Kenya’s president Uhuru Kenyatta has contracted the services of global data mining company Cambridge Analytica ahead of the August presidential election, sources close to the president have revealed, local media the Star reports.
The company is also credited with helping U.S President Donald Trump to win the American election last November, becoming the 45th president of the nation, and helping the leave side to win in the Brexit referendum in the UK.
The firm is a British company owned by American billionaire Robert Mercer and alt-right Trump adviser Steve Bannon and has been described it a as a psychological warfare firm.
An expose by the Guardian recently claimed that CA, in conjunction with its sister company AggregateIQ in Vancouver, Canada, essentially won the Brexit vote by trawling Facebook and buying up commercial consumer datasets to identify ‘persuadable’ voters whom it then bombarded with more than a billion social media posts and adverts.
The Guardian claimed that the company employed senior ex-army officers experienced in psychological warfare operations.
The CA website says it is a “global leader in data-driven campaigning with over 25 years of experience, supporting more than 100 campaigns across five continents”.
“Within the United States alone, we have played a pivotal role in winning presidential races, as well as congressional and senatorial elections,” CA says.
If CA does the same work in Kenya for this election, it can be expected to pay Facebook and other third-party data companies for information about Kenya’s undecided voters whom it will then bombard with social media posts and adverts.
A small CA team arrived in Kenya at the weekend to find out what voters believe the Jubileeadministration should have done and what it should do, according to well-placed sources in the Office of the President.
The CA team will work closely with BTP Advisers, which has already started campaign planning.
The party will also use the British PR firm BTP Advisers that successfully managed the TNA campaign that brought President Uhuru Kenyatta to power in 2013.
BTP was a major contributor in Uhuru’s 2013 win as it conceptualized the now-defunct TNA, before its launch in May 2012.