Activist Boniface Mwangi blames Uhuru, Azimio secretariat for Raila’s defeat
Social-political activist Boniface Mwangi has said Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition’s election loss was largely owing to a disorganized team, with the bulk of them unskilled in critical roles.
Mwangi, who was part of the team volunteering in the campaign secretariat for the Raila-Martha ticket, said he supported them because their principles aligned with what he stood for.
In a 2,180 word piece shared on his Facebook page, Mwangi slammed the coalition’s structure, claiming that allegations were thrown and blame was apportioned inside the Azimio fraternity.
“I would like to go on record stating that Azimio’s overconfidence and grossly underestimating our opponent cost us the presidential election,” Mwangi said.
Mwangi stated that the coalition put a lot of faith in Uhuru Kenyatta’s backing and was more confident about emerging victorious rather than focusing on plans to help them in the August 9 election.
“We failed to do the hard work of strategizing, organizing, and mobilizing our base to come out and vote, especially in our strongholds. We failed to protect our agents from the temptation of easy bribes from our opponents. We allowed them to be compromised at the polling stations. We also failed to protect our votes because we had too much faith that the IEBC would conduct a credible, free and fair election,” Mwangi wrote.
Mwangi indicated that the Azimio secretariat considered Uhuru as an asset, but he believed that if Uhuru could betray Ruto, he could also abandon their choice, Raila Odinga.
According to Mwangi, Uhuru’s remarks affected the coalition more than they benefited it, to the point where Raila and Karua were viewed as projects, a perception they couldn’t shake by the time elections were held.
Mwangi further argues that the Azimio secretariat failed to adequately publicize the coalition’s manifesto and did not engage in local politics to ascertain the true sentiment on the ground.
“The secretariat ignored feedback on how to make the campaign resonate with Kenyans including: withdrawing old men, and people facing criminal charges from our rallies and getting more youthful voices on the campaign stage, and having local leadership at the center stage instead of having one man run the show at all rallies,” Mwangi said.
Mwangi claims that the coalition failed to recruit enough agents to oversee the tallying process at Bomas of Kenya and instead dispatched politicians who had nothing to show for it at the end of the day.
“We gave Bomas access badges to incompetent sycophants, politicians, and cronies who were there not to guard the vote but to heckle, disrupt, and take selfies to show that they were at the tallying centre,” Mwangi said.
According to the activist, the majority of those hired for the coalition’s secretariat frequently provided inaccurate and misleading information. Mwangi claims they were misled into believing the figures were in their favor, and the evidence provided to the Supreme Court was likewise deceptive.
“When Martha went to KICC to meet Azimio leaders and said we had won, she was basing her statement on the figures and numbers she was given by the Azimio secretariat. After the Bomas fiasco, came the court case. We were presented with evidence by the same respected Kenyans in our team– evidence of how we had won. Looking back, it is now obvious that we were fed with misleading information, up until the very last minute. The question arises: was this a long con?” Mwangi posed.
Mwangi felt that Raila Odinga had been misled, but that there was still hope because Azimio had a majority in parliament. With the defections, however, it would be impossible to hold President William Ruto’s administration accountable.
Mwangi described Raila as an inspiration and suggested that he establish a leadership center to train and prepare Kenya’s next generation of leaders.