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Here's the campaign team that delivered the presidency to Kenya Kwanza


President-elect William Ruto during the presidential Debate. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

As William Ruto takes the oath of office as Kenya's fifth president, he considerably owes it to his nifty campaign team.

Ruto's victory is a testament to the hard work of his well-oiled campaign machine that ensured he defied history by clinching the presidency on his first attempt.

The team comprising lawyers, economists, IT gurus, former diplomats, university lecturers and even political experts fashioned his 2022 campaign blueprint that saw him edge out Azimio's Raila Odinga in the presidential race.

Also in the team were advisers- some of whom had served in previous governments. Some were instrumental in delivering a Uhuru Kenyatta presidency in the 2013 and 2017 elections. Experts who had previously worked with Raila also made immense contributions towards a Ruto presidency.

Dr Korir Sing'oei, Economist David Ndii, former Turkana Governor Josphat Nanok, former Cabinet Secretary Davis Chirchir, Dr Linda Musumba, Prof Kithure Kindiki, former Foreign Affairs CAS Ababu Namwamba, Eliud Owalo, UDA chairman Johnson Muthama and UDA Secretary General Veronicah Maina were part of Ruto's 'A-team'.

At the peak of the smooth-running organisation was the immediate former Turkana Governor Josphat Nanok. A former Raila Odinga ally, he was the director-general of the presidential campaign team.

He spearheaded nine committees namely the presidential campaign steering council, diaspora, communication committee, foreign relations, economic advisory, politburo, legal, governance and human rights and the UDA leadership structure.

Nanok oversaw the crafting and implementation of strategies and activities simultaneously ensuring coordination between the various committees.

Prof Ndii was yet another critical cog in Ruto's machine. He was the brains behind the "bottom-up economic model" that formed the backbone of the campaigns. He was at the forefront of the county economic forums and drafted the county economic charters which were part of the Kenya Kwanza manifesto launched a month to the elections.

He served alongside Owalo, Dr Irene Asienga, Augustine Cheruiyot, Dr Robert Muriithi and Dr Crispin Bokea. Owalo also served in the presidential campaign steering council and the politburo.

Prior to his partnership with Ruto, Ndii was part of the team that developed Kenya's Economic Recovery strategy in 2002 shortly after the President Mwai Kibaki-led Narc government assumed power.

Ndii is also a co-founder of the Institute of Economic Affairs and previously worked with NASA's presidential campaign team in 2017.

"We need to stabilise the economy in less than a year, that is what our manifesto captures, with three things in focus; to create jobs, increase incomes of people and create demand so that government can be creditworthy again," said Ndii.

"The economic situation we are in will require a government that will hit the road running," he added.

Former Energy Cabinet Secretary Davis Chirchir was also among Ruto's lieutenants that oversaw the teams' efforts and eventual "striking of gold".

He served as Ruto's Chief of staff and was the leader of the Information and Technology team on the Kenya Kwanza political divide. Chirchir has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Nairobi and an MBA from the Royal Holloway, University of London.

He previously served as President Uhuru Kenyatta's Jubilee party chief agent in the 2017 elections.

The IT expert has however had his fair share of challenges which came to light in 2015 when he was suspended from Cabinet.

Prof Kindiki was in June appointed Ruto's chief agent in last month's elections. His appointment came after losing out on being picked as Ruto's running mate following intense lobbying between him and Rigathi Gachagua (now the deputy president).

Kindiki was also part of the formidable legal team that included senior counsel Richard Ngatia, lawyer Katwa Kigen, Kioko Kilukumi and Kiragu Kimani that represented Ruto at the Supreme court after a petition challenging his declaration as president-elect was lodged by Azimio.

Dr Musumba was the head of the legal team within the presidential campaign steering council. Her expert profile includes being a senior lecturer at Kenyatta University and has previously served as chairperson of the Board at Great Lakes University, member of the Governing Council of the National Crime Research Centre as well as the Board of Transparency International, Kenya Chapter.

The key man behind political and legal affairs was Dr Sing'oei, aided by former Law Society of Kenya Nelson Havi and lawyer Katwa Kigen- who represented Ruto in the International Criminal Court case. Sing'oei, who was the Head of law at the deputy president's office, has had a stint at Katiba institute.

Namwamba was installed as the head of the international relations docket at the presidential campaign secretariat.

Shortly after his appointment to the position earlier this year, Ruto termed him capable of the assignment.

"With his considerable diplomatic talent, deep knowledge of the continent, strong network on the global stage and unwavering determination, I am confident in his role to lead the international relations function within my presidential campaign," said Ruto.

There was also the governance and human rights caucus headed by Kandara MP Alice Wahome and former Mombasa Senator Hassan Omar. The mandate of the caucus was to ensure that the Kenya Kwanza government implements the Constitution to the letter. They were tasked with ensuring that Kenya Kwanza's economic model was backed by good governance.

Enter the communication team that is headed by former Citizen TV anchor Hussein Mohammed. David Mugonyi, Prof Edward Kisiangani, Emmanuel Talam and the former deputy president's communication and digital strategy director Dennis Itumbi were also part of the team.

Itumbi previously served as a director in the State House communication team and was behind the management of social media accounts of Members of Parliament.

Having received the seal of approval from the Kenyan electorate and backed by the Supreme Court, Ruto has the daunting task of actualising his manifesto which encompasses uniting a politically divided country, lowering the cost of living and creating employment to a disenfranchised youth.

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