Monday, April 4, 2016

This is how Migori politicians should pick social media henchmen…

Today I will take time to post on my blog, a personal column like writing out of the structured pieces I do for the Star newspaper from Migori county.

Morning rain clouds have been flirting with Migori town, and knowing my home town for being wet it’s now raining with the horizon clouded in white rain sheet as I write this.

The long rains have arrived along with the quickly rising political temperature as Migori is quickly shaping up ahead of national elections slotted for next year.

Aspirants have tentatively tried to test the ground by having spontaneous harambee, meet the people tour or strategizing as they pick their teams ahead of official campaign kick-off.

Since the campaigns are yet to fully take shape, politicians have hired henchmen and little political spanner boys to test the ground on social media. Facebook, through popular groups have turned up as a favorite spot with WhatsApp coming second.

A few savvy politicians and aspirants have launched websites and hired bloggers to propagate their agenda to shape their national image.

The 2017 political jumbo has fallen and like hounds political spanner boys are already picking the carcass first, if constant Facebook and WhatsApp posts celebrating their paymasters are anything to go by.

Some have taken up multiple aspirants through all five posts of Governor, Senator, Women Representative, Legislators and MCAs.

The only unifying post is presidency where Raila Odinga from the most populous Orange Democratic Movement party brings together disparate views.

This overzealous social media posturing will be the down fall of many aspirants as their spanner boys’ multiple ‘endorsement’ and jumping across aspirants will be their main undoing.

Let me explain: spanner boy X, for example, has vowed support for Governor Okoth Obado, Women Representative Dennitah Ghati and Suna West MP Joseph Ndiege. This is just an example.

Mr. X will constantly attack everybody against Obado including spanner boy Y who supports, let us says, governor aspirant Anne Omodho Anyanga. Already there is bad blood between the two at governor position.

Later Mr. X and Mr. Y find themselves supporting Ghati at Women Representative position. The two guys end up differing again sharply at constituency level as Mr. Y supports, let us presume former Migori mayor Peter Masara.

As the two continue asserting their power through exchange of abuses and counter-attacks through multiple Facebook and WhatsApp groups posts it is politicians who suffer the most.

To avert this Migori politicians should pick up their social media ‘gurus’ selectively, reservedly and ensure they stick to a single level and post in elections campaign. This will create uniformity and avoid scuttling other voters.

A governor aspirant will seek votes from supporters of politicians (aspirants and elected) in other posts, this should never be compromised by an overzealous social media spanner boys.

Above all they should never bank on these antics as there is no polling station called social media. If social media was that powerful then Martha Karua and Peter Kenneth could’ve been presidents by now.

(Follow me on Twitter @ManuelOdeny)

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