, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 29 – Prime Minister Raila Odinga has set his election machinery in motion, with the appointment of a chief campaign manager and a national director for communications.
A statement from Odinga’s office said that James Omariba Ongwae will be the chief campaign manager while columnist Barrack Muluka will take charge of communications.
Ongwae has worked in the government for over 30 years, serving as Permanent Secretary and director of personnel management.
He served as PS in the Ministry of Agriculture and later secretary to the Teachers’ Service Commission.
Muluka, on his part, is a renowned publisher, media consultant and newspaper columnist.
The statement from the premier’s office also hinted at future appointments saying that: “In the coming days, the PM will make further appointments of men and women of unquestionable integrity and commitment to Kenya to be part of the Raila Odinga Presidential Campaign Secretariat.”
The appointments of Ongwae and Muluka take immediate effect.
Last year, Odinga appointed prominent city lawyer and legal commentator Paul Mwangi to replace Miguna Miguna as his advisor on legal affairs following a bitter fallout with the outspoken Miguna.
Odinga is currently facing off with his party’s deputy Musalia Mudavadi for the ODM nomination with their main battle being the mode of nomination.
Mudavadi is rooting for elections by delegates at county levels while Odinga wants a National Delegates Congress (NDC) to choose the party flag bearer.
The PM has however maintained that he had no personal differences with Mudavadi despite the ongoing battle for the ODM presidential ticket.
Odinga and his party have expressed opposition to the March 4, 2013 date of elections announced by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and made it clear that they preferred the next elections to be held in December.
The PM has maintained that elections in March would be a cumbersome affair as schools will be open, farmers will be in the fields and it will extend the life of the current parliament and coalition government.
The son of the doyen of opposition politics in Kenya, the late Jaramogi Oginga Odinga is preparing for his third quest to become Kenya’s president.
He faces stiff competition from other aspirants including Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka and the Hague bound duo of Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Eldoret North MP William Ruto.
Others who have expressed interest in contesting for the presidency include Gichugu MP Martha Karua, former Rarieda MP Raphael Tuju, Ministers Eugene Wamalwa and Moses Wetangula.