It was an exciting moment to see President Uhuru Kenyatta display his certificate when he was declared the winner of last week’s presidential election. The win was worth it and one that he had worked hard for not only while serving Kenya but also on the campaign trail.
Throughout the campaign trail, the President displayed great energy and also was consistent in his message to Kenyans. He came out as the better competitor and this is indeed the reason why 8.2 million of the nearly 16 million Kenyans who voted granted him a second term.
Any observer will agree with me that Uhuru had a thoroughly organised campaign, Kenyans could not resist watching him speak at campaign rallies.
The UhuRuto message was clear and crafted to speak to each and every Kenyan. Uhuru consistently outlined what his government has done, especially on infrastructure, health, education, energy and agriculture.
He did not shy away from pointing out the challenges his government has faced, but he was also clear that he has a plan to ensure that Kenyans have more jobs and their lives continue to be transformed.
Uhuru, in a limited way, rebuked his key opponent Raila Odinga and his troops for seeking to mislead Kenyans and incite them against the Jubilee government. This was strategic as the President focused on an issue-based campaign.
From the merger of 12 political parties to form Jubilee Party, it was clear that Uhuru was ready to unite Kenyans behind him. The merger ensured that those who were not part of Jubilee in 2013 were accommodated and became part of the winning team.
What followed was elaborate launches of the party and the manifesto with a clear plan on what Jubilee was to focus on in the next term. This not only gave Kenyans hope but also showed a clear picture of where the country was headed.
Uhuru’s campaign did not lose its branding at any time and everywhere he went the rallies were red. His ‘45 million together’ rallying call was also critical as it showed a campaign eager to unite Kenyans, unlike Raila’s ‘10 million strong’.
His main opponent spent most of his time trying to demonise the Jubilee administration through propaganda, lies and innuendo. But Kenyans proved to be smarter than the NASA brigade and chose to stick with the truth and what they could see.
In addition, the opposition was disorganised on all fronts up to Election Day, when they couldn’t trace their agents. While Kenyans knew the Jubilee candidate since 2013, the opposition took three years to agree among themselves who their candidate would be.
NASA could not agree on whether to hold joint nominations or move as individual parties. Even days to the election, there was confusion in the opposition camp, when James Orengo was named as the chief agent only for this to be reversed a day later and Musalia Mudavadi appointed in his place.
By spending a lot of time attacking the President, the DP and the Jubilee government, NASA forgot to tell Kenyans what they would do if elected. And when they did, it sounded like an act of division and unstructured policy.
Their manifesto was a photocopy of Jubilee’s 2013 blueprint, forgetting that Uhuru’s administration had achieved most of it. NASA could not counter Jubilee’s strategy to make inroads in opposition territory.
Uhuru won the hearts of Kenyans, including those in opposition strongholds, and it is clear from the results that his efforts were not in vain.
NASA can only blame their loss on their disorganised campaign, which did not appeal to Kenyans.