former Secretary to the Cabinet Sally Kosgey and former Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth. They met Kenyans working and living in various US states.

Kenyans abroad have largely remained active in affairs back home, with their remittances increasing by more than Sh250 billion since 2013. The remittances stand at Sh375 billion annually.