It is a popular notion that politics is the business of selling hope and perception, but I would say it is more of selling perception than hope. At any given period of a political cycle, there is always a narrative on the political market being haggled to achieve a certain political end; perception.
This is a global business in the spheres of politics; from established democracies such as USA and Japan to struggling democracies like Zimbabwe and Myanmar. The more one sells; the more it sinks into the target market and the more one exerts dominion.
In America, Donald Trump effectively peddled the classified emails leakage scandal to the detriment of Hillary Clinton, for him to ascend to presidency. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson created the perception that Theresa May couldn’t deliver on Brexit and therefore unfit to hold office; it worked for him.
Kenya as a country we’ve had our fair share of such scenarios and they remain embedded in our political structure. The 2007 polls were centered on the 42 against 1 narrative, while the ICC narrative played a substantial role in securing Jubilee coalition victory in 2013.
The 2022 general elections are fast approaching and several perceptions have hit the market; too much noise from many vendors trying to outdo each other.
While Raila’s camp hawks corruption narrative against Deputy President William Samoei Ruto, the latter’s camp has managed to effectively sell the hustler narrative to the people. However, the question remains; will the two perceptions stand the test of time till 2022 or are we likely to witness the sprout of more narratives? Only time will tell.