Focused Political Campaigns in Kenya
A Communication Guideline for Political Parties has been prepared by the Centre for Multiparty Democracy (CMD) in Kenya as part of the collaboration with the Danish Liberal Democray Programme (DLDP).
The need for strengthening the political campaigns was identified after the last election in 2007. The election campaign was aggressive, marred by hate speech and focused on persons rather than politics. The election was followed by violence that cost more than 1,000 peoples' lives and 600.000 internally displaced people.
Mr. Frank Mukwanja, a former political journalist and now communications officer at CMD, who has been involved in the process of preparing the guideline, points to the great need for better prepared campaigns during elections.
"So far, campaigns in Kenya have not been very structured and the electorates would often have no clue on what the political parties actually stand for. The political mobilisation during campaigns was centered around individuals and on tribal issues rather than specific politics."
The guideline takes the reader through the basic steps of any communication campaign from taking a starting point in the political manifestos, selecting prioritized themes for a specific campaign, analyzing target groups, preparing messages and choosing channels for disseminating the messages.
"This guidelines will not collect dust on the shelves in political parties", states Mukwanja confidently that the politicians will take advantage of the tools and tips in the guide.
The guide will be distributed to all the member parties of CMD and be accessible on the website for other interested parties. The member parties will be strongly encouraged to take advantage of the guide for preparing the upcoming campaign for the next election in March 2013.
The Communication Guideline for Political Parties will be launched in Nairobi on the 31st October 2012 in the presence of among others MPs, general secretaries and communications officers.
By Hanne Tornager