In the run-up to the 2013 elections, the then presidential candidate, Mr Uhuru Kenyatta, who had been indicted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity, hired the services of a London-based PR firm called BTP Advisers to manage his election campaign. The PR company, whose slogan is, “We deliver campaigns that change hearts and minds”, advised Mr Kenyatta to use aggressive propaganda tactics that cast the ICC as racist and its supporters, including local civil society organisations (which his propagandists dubbed “the evil society”), as puppets of the West.
On its website, BTP Advisers reveals the winning strategy that delivered the presidency to Mr Kenyatta: “By exposing the weak and flawed nature of the ICC case against him, we made the election a choice about whether Kenyans would decide their own future or have it dictated to them by others.”
By framing the ICC cases as a sovereignty issue for Kenyans, the strategy cleverly undermined both the ICC and the case against Mr Kenyatta.
As fate would have it, the ICC would later drop charges against him and his fellow indictee and running mate, Mr William Ruto, due to lack of sufficient evidence.