By Dorcas Sarkozy
The tables are upside down. Jubilee is on the ropes and this time, the opposition got a rare political gift that keeps on giving. Uhuru’s sugar deal with Uganda was not only a case of executive overreach, but a blatant attempt to cripple the local sugar industry and render millions of Kenyans jobless.
Thanks to the opposition leader’s watchful eyes, the people of Kenya got to know how the Jubilee government inked a job killing, anti-Kenyan workers and politically motivated deal. Going by the amount of push back the Government is clocking, its clear that RAO caught them unawares. And he must not stop there. Its time to up the ante!
Jubilee administration’s response says it all. Before the sugar deal, Jubilee’s PR prowess dwarfed the opposition’s oversight effort and the government was able to get away with virtually everything. Not this time. They went from UK’s mangled ‘response’ to Odinga to Duale’s weak attempt to shift the blame on to Odinga.
They are now issuing bullet points of the Kibaki administration’s record on sugar as if that will undo the dubious UK-Museveni sugar deal. You don’t have to be a PR connoisseur to see the confusion in Jubilee. Its time for CORD to ‘devolve’ the anti-sugar message to all the affected counties.
RAO must unleash a team of political messaging consultants charged with the responsibility of crystallizing the talking points into easily digestible catch phrases and then summon all elected CORD leaders from the sugar belt to a briefing and coaching session at his office. The training must be a complete tutorial on the impact of the deal, devastating macroeconomic effects of the deal and how it will affect the average village dweller who relies on sugar cane farming to put food on the table.
Training materials must include but not limited to, power-point presentations, campaign literature, CORD manifesto and a writeup of how the deal contravenes CORD agenda and ideals. The leaders must go through thorough drills by way of mock interviews to gauge preparedness and sharpen the subject matter knowledge. The catch phrases must be direct and to the point.
CORD must also create TV and radio advertisements featuring real sugar farmers, factory workers and families of those who depend on sugar farming to tell their stories.
The ads must feature these individuals laying out the stakes. An example of a single mother who relies on her small sugarcane farm to put food on the table can go along way in painting a picture of just how high the stakes are.
An example of a CEO of a sugar factory tabling the number of people who will have to go home to their families and tell them, ” we have to look for new means of survival because the factory has been closed!”
A case of a sugar depot filled to capacity with locally produced sugar but can’t be sold because of cheap, imported sugar flooding the market can go along way in bastardizing the deal. I can go on and on but you get the point.
Odinga must keep on talking but he can’t be the only one. Jubilee has given him a gift that keeps on giving and its up to CORD to make sure that Kenyans get the message.
The CORD leader masterfully set the ball rolling and CORD bloggers have taken the cue. Its time for our elected leaders to carpet bomb the affected counties with a singular message. If the ever manipulative media gives it a blackout, CORD will have to setup YouTube channels and WhatsApp groups to spread the word.
Jubilee is on the ropes and its time to give them a taste of their own medicine by using smart PR to expose their sneaky deals. Over to you Mr.Odinga.