Aspiring Lang’ata Member of Parliament Felix Odiwuor, alias Jalang’o, now says he expects to spend a maximum of Ksh.40 million in his campaigns ahead of the August polls.
Jalang’o, who recently secured the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party ticket to vie for the seat, says that the funds will go towards logistics of the campaign.
“It is not about handouts or anything like that, but for a well-oiled campaign, it would easily cost about Ksh.30 million to Ksh.40 million so that you will be able to move into every single place and articulate your issues,” the radio presenter-turned-politician said in an interview on Citizen TVs Day Break show Friday morning.
He argued that the 2022 elections will require politicians to dig deeper into their pockets due to the COVID-19 pandemic which he said injured the country’s economy and led to increased poverty levels.
Jalang’o opined that politicians are forced to tackle a myriad of issues facing the people during the campaign season, including catering for basic needs of their relatively needy constituents.
“This is going to be the most expensive election for any politician because we are coming from the pandemic and you can go to the ground to articulate issues out there but the situation forces you to go beyond selling your ideologies to giving food and help to people,” he noted.
In regard to how youthful politicians like himself manage to raise funds for campaigns, the MP aspirant said that he held fundraisers, put up kitties and also received donations from his friends.
“I had my fundraiser in December 2021 in which a few friends put in a good amount of money for me to start my campaigns; and from time to time I have also had support from my constituency in Langa’ta,” he stated.
At the same time, Jalang’o pointed out that young politicians who are vying on independent tickets have a far worse experience than those in political parties in terms of finances and popularity.
He highlighted that the popularity of a party in some regions helps create a leeway for many politicians to clinch the respective seats as compared to their counterparts who choose to go independent.
“The party is well-structured out there and makes it easy for you to even reach the people out there through its structures; the structures which make it easy for you to maneuver through the constituency and also make it better to have a party ticket than go independent.,” he said.
“You can’t deny how deep-rooted party politics is; it’s better to have a party ticket than go as an independent candidate.”