Last week, I came across a small pamphlet titled [email protected] It is a booklet that summarises what the Jubilee administration has done in the past four years that it has been in power. It is also an amazing piece of evidence of why Jubilee must up its political propaganda capacity.
Today when one speaks about the NYS, what comes to mind is the billions of shillings allegedly stolen by senior government officials through the Devolution ministry.
What many do not know, however, is that over 23,000 youths have been trained by the NYS, and another more than 37,000 have been recruited into the NYS. We do not hear of the 300 saccos that were set up by the young people and generated Sh1.4 billion in savings.
We do not hear that women have earned Sh200 million through the Huduma Kitchen, and that under the Youth Enterprise Fund, over 880,000 people have accessed close to Sh12 billion to start or grow their small businesses.
When we speak about the Ministry of Health, all we hear are the allegations of corrupt tendering. We do not hear of the 176 dialysis machines that have been installed in 26 hospitals across the country, raising the dialysis capacity from 132 in 2013 to 552 sessions per day today.
We do not also hear of the 160,000 households — about 800,000 individuals — benefitting from the Social Protection Programme across the country. We also do not hear about the 21 advanced MRI machines across Kenya, up from only one available in 2013.
These success stories are in literally every ministry.
In the Ministry of Lands, over 2.4 million additional title deeds have been issued in four years, an additional 50 per cent of what had been issued in the 50 years between 1963 and 2013.
In the Energy docket, 12.4 million more Kenyans have been connected to electricity, an absolutely fantastic job when one considers that only 12.8 million people were connected in the first 50 years since Independence.
Cord has managed to shut out these success stories by ensuring that every single achievement by the Jubilee government is shrouded in corruption allegations.
Since politics is about perceptions rather than facts, all Cord has had to do is spew out allegations that Kenyans are getting less than what they should, with absolutely no proof.
The opposition intends to undermine every Jubilee achievement and replace the success narrative with one of loss and corruption. The goal is to disillusion even those who are benefitting from these achievements.
The objective is to create despondency among the Jubilee supporters, and anger among Cord supporters. Despondency will reduce the number of Jubilee supporters motivated enough to get out and vote during the general election. Anger will ensure every Cord supporter gets out to vote against Jubilee.
It is a brilliant strategy.
Fortunately for Jubilee, Cord has rolled out this negative campaign early enough for something to be done to control it. It is also being done too obviously.
To turn it around, all Jubilee needs to do is to bring out testimonials of ordinary Kenyans whose lives have fundamentally changed because of the government achievements. In fact, if asked, I would say such testimonials should come from Cord strongholds. Whereas it might be hard to sell the truth in the face of such a concerted campaign of lies, it is not impossible.
Countering the Cord narrative should, therefore, be the primary objective of the new Jubilee Party. JP should use its political machine to enumerate the successes of the Jubilee government in localised contexts, and call out Cord’s propaganda. This is more important than the incumbent-aspirant supremacy fights going on in the party.
JP candidates at the next election must be those best able to articulate why Jubilee is better than Cord, at the local level and across the country.