21 March 2018

Kenya: Cambridge Analytica Election Scandal - Kenyans Demand the Truth

Photo: Daily Nation
IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati (left) presents Deputy President William Ruto with a certificate after Uhuru Kenyatta was declared winner of the presidential election, at the Bomas of Kenya on October 30, 2017.

An investigation that revealed the role of Cambridge Analytica in the Kenyan elections has elicited mixed reactions from Kenyans on social media.

The investigation, aired by British public service TV Channel 4 News, showed one of the company's top bosses, Alexandar Nix, bragging on how they run the 2013 and 2017 campaigns, how they rebranded both TNA and Jubilee parties, wrote speeches and manifestos, conducted two researches on behalf of the parties, "stage the whole thing" and "ran every element of his [Kenyatta's] campaign".

APOLOGY

The story, which went viral in a couple of minutes, prompted Kenyans to react in various ways, with many sharing articles, videos and links to the exposé which trended internationally, particularly in the US and the UK.

"The truth shall set us free-- Cambridge Analytica's SINISTER role in Kenyan election EXPOSED," Prof Makau Mutua, the chairman of Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC), said.

Prof Mutua, a bitter critic of the Kenyatta government, tweeted late last year before the repeat elections, warning Kenyans on the data firm's role in the Kenyan elections.

"Is Cambridge Analytica, a DIRTY TRICKS big data LEVIATHAN, again working for Kenyatta in the fresh election? KENYANS must be VERY AFRAID," he said.

Mr Otiende Amollo, a lawyer and Rarieda MP, urged the UK and US to apologise to Kenyans for the role of the data firm in the elections.

GOOGLE

"Now that Cambridge Analytica have unashamedly admitted culpable conduct, and the UK & US Govts have zeroed-in on them, the UK & US envoys should apologise to Kenyans..."

Mr Salim Lone, an adviser to Nasa 2017 presidential candidate Raila Odinga, implored Kenyan media to delve deeper into the company's activities in the country.

"Reading this about deploying prostitutes to entrap US politicians to help Trump win the election, we can be sure how much dirtier the tricks that Cambridge Analytica deployed in Kenya were. Our media should jump into action".

Ardent Twitter user and activist Ory Okolloh Mwangi wrote to thousands of her followers: "Finally!! Cambridge Analytica confirms their role in Kenya... Boom!!"

She also criticised the role of Google in Cambridge Analaytica's activities and called for a keener look at the tech giant in enabling the data firm's dirty tricks.

"It is unfortunate that the work of Cambridge Analytica in influencing elections outside of the US with active support of both Google (AdWords and YT) and Facebook remains largely under the radar."

ITUMBI

Many Twitter users took the opportunity to criticise State House Director of Digital Communication Dennis Itumbi, who, in September last year, tweeted that the Kenyatta government had no links whatsoever with the right-leaning data company.

"Cambridge Analytica has never worked for @UKenyatta, relax... "

Lawyer Donald Kipkorir, tweeted, "Cambridge Analytica, a British Data Mining Company that uses dirty tricks for its political clients including sowing tribal discord & using fake news, has been banned by Facebook ... Cambridge Analytica nearly destroyed Kenya last year. Britain ought to close it down."

Human rights lawyer Ndung'u Waninaina called for Kenyans to act by compelling Cambridge Analytica to come clean regarding their role in the Kenyan election.

More on This

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