Perhaps Uhuru Raila handshake is the most talked about since the 2017 general election but what many forget are the several dangerous political baits at county level that have seen many politicians lose or win various positions; governors, Senators and MPs.
It takes more than millions of cash and oratory skills to win an election even in a far remote county like Nyamira, Homa Bay, West Pokot or cosmopolitan like Nairobi, Kiambu, Mombasa, Kajiado you name it.
Meet the shy man who never likes limelight but respected in the circles of politicians for his strategic genius to get them either win elections or manage their counties and constituencies, ladies and gentlemen; Mr Naftal Nyabuto.
His game in behind the scenes strategy started in 2013 elections where he wrote political campaign strategies for three Governors from South Nyanza and North-Rift regions and crafted their messaging, propaganda and political structures that created attention from many politicians. This led him to become one of the most sorted young brains by MPs and Governors.
I asked him why he never wants to come to the limelight for his accomplishments and he said ‘My work is behind the scenes, why will you want to expose those who you have helped?’
I got it, but what too be by surprise is when those I interacted with gave very good reviews of this young Man, how he did political and development surveys including that of Nyamira County and how his research gave to almost 99% accuracy the candidature performance during elections and how the Governor was amazed by his reporting .
He combines exceptional personal modesty with continuous strategic brain that gets the attention and respect from his peers. He is a witty raconteur and aphoristic thinking that always gets recognized by those who interact with him.
As a political writer, I decided to investigate more and understand this strategist who refused to speak to or deny my report. One source said, he warned ODM at Bomas way before the elections during the pilot of election system that the system had backdoor bug but they never listened, his advisory regarding the voter issue and patterns in Kisii and Coast was ignored only to be true later among other positive remarks.
I wondered why he is never fully involved in politics yet he has been contracted to a number of development strategic plans for over 20 constituencies in Kenya and consulting for those MPs on how they can create social development programmes and how to do project financing without dependency on CDF funds.
What is admirable, is that, he never makes noise about, never reveals who he helps, he is a strong-minded, full-spectrum political-development strategist whose work is respectable.
He loves science of data am told, he never makes decisions not backed up by facts and data. As I met one MP, who lost an election in Nairobi, he said, ‘Naftal gave me a strategy I never followed, I failed and I realized he was right, but what struck me about his approach is, ‘the out of the box’ thinking that doesn’t follow the conventional propagandists ,money driven strategies’.
Featured in one magazine as the most promising young leader a year ago, I got a chance to ask him about his County failure in development and what he has done about it, this he was able to respond ‘I gave a social development plan to the relevant people, gave them fundraising plan, gave them data on the actual priorities and how to create practical and impactful development with scarce resources, but I won’t comment if they were followed or not’
Nick named ‘professor’ during his campus days, describe his personality and thinking as a major asset for anybody who wants to use it.
Now an entrepreneur, perhaps, that is why he never comes outright on his political circles which is wise.
In one of the articles from leading newspaper where he gave is conclusion about winning, he said ‘Assemble a team with “proven skills” harvesting the right data, You need people who have a capacity to look at all of the data, to bring it together, draw conclusions about your own tactics and the way in which you’re going to deal with the issues.”
Can you call him ‘ghost strategist?’ Am not sure, and since I don’t want to be sued for this article, I should say to anybody ‘ignore him at your own peril’ and maybe his home county is ready for such thinks whose limelight is on achievement.
Maybe his many years in consulting for NGOs polished his social development approach to development, I can only guess, however, one of the programs he helped develop in Ukambani has been a great success and maybe, that is what a poverty stricken population needs.