President Uhuru Kenyatta’s snub of National Super Alliance (Nasa) presidential candidate Raila Odinga at the Madaraka Day celebrations in Nyeri Town was the single most talked-about election related story by Kenyans on Twitter this week.
A review of Twitter data by Nation Newsplex and @Twitter reveals that tweets referring to the incident peaked at 1pm on June 1, when 1,873 tweets referred to Jubilee and the President with a majority of them citing the incident.
This was the highest hourly peak relating to the two parties or their leaders and the election since the Nation Media Group started tracking election conversations on Twitter on May 5.
Most comments were harsh, with the predominant view being that the President did not act like a statesman. @WachiraDennis1 said: “UHURUTO preaching to us unity yet they can’t act unity…Your brother leaves Kisumu to Nyeri & you can’t recognize his presence…Pretenders.”
Others felt that the President was being self-defeating. @OsiriKefah said: “Give Raila a chance to speak, he makes news. Deny him a chance to speak, he still makes moooore news!!! #MadarakaDay”
A day-on-day analysis shows that from May 26 to June 1, conversations about Jubilee and Nasa both peaked on Madaraka Day, June 1. This was the first time comments on both parties peaked on the same day. However, Nasa was most talked about at 9pm.
Tweets referring to Jubilee were almost double (48,242) the ones that mentioned Nasa (23,035), just like in the previous two weeks. But the total number was 71 per cent more than last week’s, perhaps an indication that Kenyans are beginning to focus more on the election campaigns.
A tweet does not necessarily need to be supportive towards a political party to be included in either category.