Kenya: ODM 'Refused' to Work With 'Evil' Cambridge Analytica in 2017

5 January 2020

The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) has rubbished revelations by British data-mining firm Cambridge Analytica on Kenya's 2013 and 2017 general elections.

Cambridge Analytica revealed that ODM leader Raila Odinga, who was the defunct Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (Cord) presidential candidate in 2013, turned it down because he was sure of defeating then Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta.

The firm was accused of employing dirty political tricks for its clients, including sowing tribal discord and spreading fake news, but suggested that he would consider them in the 2017 polls, "while already in power and seeking re-election".

In the run-up to the 2017 General Election, ODM reportedly tried to enlist the services of Cambridge Analytica but the firm refused, pointing out that it worked only with governments.

"EVIL FIRM"

On Sunday, ODM Secretary- General Edwin Sifuna and National Chairman John Mbadi said the firm's revelations were curious and only meant to create the impression that elections can be won only with its involvement.

"The party refused to work with an evil organisation that uses propaganda to divide the country," Mr Sifuna told the Nation.

"That's a positive thing but, unfortunately, the media sees it as negative. They want to create the impression that you can win only with the evil hand of CA (Cambridge Analytica) on your side.

"We chose to take our chances with the people. We will always do that because we do not believe in winning at whatever cost."

"NO VALUE"

Mr Mbadi, said he saw no value in the firm's revelations.

"Reading through all these stories, I cannot appreciate the value at this time. Why has it become relevant to discuss these stories now?

"In my view, it is diversionary and curious that the media carry the same story on front pages on two consecutive days," said Mr Mbadi.

Jubilee Party has acknowledged using the firm's services in past elections but denied any involvement in illegalities.

Party Secretary-General Raphael Tuju, in a past interview with the Nation, said, "We have nothing to be ashamed of because we never did anything illegal or unethical. Most serious campaigns hire consultants and expertise to bridge capacity gaps they might have."

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