Down to The Wire: The False Narrative Around a Tightening Race for State House
By Dorcas S
The race for State House is tightening and while the suspect IPSOS Polls confirms the tightening, all one has to do is look at the behavior of the principal candidates.
One is the paragon of calm and self-assuredness fashioned by years of working in the trenches.
The other is a petulant child of privilege; the so-called “blue-eyed prince of Gatundushire”. “Blue-eyed”? Really?
One leaves in their wake multiple flailing attempts to deflect the narrative onto something shiny and new even if they had very little to do with its creation. In the process, picking fights with underlings almost religiously.
The other offers a quiet resolve – born of having seen it all – including personal slights and disses – the latter two oftentimes becoming THE storyline of what should have been a national day of celebration and unity.
The race for the 2017 presidency – the crown jewel of the General Election – is shifting in a direction many couldn’t have imagined.
The traditional battlegrounds have narrowed and the spin, by one side in particular, has reached terminal velocity.
The latest narrative begun shortly after the “Fiasco in Nyeri” when Jubilee bloggers and “communication analysts” begun the shameless, disrespectful and gratuitous push of the “Victimization of Kikuyus”, “Demonization of Kikuyus” and “NASA Intolerance” storylines.
I will cut to the chase:
#1. Kikuyus ARE NOT victims; have NEVER been victims and anyone alluding to that obviously knows very little about their history. One word – repeated twice – MAU MAU!!
#2. To anyone trying to DEMONIZE Kikuyus; see #1 and while at it, read up on their past.
#3. On NASA intolerance: Sure right! Look at its national appeal and try another label.
This is classic Cambridge Analytics (CA) machination. It is what Jubilee’s foreign campaign strategists do – very well:
Combine data mining and data analysis for a coherent and strategic communication narrative for the electoral process. In this case, CA has created a patently false narrative based on existing stereotypes and fears and are trying to make it THE theme for an otherwise theme-less and hapless Jubilee Party and leadership.
The Robert Mercer-funded group has polled enough Kenyans to form the one narrative that tugs at their collective hearts while solidifying their client’s (Jubilee’s) base and peeling off just enough votes in the Eastern and Coastal regions to gain the 50% + 1 to secure victory.
Folks, make no mistake about it:
This is a re-tooled “Us” versus “Them” narrative that has been the hallmark of a large part of Jubilee’s base since Jomo Kenyatta forced oathing of allegiance, not to the office of the presidency or to whatever constitution Kenya had at the time, but to him “Motongoria Jamba” personally.
It was diabolical but effective then – in 1969.
It was diabolical and effective in 2013 for “Kamwana”.
NASA principals Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka SHOULD NOT allow themselves to be roped into the silliness of that discussion. It is a trap that will reinforce the existing “Raila will address historical injustices blah, blah, blah” paradigm.
NASA surrogates Musalia Mudavadi, Isaac Ruto and Moses Wetangula, when responding to the “victimization”, “demonization”, “intolerance” puerility should eschew long drawn out responses that run the risk of touching on said storylines – thereby appealing to the narrative.
Fair-minded and patriotic Kenyans – across the partisan divide – should not allow this shameless pandering and “otherization” of a visibly and demonstrably more diverse NASA Coalition to succeed this time around in 2017.