Substance should characterise 2022 campaigns

Monday, October 25th, 2021 00:00 | By
Deputy President William Ruto addresses residents at Kaloleni, Kilifi county. Photo/PD/DPPS

Mashujaa Day celebrations came with Sh26 billion bag of goodies as an economic stimulus in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

A structured policy underpinning is discernible in the distribution of the billions to key sectors from tea and coffee farmers in Central Kenya and Rift Valley to sugarcane farmers in the Western region. 

Almost every utterance by the President was a soundbite. Farmers can pick what is in it for them, businessmen and entrepreneurs can pick what works for them and clearly there was a take home for the audience at home, just like the audience at the stadium. 

No political rhetoric but serious political shockwaves from the economic stimulus package.

It has certainly deflated the bottom up economic model by providing a structured model of boosting the economy by attending to the critical players at the base of our economy. 

The Sh26 billion is going to the people who are in need of capital injection through access to credit or payment from sugarcane factories or higher pay for farm produce and for those who need farm inputs. 

The stimulus is not populist and neither is it opaque and one would imagine that the pro-handshake political rallies would address the domino effect of these packages to good effect.

Unfortunately, in the run up to the 2022 elections the public is treated to negative political advertising and cheap propaganda. 

Political messaging in rallies presents a very interesting cycle. The cycle almost always begins with one side of the political divide unleashing a political narrative.

What follows is a rebuttal from the other side. At the end of it all, no formation has sold its own agenda to the public.

Take the State project narrative for instance. The Hustler nation dedicated a whole week to push this narrative that Raila Odinga is a State Project.

I wonder whether Deputy President William Ruto would have been a State Project had he not fallen out  with the President. 

Kenyans are rational, and those who are not, have already taken positions, either based on information or their own predisposition to support whoever they want. 

Therefore, State project or not, majority of Kenyans will go with a candidature that serves public interests.

The hustler nation cannot stake any claim on what the President has done because they have both frustrated and attacked the legacy projects. And that is why they have this spirited narrative of State project pushed by hustler leading lights. 

The ODM side has also not covered itself in glory. The Handshake has afforded them a great opportunity to leverage on the peace dividend and with the message of economic prosperity anchored on Azimio La Umoja

But they have allowed shock jocks like Junet Mohamed with utterances that add very little value. 

Some of these people must be stopped because we are tired of listening to speakers who have perfected the art of demonising competitors. 

Kenyans want to understand the Hustler nation just like they want to understand Baba and the other competitors and how all these candidates will make our lives better. 

We understand politicians for their cheap and populist rhetoric, but the communication folks in these political formations need to start earning their money. 

It is torture for a Kenyan to attend a UDA rally and hear more of Raila and watapeli than what a UDA government would do to address the plight of Kenyans.

It is also unfortunate when you tune in to a news bulletin and instead of understanding how a Raila administration would transform this country, you meet Junet and Edwin Sifuna speaking about visitors and “sherehe.” [email protected]

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