20 March 2018
On Monday, a report from UK-based news outlet, Channel 4blew the lid on a number of illegal offenses committed by British data company Cambridge Analytica.
Amongst their many violations—which includes tampering with several elections around the world, bribing leaders, and even enlisting sex workers to entrap politicians—it's been discovered that the company also tampered with elections in Kenya in both 2013 and 2017.
Managing Director of Cambridge Analytica's political division, Mark Turnbull and chief executive Alexander Nix were filmed on camera revealing the role the company played in helping produce propaganda for the ruling party, led by president Uhuru Kenyatta.
In the video, shared by Channel 4, the two were secretly filmed boasting about tampering with over 200 elections around the world, in places like Sri Lanka, Nigeria, India and Argentina. Turnbull goes in detail about the extent of the company's involvement in Kenya in particular, admitting that they worked behind the scenes to help create messaging that would influence voters by painting Kenyatta in a positive light, while tarnishing the reputation of his opponent Odinga.
"We have rebranded the entire party twice, written their manifesto, done two rounds of 50,000 surveys," he can be heard saying around the 9 minute mark. "Then we'd write all the speeches and we'd stage the whole thing. So just about every element of his campaign."
Kenya's past election was rife with scandal, leading to an infamous election re-run initiated by opposition leader Raila Odinga, who accused Kenyatta of rigging the election. Kenyatta ended up winning the majority of the vote in both elections.
The company has denied the accusations, claiming that the footage was "grossly misrepresented," and that Cambridge Analytica does not condone or engage in entrapment, bribes or so-called 'honeytraps."
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