Raila, Karua to run 5-day Nyanza campaign from Wednesday

Azimio presidential flag-bearer Raila Odinga and running mate Martha Karua will from Wednesday embark on a five-day vote campaign marathon in Nyanza.

A timetable released by Raila’s press secretary Dennis Onsarigo indicates that Karua will begin the vote scouring mission in Homa Bay county Wednesday before heading to Kisii county on Thursday.

Raila will on the other hand be engaged in other activities Wednesday but will hit the campaign trail Thursday with a series of events in Migori county.

According to the schedule released Tuesday, Raila will over the next three days thereafter traverse Nyamira, Siaya and Homa Bay counties on Friday, Saturday and Sunday respectively.

Onsarigo did not disclose whether Karua will accompany Raila on the last three vote-hunting days in the ODM leader’s backyard.

Azimio’s visit to the Nyanza region appears to be a counter to the strides made by their Kenya Kwanza opponents in the region in recent days.

The tour comes exactly three weeks after the William Ruto-led camp launched a 60-day vigorous campaign to woo voters for the DP.

With just 41 days to go to the August 9 general election, Raila and Ruto, have scaled up their campaign strategies to consolidate their vote bases. 

With slightly more than four million votes up for grabs in at least 11 swing counties, the two political nemeses are leaving nothing to chance.

A recent Infotrak opinion poll suggested that 11 counties are battlegrounds for the presidential front-runners as campaigns enter the penultimate phase.

Official figures gazetted by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission indicate that Bungoma, one of the swing counties, has  646,598 registered voters. 

Nakuru has 1,054,856 Trans Nzoia (398,981), Turkana (238,528), Lamu (81,453) and Kwale (328,253) voters.

Others among the 11 counties are Kajiado with 463,273 registered voters, Narok (398,784), West Pokot (220,026) and Samburu (100,014) votes.

The latest InfoTrak poll suggested Raila will lead in 20 counties including Coast, Northern, Lower Eastern, Western, Nyanza and Nairobi with 9.3 million votes.

Ruto took the lead in 16 counties from Northern, Mt Kenya and his Rift Valley backyard with a combined vote of 8.4 million votes.

Overall, the Azimio pair polled 42 per cent against the Ruto-Rigathi Gachagua ticket which garnered 38 per cent.

However, the battle is expected to go down to the wire as both sides employ all manner of strategies to woo voters.

Other than hitting the campaign trail and holding economic forums in counties, Ruto has been signing charters with select groups of people including women and the youth with a promise to address their concerns if elected president.

Raila has on the other hand formed campaign teams across the regions to steer the Azimio agenda at the grassroots level. 

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