NASA Online Campaigns Dead as Jubilee Heightens Social Media Stakes

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Raila led NASA is facing internal hemorrhage on many fronts with revelations that it has two conflicting manifestos authored by various competing interests within it.

One manifesto is credited to technocrats advising NASA leaders while the other, more palatable to lobbyists and tenderpreneurs, is credited to shadowy characters bankrolling the campaigns, led in part by businessman Jimmy Wanjigi, or so insiders say.

Like it is with internal wars at the highest echelons of NASA, so it is with the lowliest.

The NASA blogosphere is all but dead with no messages coming out as to what the group stands for and even fewer messengers using their platforms to disseminate the NASA Agenda.

NASA’s online propaganda machinery initial collapse started with the decision of Raila to have his children Winnie Atieno and Raila Junior be in charge of all audio, video and social media aspects of the campaign.

I opposed this arrangement because I foresaw the two not easily integrating in an online political environment that had its own dynamics and needed at least people who had watched the evolution of social media political campaigns in post-Uhuru win in 2013.

Soon after the loss of their father, Winnie and Junior and nearly all their friends who are now bungling their father’s campaigns took off, only to return as campaigns for this election gained steam.

Raila online presence and activities were being pushed by a number of volunteer bloggers, who would loosely be known as “ODM bloggers”, then later, “CORD bloggers”.

This team was thin, poorly resourced and in many instances not compensated. Yet they carried the burden of selling Raila post-2013 as a badge of honor.

Some would pay heavily, as nearly all of them were marked. Around this time, I also used my own platforms to push Raila agenda, believing that he had a better vision for Kenya.

My parting ways had everything to do with the metamorphosis of Raila national agenda into a purely family agenda. The final straw was his decision to hire his children who by any stretch of imagination were never better than the tens of young, skilled and educated supporters who had passionately pushed his agenda.

As with all opportunists, the primary motivation of the two remains commercial, particularly Raila Junior.

Social media was going to be one of the spaces in this campaign circle to make money. NASA initially allocated millions for social media, before the funds were diverted to hiring choppers and paying salaries of a bloated ‘technical’ campaign staff.

NASA online campaigns are increasingly low key; even as Jubilee heightens its social media stake. Where NASA is banking on old deadwoods like Kathleen Openda and Salim Lone, Jubilee is focusing on messaging attractive to first time voters and youths, majority who scratch their heads when asked who they think Salim or Kathleen are.

The world has changed. Campaigns have changed. But Raila is still the old dog, unable to learn new tricks.

With over five web blogs and a cumulative Facebook community of over three million followers, Jubilee has dominated social media, displacing NASA that started off so well.

The excuse now within NASA is that social media doesn’t count. It is the same pathetic excuse of the 2013 election. With it, funding online campaigns is all but dead.

And NASA doesn’t pay for services rendered.

Jubilee bloggers, on the other hand, are well resourced and are digging more dirt in and around NASA, as opposed to NASA bloggers who have been reduced to merely sharing Raila photos and live-streaming boring “Raila na Mpira” speeches.

As early as three months ago, Jubilee had identified their bloggers and placed them all on retainer and daily stipend, and just recently, a number of them have been nominated by Jubilee Party and appears on various county assembly party lists. On the other hand, NASA is said to have retained less than three bloggers, based at the campaign headquarters, and none has been nominated with slots going to girlfriends and boyfriends and family members of NASA party bosses.

Raila has lost this election but that’s not the story. The story is how he lost it, when he lost it and the people who participated in the loss of an election that was his to win.