By J Mbaka
Details of Raila Odinga’s high-powered NASA presidential campaign team and elaborate strategy have emerged.
Raila is expected to formally launch his campaign on June 3, two days after President Uhuru Kenyatta launches his Jubilee reelection drive.
ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi will be the overall leader of Raila’s team, supported by a secretariat and smaller teams of regional leaders, mostly governors.
Norman Magaya, former head of the Cord secretariat, will be the campaign’s executive director.
Mudavadi will report directly to the Pentagon, including ODM’s Raila, Wiper’s Kalonzo Musyoka, Ford Kenya’s Moses Wetang’ula and Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto of CCM.
Businessman Jimmy Wanjigi will be responsible for resource mobilisation and experts, such as distinguished economist David Ndii and Abubakar Zein of the East African Legislative Assembly, will support the Pentagon.
Under the regional chiefs will be county coordinators, constituency coordinators and polling station managers.
In total, Raila will have about 500 mainly young people and experts working on his campaign countrywide.
According to multiple sources, most team members will be based in the counties and report to their coordinators and regional team leaders.
Key members of the team will be in place by the end of this month.
Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho, ODM deputy leader, will be responsible for campaigns in the Coast region.
Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero and Deputy Governor Jonathan Mweke have been tasked to ensure Raila gets the majority of votes and seats in the capital city-county.
Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana will rally Ukambani, together with Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama and Kitui Governor Julius Malombe.
Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya, another ODM deputy leader, will lead the team in Western Kenya. That team includes Busia governor Sospeter Ojaamong, Vihiga governor aspirant Yusuf Chanzu, Vihiga Governor Moses Akaranga and Bungoma governor aspirants Alfred Khang’ati and Stephen Mutoro.
Kisumu governor nominee Prof Anyang Nyong’o will take charge of Luo Nyanza, together with Homa Bay Governor Cyprian Awiti, Siaya boss Cornel Rasanga and Migori Governor Okoth Obado.
In the Kisii region, the team will be led by Governors James Ongwae of Kisii and John Nyagarama of Nyamira. MP candidates will also be on board.
Turkana Governor Joseph Nanok will jointly lead the North Rift team with his Trans Nzoia counterpart Governor Patrick Khaemba.
The South Rift team will be headed by Kajiado Governor David Nkedianye and Pentagon member Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto.
Wajir Governor Ahmed Abdullahi will manage the entire Northeastern region
Godfrey Kanoti, Caesar Asiyo and Chris Mandu Mandu will manage all the logistics.
The secretariat will be located in Nairobi’s Riverside and Lavington areas, although Raila’s Capitol Hill offices will also be used.
It is understood that Raila and his financial backers will spend any amount of money on technology to stop vote rigging.
“He is willing to spend his last coin to ensure that he wins the election,” an aide said.
The massive election management system that Raila, aided by IT experts from Germany, is setting up will ensure all votes are counted immediately they are announced, sources familiar with the planning tell the Star.
“It is a real-time system. Once results have been announced at the polling station, our agents will immediately take pictures and send them to the national tallying centre in Nairobi,” a source explained.
Raila has already brought on board two German IT experts working with a team of local data managers and security experts to design the system.
In NASA’s vote-protection strategy, party agents will have satellite phones to capture both video and pictures of Forms 34 and 36. They will instantly relay them to the national opposition tallying centre in Nairobi.
The pictures and photos are to be irrefutable evidence in case of a challenge to the outcome of the presidential vote.
NASA is not allowed to publicly declare votes and totals but is free to keep its own tally.
The main NASA national tallying centre will be in Nairobi’s Westlands area on Rhapta road, where the opposition has rented a building.
Only the NASA principals, IT gurus and presidential election officials will have access to the secured building under renovation.
Security around the house is being enhanced and CCTV cameras are fixed all around it.
“A lot is happening now as part of the opposition’s preparations for the elections. Yes, we have a building around Westlands but I can’t confirm if it will be our national tallying centre. Some of the undertakings are highly sensitive and may not be shared with the media,” a NASA insider said.
Raila’s grand strategy involves university student volunteers who will be deployed to polling stations countryside. They will be equipped with satellite phones to relay live the presidential results declared by presiding officers.
The volunteers will be embedded with the presidential candidate’s agents and pockets of election observers in all polling stations.
NASA ‘s national vote tallying centre in Nairobi will have a data backup system established outside the country.
The opposition will also use the Cloud as part of its data backup plan.
Raila and the opposition say the 2013 election victory was stolen from him, hence, all the security precautions, backups and controls.
“This time we are not taking any chances,” Kalonzo told the Star yesterday.