Sunday marks the legally set date to officially commence campaigns. Some are more impatient – others have already traversed the vast country selling their political agenda ahead of the 2022 poll.
But what should Kenyans expect from the campaign period? Deputy President William Ruto and ODM leader Raila Odinga, who is seen as the front-runners in the upcoming elections, are said to have elaborate plans to run their well-oiled campaigns – strategies that will see both teams spend billions of shillings from choppers hoping from one county to the other, live streamlining, high-end vehicles to the latest investment in technology for parallel tallying centres.
Interesting to note is that all presidential candidates are armed with a group of popular politicians gifted in mobilising crowds if not leaving them in a frenzy.
Kenyans should be ready for online propaganda, hundreds of social media posts, parody accounts, manipulated videos and occasional meme.
A local daily indicated that a serious presidential campaign would cost up to Sh5 billion. It is such extravagant expenditure that had seen the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission unsuccessfully legislate on a 4.4 billion presidential campaign cap.
“We will mount serious campaigns both in the air and on the ground. We are going to populate the entire country in the next two months.
We will also adopt polling stations to ensure maximum voter turnout by deploying grassroots officials,” said Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei, a close ally of Dr Ruto.
“We are going to campaign from house to house, village to village and town to town to sell our agenda to the people.
The choppers are there but I can’t tell you about the number because some are being donated by Kenyans of goodwill,” he added.
The Ruto-led team has been split into three, The DP, the Rigathi-led team and the Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetang’ula teams.
The Azimio team has also made teams that will spearhead their campaigns countrywide. Both teams admit that campaigns are expensive.
The purchase of campaign merchandise alone costs up to Sh500 million. While none of the parties admits to ferrying of supporters in hired buses to various political rallies, The Informer has established that this is a cost that both teams will have to shoulder.
If a presidential candidate looks at having agents in all polling centres countrywide, then an additional Sh26.4 million bill will be staring at him. Each agent is paid at least Sh2,000 per day.
“Doing a rally may not be that expensive because you don’t pay people to come but you will spend about Sh2 million on logistics; things like dais, sound system and chairs.
You mobilise a small group, the rest would come based on the party support and hype you create around the event,” says Sakaja. Kenyans can only wait to see how the different political parties will plan their winning strategies.