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Twitter traffic soars over approaching poll, debate fallout


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In the past week 154,629 tweets related to the election referenced Jubilee, while 100,779 mentioned Nasa

Friday July 28 2017

Kenyans on Twitter are now critically examining what various political candidates and parties have to offer, with tweets related to elections in the past week more than doubling to a total of 257,920 from 102,787.4

This is the first time the tweets have gone above the 200,000 mark since, a review of Twitter conversation by NationNewsplex and @Twitter reveals.

In the week under analysis, from July 21- 27, two in five of the tweets related to the election were sent on July 24, the day the presidential debate was held.

There were 98,555 tweets written on the election on the day the Presidential debates took place, making July 24 the peak day for both Jubilee and Nasa.

From 5:30pm to 7:30pm, most tweets referenced the three presidential candidates who took part in the first debate. Interest in the Jubilee Party and National Super Alliance started to increase at 7:30 pm as anticipation of Raila Odinga’s arrival at the Catholic University if Eastern Africa grew.

Jubilee reached its peak for the evening at 8:40 pm with 2,598 tweets, compared to Nasa’s 2,098 tweets. Nasa peaked at 10:20 pm with 2,693 tweets.  Most of the tweets that referenced Jubilee expressed disappointment by the failure of President Kenyatta to show up.  The other spikes for Nasa coincided with Mr Odinga’s responses on corruption and integrity.

In the past week 154,629 tweets related to the election referenced Jubilee, almost double the 100,779 that mentioned Nasa.  A tweet does not have to be supportive of a political party to be associated with that political party.

The trending sentiment in   tweets that referenced Jubilee and President Uhuru Kenyatta were humor and arrogance.

@NdiranguMikhail  said the president will not loss much from his failure to participate in the debate. He tweeted: “Failure of @UKenyatta failing to show up will only affect the voting pattern of elites, who are the minority in our case. @M_suqie  said: “@UKenyatta also presented his 5 year plan for Kenya yesterday using Facebook live. He gave Kenyans an opportunity to ask him any questions.”

But @harrynzau held a different view. He said: “But surely Uhuru should have shown up #DebatesKE he owes Kenyans an apology as he goes home.”

@kituyileonard  said: “Uhuru was misguided not to attend the presidential Debate. This speaks volumes to his commitment to Kenyans. #DebatesKE

Apart for the debate conversation on Nasa’s peak day were also driven by a tweet from  @RailaOdingawhich said: “Thank you countrymen. The most important office in a democracy is that of the citizen. I am humbled to have presented my case to you.” The tweet had 4,819 retweets, 9,061 likes and 1,400 replies.

The trending sentiment in tweets that mentioned Nasa and its presidential candidate Raila Odinga was ‘thank you’. @MaubeJulius said: “That showed how patriotic you are!!! Indeed a charismatic leader!!! Bring change dear father @RailaOdinga@NASA_Ke.

@PeterNdere said:#DebatesKE am so proud of @RailaOdinga , he has performed so well. Those last comments, magical, am lost for words. So proud of baba.”

But @EddieMaina3  was not impressed. He said: “Can @RailaOdinga make one part of the society better without making the other worse off? @Rail is a likable character but not a true leader!”

Who are the most talked-about candidates?

For the second consecutive week President Kenya was the most talked-about candidate with 7,182 tweets referencing, almost double the tweets that mentioned Mr Odinga, who ranked second.

A third of the tweets that mentioned President Kenyatta  focused on jobs. @MinistriesAlpha, replying to @UKenyatta’s invite to a Facebook chat to discuss his action plan for creating more jobs and lowering prices, said: “Sir I did your artwork with a torch held in my hand coz of my eyes. I've no job plz buy my artwork” The tweet had 830 retweets, 627 likes and 48 replies.

In the tweet, he had embedded a picture of the artwork he had made of the President. The President replied and promised to have his office contact him in the next 24 hours.

But@MurithiMagiri replying to @UKenyatta said: “First, didn't you think it will play against you if you massively invested on infrastructure without balancing with the cost of living?

A third of the tweets that referenced Mr Odinga focused on corruption. The topic was on driven by allegations that Musalia Mudavadi had illegally acquired public land in Woodley, Nairobi, and that another property allocated to his late father had been given back to Kakamega Golf Club by the National Land Commission.

@Kevin_Khaemba  said: “President @RailaOdinga won't ask Kenyans 'sasa mnataka nifanye nini' in the fight against corruption #BeyondUhuru.”

@MswahiliBandia said: “If Raila Odinga does throw out Musalia Mudavadi from the party for corruption charges following land grab, He has my vote!!”

Which topics drove the social media conversation?

For the third week corruption was the most talked about issue from among the 10 key topics that the Nation Media Group is tracking. One in four tweets mentioned corruption. It was followed by jobs with 19 per cent and security with 17 per cent. Both were also in the top three last week.

Conversation driven by Mr Odinga’s  response  to the question on corruption issue at the Presidential debate and Mr Kenyatta’s failure to attend the debate to explain on matters corruption in his government. @JWadenya said: “#DebatesKE#PresidentialDebateKE@RailaOdinga remains the best way out dealing with tribalism and corruption.” @CyrusKips said: “#PresidentialDebateKE President Uhuru Kenyatta failure to attend today's debate shows his fear to face the truth on Corruption in his tenure.”