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Opposition's parallel tallying centre would amount to an overkill

By Alexander Chagema | Apr 5th 2017 | 3 min read

The past few months have seen a planned anti-IEBC campaign by the Opposition. It started with discrediting officials who after weeks of ‘Teargas Monday’ gave in to the demands and vacated office. Now, a new office is in place, but the stones being thrown at them are just as heavy. Last week, Kalonzo Musyoka suggested that NASA would run their parallel tallying centre in August.

To a bystander, it is the watchdog role the Opposition should be playing. In reality however, it is a well-planned propaganda campaign to delegitimise the outcomes of the 2017 election if it does not favour NASA.

For the entire tirade against the evils of Adolf Hitler, he was a master of propaganda. In his book, Mein Kampf, where he first advocated the use of propaganda to spread the ideals of National Socialism (racism and anti-Bolshevism), Hitler wrote, “Propaganda tries to force a doctrine on the whole people.

Propaganda works on the general public from the standpoint of an idea and makes them ripe for the victory of this idea.” Hitler established a Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda headed by Joseph Goebbels to ensure that the Nazi message was successfully communicated.


Newspapers in Germany printed cartoons that used anti-Semitic caricatures to depict Jews as subhuman. It was an absurd argument, but it worked into the emotions of Nazi supporters.

After the Germans began World War II with the invasion of Poland in September 1939, the Nazi regime employed propaganda to impress upon German civilians and soldiers that the Jews were dangerous enemies. Propaganda campaigns in general are closely attuned to elite interests.

The primary aim of official propaganda is to generate an official narrative that can be mindlessly repeated by the ruling classes and believed by those who support and identify with them. This official narrative does not have to make sense. Its factualness is not the point.

The point is to draw a defensive ideological boundary between the truth as defined by the political class and any other “truth” that contradicts their narrative.

There is more than meets the eye in NASA’s planned parallel tallying centre. While the justification is that Jubilee ran their own similar version at Bomas of Kenya in the 2013 election, the danger is no secret; number manipulation can happen on both ends, and violence would be spontaneous.

In 2007, an international media house had already announced Raila Odinga as the winner, and was quoted by some ODM officials back then at KICC. In 2013, results were streaming in from Bomas alone.

 It is partly what held the country together despite the dissatisfaction that followed from CORD’s end. 2017, nothing much has changed; the country is just as divided and the Opposition just as suspicious.

This, however, is another bullet in NASA’s propaganda armoury against the IEBC.
The structure of this propaganda is designed to weaken public faith in the electoral commission.

The result is two-fold; derail the 2017 election to avoid a looming electoral defeat or prepare not to concede defeat in case it happens. The idea of a parallel tallying centre was meant to draw just the reaction Jubilee has given; a unanimous resounding rebuke to the plan, hence making the looming elections to look like an already polluted affair. In essence, NASA gets its justification and a further damning paragraph in the already written script in their supporters’ minds.

NASA’s Anti-IEBC tirade is not designed to deceive the public. It is designed to be absorbed and repeated, no matter how implausible or preposterous it might be. Take an example of the current “Russian hacking” hysteria in the US election that saw Trump win.

It is a perfect example of how this sort of propaganda eventually works. Very few people actually believe this official narrative, not even the people selling it.

This, however, is not a problem, because it is not intended to be believed. It is intended to be accepted and repeated, more or less like religious dogma.

The end result could be fatal. It could plunge this country into unrepentant anarchy if the election does not go in NASA’s favour. 


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