Uhuru Splashes Sh500m For Strong Jubilee Candidates in Swing Counties
With 11 days left to the election, President Uhuru Kenyatta has splashed Sh500 million to finance strong Jubilee candidates in swing and opposition regions.
With campaigns entering the homestretch and presidential candidates limbering up to the sprint, Uhuru has given each of the candidates from the ‘select’ regions massive financial boost.
Parliamentary candidates are getting Sh2 million, select governors and senate aspirants Sh5 million while MCAs were given sh500,000.
The Jubilee party leader, who is keen on garnering the majority seats in the 12th Parliament, has opened his vaults-splashing cash to parliamentary aspirants perceived to be strong.
The president is already spending heavily in his reelection campaigns -and holding a whirlwind of campaign stops across the country- as he battles a resurgent opposition.
The sky is the limit, after MPs last year thrashed campaign financing regulations that would have put limits on campaign spending.
The tough regulations will take effect in 2022.
The president’s focus is to oil campaigns of such candidates seen as having a strong chance against opponents in swing and opposition strongholds.
The Star has established that about 150 parliamentary candidates and some 200 Ward Representative candidates have received help.
Jubilee is fielding 42 governor aspirants, 261 parliamentary aspirants and 45 senators.
Those from Jubilee strongholds, who are riding on the party wave, were left out of the financial injection dished out last week. They are likely to win although some are also facing tough competition from independents who are supporting Uhuru’s reelection.
Details gleaned from interviews with multiple Jubilee aspirants confirmed that they have been given the money to strengthen their budgets.
Yesterday, Jubilee vice chairman David Murathe, an influential figure in Uhuru’s reelection campaigns, declined to confirm the amount but admitted that the party had given out ‘support’.
“We have our candidates’ support mechanism in which we are boosting out strong candidates in some regions,” Murathe told the Star.
“We are not doing that for every candidate, but for select ones whom we think have high chances of being elected in battle grounds and opposition strongholds,” he said.
The party has also given out other forms of support including branded banners, T-shirts, caps and scarfs to enhance the party’s presence at the grassroots.
Several Jubilee candidates in Bungoma who spoke to the Star on condition of anonymity said they received the money last week and are expecting another batch next Monday.
A governor aspirant from the coast who also sought anonymity said some governor aspirants are also getting the party support.
“It is not about money or this and that, it is about full support so that we capture the seat,” the governor hopeful said.
Last week, the Star learnt Uhuru donated Sh5 million towards the campaign of Jubilee’s nominee for Mombasa governor Suleiman Shahbal. The cash was delivered through proxies during Shahbal’s campaign fundraiser.
The president’s personal contribution confirmed the high stakes that is the Mombasa gubernatorial contest.
Uhuru has sharply differed with Mombasa governor Hassan Joho and the two have openly exchange bitter salvos with the president determined to capture the seat from vocal ODM deputy party leader.
Candidates getting massive Jubilee financing are in Nyanza, Kisii, Nyamira, Kilifi, Tana River, Lamu, TaitaiTaveta,Kajiado and Narok counties.
Fears of a minority in Parliament have forced Uhuru to personally step in and help financially crippled candidates
Follow us on Twitter @theglobengr
GET YOUR INSTANT SMS DELIVERY ALL NETWORK ON SFWSMS.COM. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER AND ENJOY CHEAP RELIABLE BULKSMS SERVICE.