As the race for the country’s highest political office enters home stretch stage, wealthy businessmen and powerful people are lining up billions of money to fund political campaigns for their preferred contestants.
The battle for the presidency has narrowed down between President Uhuru Kenyatta and National Super Alliance’s Raila Odinga, and campaign funding is one of the key departments for the duel in their pursuit for the top job.
Friends of Jubilee Party held a fundraising dinner last night at the Safari Park Hotel on Friday, where Sh10 Million was the minimum entry to the dinner allegedly organized by some of the country’s billionaires.
It has also emerged that NASA is equally preparing for fund-raising dinner in Nairobi on June 19, which will coincide with Raila’s launch of his manifesto.
Wealthy lawyers, bank owners, insurance magnates and billionaire businessmen prominent in the country’s political and business circles are some of the people in President Uhuru’s corner.
“We have come together as friends of Jubilee but you need to understand that we are not the only ones supporting the party. For your information, there are so many groups that have come together to support the JP campaigns, the majority of which the President does not even know exists. For example, our pay-bill number has received support from many people — some are sending Sh50 and Sh100 and we really appreciate it because this is a significant expression of goodwill,” A source within the Jubilee team told the Standard.
John PN Simba (chairman), Titus Ibui (secretary), SportPesa architect Paul Ndung’u (treasurer), Equity Bank founder Peter Munga (member), CMC director Joel Kibe (member), business mogul Peter Muthoka (member) and Pius Ngugi (member) are the main members funding the President’s team.
Billionaire Mary Wambui Mungai, ICT guru and Karachuonyo MP James Rege, Antony Mwaura, and Mombasa-based billionaire Suleiman Shabbhal, who is also Jubilee’s gubernatorial candidate in that county are others in the team.
On the other hand, Jimi Wanjigi, who is credited with brokering NASA’s leadership pact, Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho, Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero and former Kenya Ports boss Brown Ondego are leading the team marshaling finances for Raila Odinga team.
Presidential candidates do not have limited expenditure restrictions in the law after the National Assembly suspended the law capping spending limits during campaigns in a push led by Justice and Legal Affairs Committee Chairman Samuel Chepkonga.