AFRIKA | När valet den 4 mars var över hade sonen till Kenyas förste president och grundare vunnit över sonen till en tidigare vicepresident.
Under sju års tid hade Raila Odinga och hans vicepresidentkandidat Kalonzo Musyoko varit förhandstippade att segra.
Men när rösträkningen var klar den 9 mars hade Uhuru Kenyatta och hans vicepresidentkandidat William Ruto lyckats ta hem segern redan i första valomgången.
Alla opinionsinstitut hade uteslutet att Kenyatta skulle kunna ta hem en sådan tidig seger. De tre viktigaste instituten – Infotrak, Consumer Insight och Strategic Africa – hade t.ex. alla Odinga i ledning i sina februarimätningar.
Vad hände i valrörelsen som fick väljarna?
Wanhoji Kabukuru, på tidskriften New African, har listat tio skäl till varför valet gick som det gick. Det är tio punkter som kan vara relevanta även i valkampanjer utanför Kenya.
1) Know your history and audience: That Odinga was a poor student of history and appeared not to have a clue about the message his audience wanted [...] Odinga’s “you can’t run a government through Skype” played well into his opponents’ hands who had already branded themselves as the “Digital Team” offering new “transformative leadership”. Odinga fell pretty well into the trap they had set for him as an “analogue” politician. By the time he realised that the youth vote was swaying towards Kenyatta, it was too late.
2) The faith and emotions connection: Kenyatta comes from a strict Catholic background and Ruto is a passionate Pentecostal Christian. [The] charm offensive in the form of “prayer rallies” was not only aimed at winning the election but also winning sympathy. [...] It worked and galvanised faith-based support groups. Odinga’s no-nonsense tough image of a reformer floundered miserably.
3) Keep away from pollsters: For years, Odinga’s campaign relied heavily on pollsters, who continuously painted him as leading in the polls. This costly mistake made Odinga lethargic and made him live in a “make-believe-bubble” [...].
4) A strong ally as a running mate: It pays to have a socially strong, politically connected, and intellectually endowed running mate. [...] The same cannot be said of Odinga’s running mate, former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka. Even when they paired, their body language betrayed the unease beneath.
5) Get your foreign policy right: Four weeks to the election, a number of foreign envoys, notably the Dutch, the British, the Americans and the French, came out strongly to urge Kenyans to reject the Jubilee Coalition led by Kenyatta. They threatened “consequences” (read sanctions) if Kenyatta and Ruto were elected. Their interference put the Jubilee coalition on a much-needed trajectory and handed them a golden opportunity to insinuate that the Western powers had somebody in mind. Odinga’s silence on the issue did not help matters either [...] In the end, Odinga was seen as a proxy for Western interests. [...]
6) On your way up, be good and courteous to everyone: As Odinga rose in political stature to become prime minister, he relied heavily on the core support of regional leaders who coalesced around him in 2007. However as soon as he became premier, he began to antagonise his key backers who had grassroots support. [...]
7) Empathise with your rivals’ misfortunes [Både Kenyatta och Ruto anklagas av International Criminal Court för vara ansvariga för våldet under valet 2007-2008.] This lack of empathy led to Odinga’s core Rift Valley supporters deserting him. When he returned to seek their votes by asking for forgiveness for his “oversight”, the damage had already been done.
8) Don’t forget good deeds and surround yourself with sober advisers: In 2007, Odinga had achieved political magnetism that no other Kenyan leader had ever done in the country’s history, apart from maybe the first president, Jomo Kenyatta. [...] He articulated government policy expertly. Sadly after joining the government, he sidelined his core group of professional advisers and opted for individuals who did not have the same clout. [...]
9) Keep up with the times: When Odinga launched his 2013 campaign, it was a pale shadow of the 2007 one, which was refined, slick, and well resourced. [...] His message had not changed from 2007 and his ideals of 30 years ago had not moved on with the times to reflect the changes demanded by Kenya’s new constitution. His opponents painted him as old and instead of ignoring the fact, he played the statesman card and got stuck in defending his age.
10) Keep your family out of politics: By the time Odinga realised that his family’s dalliance in public service was a liability for his presidential ambitions, it was too late. [...] As his image-makers struggled to spin this issue, Kenyatta and Ruto, who ensured that no such scenario confronted them, had already run away with the prize.
Bild: Tidskriftsomslaget är New African april 2013.