Money and resources: Factors that will determine Kenya polls winner

Monday August 7 2017

Nasa rally at Uhuru Park and Jubilee's at Afraha Stadium.

Jubilee rally (left) at Afraha Stadium and Nasa's at Uhuru Park on August 5, 2017. PHOTOS | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By PETER MUNAITA
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Kenyans go to the polls on Tuesday, August 8, to choose their next crop of leaders for various elective posts.

The presidential election is billed as one of the most tightly contested in the country’s electoral history, with the most recent opinion polls showing a 1-3 percentage gap between the incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta of the Jubilee Party and Raila Odinga of the National Super Alliance.

While the cost of living, unemployment, corruption, security and free public services are key issues having an impact on the lives of Kenyans, the ultimate winner will be determined by a motley of factors. The EastAfrican's Peter Munaita lists the top ten.

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Politicians talk of shunning it, at least until an election comes around...

2. MONEY AND RESOURCES

Running an election is an expensive affair, with regard to logistics and mobilisation of supporters. Upwards of Ksh5 billion ($500 million) has been floated the amount required to run an affective presidential campaign.

It is reported that in 2013, in the choice of Musalia Mudavadi as a fallback candidate should Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto be barred from running because of crimes against humanity charges that were facing them, money became a dealbreaker.

“We cannot support you and give you money for the campaigns” is said to have been one of the home truths uttered to Mr Mudavadi’s face.

Until recently, elections were won by the candidate who would lobby rivals and their supporters to step down in their favour; something that is still believed to be key in determining which alliance top leaders choose.

The mudslinging between Jubilee and Nasa on the role of businessman Jimi Wanjigi in the current and previous campaigns is understood to revolve around a deal gone sour for the tapping of one principal to shift alliances.

Nowhere is the influence of money more evident than in political rallies where followers are bedecked in party attire, helicopters fly from one venue to another and party mobilisers are compensated for a day’s work. Crowds are also hired to participate in rallies and other campaign activities.

With the campaign financing regulations in limbo and funding of political parties by the State inadequate, resources are mobilised through fundraisers where a dinner plate goes for more than $10,000.

Business leaders especially the unscrupulous type look forward to funding campaigns, usually donating to the leading contenders, as a way of getting public tenders and perpetuating corruption in procurement.

Were money the sole determinant, and going by protests from the opposition, the incumbent would be preparing for the swearing in ceremony.

A network afforded by incumbency would be difficult for an opposition to marshal...

The man within a heartbeat of the presidency is also the man to beat...

Jubilee campaign strategy is quite basic — continuity, while that of Nasa is a call for reforms...

Easy-going Kenyatta versus reserved Odinga. Will these personalities influence outcome?...

Politicians are already coming up with hilarious ways to ensure high voter turnout...

A candidate’s appeal to the youth could give an advantage...

Faith in the arbiter can determine the participation and performance of a player, a team or fans...

Odinga’s worry has been that heavy security presence could discourage voters...