The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) has asked the Jubilee Party to “come clean” on the role British data mining firm Cambridge Analytica played in its campaigns.
In a statement, ODM secretary-general Edwin Sifuna said Jubilee should, in the spirit of dialogue and following the historic reconciliation between President Kenyatta and Raila Odinga, say what exactly the firm did for them in the 2017 elections.
“The target of their fear campaign was of course the NASA presidential candidate Raila Odinga.We want our Jubilee counterparts to come clean on the role Cambridge Analytica played in their campaigns so that we can openly deal with the rifts created by these political mercenaries on the fabric of Kenyan society,” Sifuna said.
Sifuna added that ODM was “extremely concerned” about the British firm’s involvement following an expose by Channel 4 News TV that captured the firm’s officials bragging for having “fixed” the Kenyan election in favour of President Kenyatta.
“We saw very distasteful propaganda and fear-mongering directed at stoking ethnic animosity against Mr Odinga during the campaigns, a dangerous adventure given existing ethnic fissures in Kenya.”
Sifuna further proposed that laws should be formulated to ban foreign entities which are known to undermine democracy.
“In order to protect our nascent democracy from such Foreign Political Mercenaries it may be desirable to curtail or ban, through legislation, their involvement in our politics,” he said.
Cambridge Analytica is at the centre of an election manipulation scandal involving Facebook.
According to the exposé on Channel 4, the company’s Managing Director Mark Turnbull was recorded saying that the company rebranded both The National Alliance and Jubilee parties, conducted research on behalf of the Kenyatta campaign and wrote Jubilee’s manifestos and speeches.
Jubilee Party on Tuesday said that it had paid SCL, an affiliate of Cambridge Analytica to “brand” its campaign gears during the 2017 presidential election.
“They were basically branding and all that but not directly,” said Jubilee party vice-chairman David Murathe.