Raila Spends Over Ksh500 Million on New Campaign Machinery

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    ODM leader Raila Odinga alights from a helicopter at a past event
  • ODM leader Raila Odinga is said to be assembling heavy campaign machinery a year before the 2022 General Election. 

    According to a Member of Parliament close to Odinga, the former prime minister is expecting at least four choppers from France.

    The source intimated that the payment was already completed and the helicopters would be arriving in Nairobi soon for assembly. 

    Eurocopter AS350B2 pictured mid-air
    Eurocopter AS350B2 pictured mid-air

    “We expect the choppers to be shipped soon before they can be assembled locally,” the MP said.

    The price of a helicopter is upwards of Ksh130 million meaning that Odinga’s budget is definitely above half a billion. 

    The former PM has also received a public address system worth Ksh5 million from the United States.

    ODM chair John Mbadi confirmed that preparations for the 2022 contest were in top gear but declined to disclose specific details. 

    “The point is that ODM is preparing for 2022. As to the level of preparations or whether we are procuring choppers, we cannot reveal for now. It is true that we are putting the campaign plans in place and everything that we need for the campaigns but we cannot reveal our weapons,” he said. 

    As months edge closer to the next General Election, alliances have started taking shape with his Thursday meeting with former UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi and Governor Kivutha Kibwana raising eyebrows.

    The enigma of Kenyan politics safely has the support of very influential and wealthy politicians in his circle. The team will come in handy as Kenyan elections are considered some of the most expensive in Africa with a well-fuelled presidential campaign costing at least Ksh5 billion. 

    They include businessman Jimmy Wanjigi, COTU boss Francis Atwoli, Jubilee Vice Chair David Murathe, among others.

    Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho, who has previously been an ardent support of Raila, will be facing off with the former Prime Minister for the ODM presidential ticket. 

    The ODM deputy party leader is considered the most influential Coast leader where he has helped deliver the region to Odinga in the last three general elections.

    Political pundits say that Joho, who also harbours presidential ambitions, is likely to shelve his desire in favour of his party boss to whom he has pledged his loyalty.

    Wanjigi is one of the silent actors in Kenya's politics. Despite heavily funding the Jubilee campaign in 2013, he has since shifted allegiance to Odinga. When it comes to funding campaigns, Wanjigi is a gem worth keeping. 

    ODM leader Raila Odinga (left) and businessman Jimi Wanjigi leave the court.
    ODM leader Raila Odinga (left) and businessman Jimi Wanjigi leave a courtroom after a past hearing

    Murathe enjoys an audience with President Uhuru Kenyatta and is likely to influence his political decisions, having effectively locked Deputy President William Ruto out of the management of the Jubilee Party. 

    Though the Head of State has been non-committal about supporting Odinga's presidential bid, Raila has been riding on his influence. 

    While the opposition leader may not expect funding or endorsement from President Kenyatta, his goodwill may be more valuable for him. 

    An image of Raila
    Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga arriving at the Jomo Kenyatta Sports Complex Stadium in Mamboleo, Kisumu on Sunday 10 January 2021.