Recently when CORD leader James Orengo was summoned by the CID to record statements over Lamu land grabbing, the whole circus was peddled in the media for a whole week, with State House junior officials of the President’s press service, PSCU, relentlessly going out of their way, with a presser of their own, to malign the character of the former lands minister.
Jubilee government has in the past claimed it is viciously fighting land grabbing. But this is hot air and propaganda. In fact, land grabbing has been and is the elite pastime of President Uhuru regime.
So why did Uhuru regime come crashing on Orengo?
A critical look at the strategy the Uhuru government is employing reveals a consistent application of a PR firm ploy to contain the opposition and nothing more.
Uhuru’s PR advisors, the British publicity company called BTP Advisers has in its strategies to turn around despotic regimes a plot to Â haul in court opposition politicians, bloggers, civil society members Â on ”regime generated”Â charges so as to injure their reputations and turn populations against them. In a sense, this strategy takes away ‘moral authority’ from those who oppose such regimes.
BTP Advisers is notorious for helping despotic regimes in Africa manage their ‘regime reputation’ by buying off media and several individual journalists as well as using jobless youths of those countries to wage petty propaganda on social media meant at injuring reputation of regime critics and opposition politicians.
In Kenya, BTP Advisers has successfully created an illusion of ‘service delivery’ by buying off individual journalists or whole media houses which report only news that overly praise the government.
The social media propaganda strategy of Uhuru regime, which theÂ government of Uzbekistan rejected, is summed up in the pettiness with which ‘supporters’ of the government – who in reality are paid BTP propagandists – always descend on facebook and twitter posts critical to Uhuru regime.
The strategy is to also ‘overwhelm’ citizens with the ‘good deeds’ of their regime leaders. Non-events are turned into big and extended media news, running into days, if not weeks. Every time this is done, an ‘opinion poll’ is carried out – in reality, the poll itself is cooked – to further convince the population that the regime, or its leaders, are marvelously performing in their duties, even when reality is something different.
For mainstream media – which gets its billions from government advertisements – nothing can be traumatising than threats to this government-media commercial industry.But in Kenya, the media rendezvous with the government is also fed in part by ethnicity.
Right now, the ethnic elite in the media and their counterparts in government are fraternal, not antagonistic. In almost allÂ media houses, the Kikuyu-Kalenjin duopoly dominates the rest. Â Essentially, with ready acceptance, Uhuru regime has found the media so friendly that it no longer needs summon its top editors – its business.
The media-jubilee regime complex is also fueled in part by the ‘brown envelop’ given to journalists on the job. It is alleged that several journalists are on various payrolls of Jubilee top politicians. The rest are fed byÂ PSCU folks who have millions in their budgets readily available to buy all who’ve given their prices.
However, this complex has also seen a group of journalists leave the media. Names like Alex Chamwada, Mwakazi, James Smart, Dennis Onsarigo etc are no longer on the screens, or are on their way out.
In a sense, the media environment, controlled wholly by BTP Advisers – the government’s PR/propaganda spin masters – are on a long leash. Reality is being twisted and governance, or lack of, overly romanticized.