Kenyan rivals rely on grassroots to bring out the vote

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Anthony Wombugu is becoming increasingly worried. With just a few weeks to go before Kenya’s presidential and legislative elections, the co-ordinator for President Uhuru Kenyatta’s ruling Jubilee party in Kajiado county fears defeat.

“The campaign is all wrong, the strategy is all wrong,” he says. “Senior party officials are keeping all the resources for themselves. We keep telling them we have the votes here but we don’t have the people to bring you the votes.”

With Mr Kenyatta, the son of Kenya’s founding president, only a few points ahead in the polls of his main rival, Raila Odinga, and only a small percentage of the electorate undecided, analysts say the respective sides’ grassroots operations will decide who runs east Africa’s dominant economy for the next four years.

Mr Odinga, a populist former prime minister in a unity government set up in the wake of election violence in 2007, is making his fourth attempt to upend the Kenyan establishment and win the top seat.

Global Insight

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