“In 2013 we faced a formidable opponent with half the government — a sitting prime minister and a sitting vice-president. Today we face a clueless, rudderless, leaderless, disorganised Opposition.” Truer words used to describe the opposition have never been spoken.

Opposition Raila Odinga (Centre) with Musalia Mudavadi and COTU boss Francis Atwoli. Photo courtesy of the Star.

With that statement, William Ruto, with the focus of surgeon’s scalpel revealed the gangrene that is eating the opposition alive. The National Super Alliance is a broken wheelbarrow.

I hate to be the regular and consistent bearer of bad news to the opposition; your current rug tag amorphous coalition will not deliver anything. Every time I watch a campaign organised by the opposition leaders, I have to cover my face because of shame. The terrible disorganisation that oozes from their work is unbearably shameful.

Bad background music, uncoordinated messages, terrible sound, several microphones held together by a sellotape, old men trying in vain to act young, loud hysterical master of ceremony, the grand battle of bruised egos at play among other annoying occurrences.

Another name for NASA is disorganisation.

The reason why it pains me to see such a disorganised opposition is the crucial role they are supposed to play in furthering democracy. The multi-party democracy was ushered in this country because of an active united opposition, the civil society and an electorate that was ready for a change.

The 2002 Rainbow coalition that uprooted KANU from the seat of power was a formidable opposition that had an agenda.

But as it is, the Jubilee Party looks like a strong Italian horse competing against a limping malnourished donkey. Dear NASA, however calories of energies you use to push your broken wheelbarrow, regardless of the many buckets of sweat you pour as you toil in the sun in your attempt to capture the presidential seat but without a different plan, it will be a mirage.

A compelling agenda

Craft a simple message that will stir the emotions of the electorate to action. Let your slogan take us back to the ‘glorious days’ when Kenya was united. Remind us how cheap the cost of living was. The cost of bread, the cost of unga, the cost of milk etc. Remind us that it has been lost but then promise to restore it. That will go straight to the reservoir of anger that Kenyans have against Jubilee. In few words, capture pessimism and optimism, fear and hope of every Kenyan from the lake to the ocean, from the mountain to the plains.

Let your slogan take us back to the ‘golden days’ of a great nation.

Mbele Pamoja is a weak slogan. Tuko pamoja is a strong slogan. Okoa Kenya was a better clarion call.

The lack of enthusiasm in your message is palpable.

Take notes from the current president of the United States (POTUS). Trump pulled one of the most astonishing victories in US history. He didn’t need any magic, on the contrary, he harnessed a disgruntled electorate to beat a formidable opponent. He appealed to the heart, not the head. People don’t care much about numbers and statistics.

The time to heed Nelson Mandela’s words is now; If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.

Political baggage

The enemy without cannot do as much harm as the enemy within, so the old adage goes. NASA leaders have one of the strongest shortcomings that they themselves must address; the belief that they are a coalition of losers.

Raila’s long political career comes with the baggage of being a 3 times presidential loser. He must address this and reclaim the belief that he can be president. Kalonzo has been branded as ‘watermelon’ and a chameleon that can’t be trusted. He too must drop this cross and urgently change his garments to appeal to Kenyans.

Creativity

Without creativity, NASA’s guaranteed place is in the opposition. As much as it breaks my heart to crush the opposition’s presidential ambitions, I have to do it as a civic duty.

Recently at the Bomas of Kenya, we saw a congregation of different opposition leaders under the banner of the of the much hyped amorphous group called National Super Alliance (NASA). The event which was outstandingly disorganised, to say the least, did not spark any zeal that was expected.

The opposition must allow young professionals with creative juice to run their campaigns.

If we continue to see the same old tired faces doing politics the 1990 way to a country that has over 65% of its population below the age of 30, then there is no hope.

Lessons from the David and Goliath battle

Once upon a time, approximately in the year of our Lord 2000 BC, existed a battle of the titans. A battle that was so decisive it bent the ark of history. An arrogant giant had been taunting an army for days. The giant had won so many wars. He was confident in the strength of his own arm to throw a deadly spear. This Valley was going to be the last time he was going to prove his invincibility.

The army that was facing him was lead by a king who was also a warrior in his own rights. But the constant touting and the psychological war that the giant had thrown their way robbed them of confidence. They couldn’t face the giant. Their self-esteem had melted like a candle. Not until a young shepherd boy came. Using 5 stones and a sling, he brought to an end the scourge and the philistine who was touting the armies of the Lord.

The young boy was David. The giant was Goliath. David had no military experience. He was tiny. He didn’t wear any armour. But he changed the terms of engagement of the battle. Capitalising on the grave error of judgment that Goliath had, he took him out.

For someone to attain a level of success, they require a dosage of adversity. If we look at the David and Goliath scenario as discussed by Malcolm Gladwell, CORD might take advantage of the flaws that the regime has accumulated to bring it down.

Can NASA develop a David strategy to take out the Goliath that’s found in Jubilee?

While it is clear that the ruling administration has panicked, I don’t understand why NASA isn’t moving forward to capitalise from the mess that Jubilee has turned out to be.

Loved the piece? Follow the writer on twitter @dannishodongo and like his page Dannish Odongo. He is a political commentator. For any enquiries, you can reach him on +254720348865.

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Politics & International Affairs
Author: Dannish Odongo

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