Tunawesmake is a crap slogan.
There are no two ways about it. But because it is crap it may work. Any kind of publicity is good. With everyone going on and on about how a bad slogan it is, everyone is talking about it and by extension the candidate which is what the campaign team wants.
Tunawesmake is Peter Kenneth’s campaign slogan. Kenneth has launched his presidential bid on a Kenya National Congress ticket.
In the recent past I have gotten cynical about the mundane nature of Kenyan politics and therefore I have been giving the party and presidential launches a wide berth. However I sat through the Kenneth’s launch and it availed some food for thought.
His speech was impressive. It was sober, issue-based and grounded. When he spoke of the fiscal discipline he will instil in governance it struck a chord, when he talked of his up-bringing in Bahati by a single-mum who struggled to take him to Starehe Boys, I saw someone who knows real Kenyan struggles.
If anything, I pray that the speech heralds a new dawn of issue-based politics in Kenya.
The launch itself felt too pre-planned and airbrushed. One could see echoes of Obama ’08. Also many of the speakers did not move his agenda forward and some performances like Amani’s were painful to watch. While we are it, Big Ted and Jua Kali are really making a fortune out of the political launches without committing to any candidate.
19-year-old Andrew Kenneth’s speech was a bright spot in the launch. It appeared honest and real. He certainly will aid his dad lock down further the female vote. It also heralds a new fad in Kenyan politics were family are part of the package of the candidate.
Peter Kenneth spoke of the iron-discipline instilled by his mum and by Starehe Boys but for him to connect with voters methinks he needs to loosen up.
Politics is about emotions, liking & other non-tangibles. The launch and the Kenneth campaign so far have gone for logic and sense.
Clearly him (and his son) have strong appeal to young urban women voters. He also appeals to urban male voters who tend to be thinking voters.
His campaign team needs to figure out how to sell him to the emotional voters. The ones who vote due to euphoria, tribal reasons or our-man-said-we-vote thus. The kind of voters who have no qualms voting for the likes of Sonko or Waititu. Unfortunately they make the biggest number of voters in Kenya.
Some questions that Peter Kenneth will have to answer are;
His identity – In Central, he is derogatorily referred to as Kamuthungu with Muthungu being Kikuyu for White man. People are already asking what is his ‘Kenyan’ name.
His source of wealth – He was raised in Bahati by a single-mum, his school fees in Starehe was paid for by a well-wisher, how then did he became as rich as he is now?
Is he over-reaching – Gatanga Constituency Development Fund under his patronage has been run well. Many expected him to then run for Governor of Murang’a County. His insistence of being in presidential race raises eyebrows. Is he a plant? Is he just making a point and positioning for 2017?
All in all, his one-party, no alliances, no mention or name-calling of other aspirants and sticking to issues is different from regular Kenya political fodder.
Methinks, Peter Kenneth’s launch will occasion a rethink in strategy by other parties and presidential aspirants.
The ICC ticket of Uhuru and Ruto is court-prone. Its take-off is dependent on the integrity case lodged at the Supreme Court and its success is dependent Kenyans feelings about having a president and running mate entangled in the ICC court process.
Raila’s campaign is currently blunder-prone. He is a far-cry from the invincible candidate of 2007 who inspired mega-support. Cases in point – Why pray did he apologize to the Kalejin community and not to entire country? And exactly what is this mistake he is apologizing for? Also as a self-declared proponent of democracy and reforms how can Raila ask his brother Oburu and his long-time friend Orengo who are competing for the Siaya Senate seat to share out positions? Don’t the electorate have a say?
Martha Karua’s campaign appears to have currently run out of steam and she has fallen off the radar. She also has to contend with what I will call the Baraza-effect. Nancy Baraza’s alleged nose-pinching incident has shown women in authority in a bad light and Martha is unfortunately reaping this.
Musalia Mudavadi and Kalonzo Musyoka are non-starters. They are both KANU orphans who are so used to the Mtukufu Rais phenomena and thus cannot or have never learnt how to walk with their own two feet.
Enter Kenneth! Anawesmake?
I don’t know but it is shaping up to be an intriguing couple of months as we count down to March 4, 2013.
PS: What if Kenneth and Martha were to set aside their egos and come together as one ticket?
GOD BLESS KENYA!