Uhuru’s winning media strategy that got him re-elected


Uhuru Kenyatta. Courtesy: Buzz Kenya website

It is now clear that Uhuru Kenyata has been elected the President of Kenya for a second term. This came after one of the most gruesome elections in the country. These campaigns have become the most interesting with a lot of twists and turns and politicians using every means in order to get more and more votes.

Media plays a big role in a politician’s life this is something that any person can identify. In the words of House Of Cards character Frank Underwood “Any politician would give anything to get a few minutes of prime time TV.” Uhuru’s campaign team understood this and they did everything to make sure they have done everything possible to get him winning in the media cycle both online and mainstream media.

  1. Propaganda campaign on Raila

On mainstream media he appeared very calm and poised about his opponent but when it came to the online and it changed. If you happened to search Raila Odinga you would get a paid ad article giving reasons not to elect Raila Odinga. Pointing out his weaknesses as a Prime Minister and instances he seemed to show corruption.

The ad ran on Facebook, Twitter and other social media handles seemed to have worked for the team. He pointed him out as both incompetent and unfit for the job. Worse still his media team did not feel like rebutting this and they failed to create any advertisement to make sure they have also challenged the news cycle.

  1. The PDU advertisement

The Presidential Delivery Unit adverts which were launched in April ran from the beginning of the election and they were able to deliver a message. The transformation agenda which he was trying to pass seemed to have won the hearts of the people he seemed to have won. He was able to articulate what they have done for the last four and a half years and what they plan on doing the next five years.

The opposition failed to ran an advert pointing out the so called failures of the Jubilee Government. They would have even gone to court to challenge the legality of the adverts. The adverts which seemed to be off with the Election Offenses Act however they only cried wolf but were not willing to do anything to get them out or even run adverts on making sure they have challenged the message of the Jubilee team.

  1. Nasa “scandals”

Since the beginning of the electoral process the Jubilee pointed out the discord in the opposition and their lack of proper leadership. They pointed out that Nasa had not structure and they did not have any mandate to lead the country. The spins that Kalonzo would go it out alone seemed to have sown a lot of points for Jubilee as they were able to make sure that they have shown the opposition has been lacking on unity.

The expose pieces by the media did not seem to help out also. For instance Daily Nation came out with an expose as they tried to uncover the influence of one of their main financiers, Jimi Wanjigi and the “source of his wealth”.

It can also be seen by their lack of coming to defend their manifestos and instead sending their juniors in interviews. For instance when Citizen TV interviewed William Ruto on Jubilee’s plan for the next five years Nasa however which was supposed to send Musalia Mudavadi failed to appear and instead David Ndii appeared on his behalf which painted them as media shy.

Overall Jubilee was able to make sure they have won all cycles both online and on mainstream. This made Nasa less appealing to the media and in the end it cost the latter the elections.


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