Vanguard Africa, an American pro-democracy firm which helped oust Gambia’s Yahya Jammeh in 2016, has promised to work with Opposition leader Raila Odinga.
The non-profit NGO co-founded by a top operative in US presidential campaigns, has agreed to provide partisan political advice to Odinga, according to a letter to the Orange Democratic Movement leader on file with the US Department of Justice.
“During our time together in Washington,” Vanguard Africa principals told Odinga in the letter, “We hope to have a collaborative and open discussion about your campaign, current challenges and the real prospects for success.”
Vanguard Africa’s work in The Gambia has set it up against African dictators, and many of firms directors, including the founder Jeffrey Smith, a longtime human rights defender across Africa, are under top surveillance.
The letter addressed to Odinga has sparked outrage among the opposition leader’s critics who alleged that Vanguard was seeking to support Raila’s candidacy in the upcoming General Elections.
In last election, the CORD opposition did not have a critical western PR agency which saw terrible blunders committed throughout the messaging of the opposition agenda ahead of the 2013 polls.
Vanguard, however, distanced itself from the claims stating that it does not intend to interfere in Raila’s campaigns and that they had not received any money from him as alleged by a section of the Kenyan media.