For the first time since the Nation Media Group started tracking election conversations on Twitter seven weeks ago, the National Super Alliance (Nasa) was more talked about than Jubilee Party on the social media platform.
In the past week, from June 16 - 22, tweets referring to Nasa were slightly more (37,142 or 51 per cent) than the ones that mentioned Jubilee (35,227). Conversation about Nasa peaked on June 20 while Jubilee was most talked about on June 16.
On Nasa’s peak day conversations were driven by Nasa presidential candidate Raila Odinga's claim that the government was planning to use the military to rig the August elections and also Nasa’s rally in Kitengela, Kajiado County.
At the rally, Mr Odinga sought to clarify that he had not incited people to fight over land during a tour of the county a few days earlier but only cautioned them against selling land out of desperation.
During the peak hour (1pm) on that day tweets were fueled by the hastags #stoprailahatespeech even as reaction to his election rigging claim also featured prominently.
@jucleopas said: “Hate-speech is more evident in these posts (related to the hastags) than what is being condemned. Grow up people. #StopRailaHateSpeech”
@TonaAntonet said: “I thinks Kenyans you don’t understand the meaning of hate speech. Baba was just speaking out his mind and he was right #StopRailaHateSpeech.”
But others were not convinced that Mr Odinga’s intention was noble. @onekennypaul said: “Let Him be, he will not be arrested. He is counting on it to win sympathy votes. #StopRailaHateSpeech.” @Kimkcee said: “The rate at which Raila is spreading hate, I’m thinking of changing my mind #StopRailaHatespeech.”
Jubilee’s peak day coincided with President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President Ruto’s tour of Bomet County. During the peak hour (2pm) the conversations were led by the hashtag #RuttoTenaBomet, which was a show of support for the re-election of Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto and counter to the Deputy President’s supremacy in Rift Valley region.