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John-Allan Namu linked to Cambridge Analytica

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Former KTN journalist John-Allan Namu has come out fighting after a blogger claimed he was sub-contracted by Cambridge Analytica to spread online propaganda in support of President Uhuru Kenyatta.

On Monday, UK’s Channel 4 News aired a secret film in which Cambridge Analytica Managing Director Mark Turnbull confirmed that the company had worked for President Uhuru.

“The Kenyatta campaign which we ran in 2013 and 2017,” he said in a secretly recorded meeting in a London hotel.

“We have rebranded the party twice, we have written their manifesto, done two rounds of 50,000 surveys, huge amounts of analysis, research, messaging. Then we’d write all the speeches and we’d stage the whole thing so just about every element of his campaign” , he said.

In a series of tweets, Namu, through his Africa Uncensored platform, dismissed the claims by blogger Cyprian Nyakundi and threatened to take legal action against him. Nyakundi had early Wednesday alleged that Namu was given the job by another Kenyan journalist, adding that as a result, he was able to buy a Ksh 15 million Range Rover.

“First and foremost, all of the claims being made are patently false, and from my reading, meant only to defame Africa Uncensored and myself. To what end, I do not know,” he tweeted as Nyakundi’s claims spread through social media.

“My track-record as a journalist, my own personal convictions and my belief in the ethics of journalism would not allow me to consider, much less participate in actions that would harm Kenyans. It has been my purpose to serve the public interest whether or not it serves me personally to do so. That ethos carries over into Africa Uncensored,” added Namu.

Namu denied Africa Uncensored relied on data from the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to build the case that President Uhuru won the August 8 presidential contest against his main challenger, NASA’s Raila Odinga, saying they both verbally and through an October 17 letter to CEO Ezra Chiloba sought access to its servers and Kiems kits but the request was never granted.

“However, not being satisfied with this data alone, we asked IEBC CEO @ezraCHILOBA for access to server data in order to verify, as far as possible, whether the results reflected in the documents we used to create our tally were indeed correct,” he tweeted attaching the letter to Chiloba.

READ: Another handshake: Raila, US envoy mend fences

Claims that Cambridge Analytica was retained to sway the electoral process in Kenya both in 2013 and last year have sparked outrage with the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) demanding that Jubilee comes clean on the matter.

“The target of their fear campaign was of course the NASA presidential candidate Raila Odinga. We would want our Jubilee counterparts to come clean so that we can openly deal with the rifts created by these political mercenaries on the fabric of Kenyan society,” secretary general Edwin Sifuna said in a statement.

Though there has been no comment, Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen and State House-based Director of Digital Communications Dennis Itumbi have dismissed them.

Cambridge Analytica and social media giant, Facebook, are already under probe in the US and Britain followed revelations they mined data from accounts of 50 million users to influence President Donald Trump’s election as well as the Brexit referendum, among others.

Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix has since been suspended pending a full investigation.

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BT Reporter
BT Reporterhttp://www.businesstoday.co.ke
editor [at] businesstoday.co.ke
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