In Summary
  • Mutahi Ngunyi was saying that Nasa too had illegally accessed the IEBC servers either directly or through an IEBC insider, making the last leg of the political campaigns and elections a full-blown cyber fight.
  • IT experts agree that while Kenyans were being treated to the intense campaigns, the role of cyberspace cannot be underestimated.
  • On Thursday, Mr Mudavadi said the alliance had “received further information from confidential IEBC sources furnishing us with the actual presidential election results contained in their database.”  

It was always an open secret throughout the just-concluded campaigns that political parties had escalated their use of cyber space to reach out to voters.

From the Kenya Integrated Electoral Management System (KIEMS) that IEBC deployed for identification of voters and transmission of results, the parallel tallying centres by various political formations and candidates, to data company Cambridge Analytica whose links to the Jubilee campaigns has refused to go away, technology was at the heart of everything.

This was heightened on August 9 when Nasa presidential candidate Raila Odinga claimed that the polling agency’s software was hacked to manipulate the election results in favour of Jubilee’s Uhuru Kenyatta.

“Hackers gained power to add or delete anything on the IEBC database... We are telling our people not to accept the results, stay calm as we get deep into this,” he said, adding that the presidential results IEBC was relaying were not factual but computer generated.

Besides the statement, the Nasa leadership produced a 50-page document which it claimed were logs from IEBC’s server to demonstrate the hacking claims.

CYBER FIGHTS

From then on, the energy-sapping countrywide campaigns had turned into boardroom cyber fights as IEBC and Jubilee denied the Nasa hacking claims.

“We have seen attempts by some people to hack into our system but they did not succeed because we have invested heavily in surveillance system,” IEBC commissioner Yakub Guliye said on Thursday, a day after Nasa made the claims of hacking.

“There was attempt but there is no evidence of access. The alleged hacking is not on our system. Claims the system was hacked are not true,” he added.

After that, IEBC went loudly silent on the matter, with chairman Wafula Chebukati and Prof Guliye refusing to respond to the Nation’s queries about the time they discovered the ‘attempt’, what prompted IEBC to check their systems against possible hacking, the measures they took to secure their systems, how far the suspect had gone into the systems by the time IEBC discovered the attempted hacking, and whether they had in their possession any digital footprints of the alleged hacker.

No sooner had Nasa made the hacking claims than controversial analyst Mutahi Ngunyi took to the social media to refute the allegations.

“No to fake hacking. We need answers on how Raila gained access to IEBC,” he said. “Nasa has a mole in IEBC. He has no name. Now they want the mole to declare Raila President. Tyranny of lies,” Mr Ngunyi added.

IEBC SERVERS
In effect, the controversial analyst was saying that Nasa too had illegally accessed the IEBC servers either directly or through an IEBC insider, making the last leg of the political campaigns and elections a full-blown cyber fight.

By the time Mr Ngunyi was refuting the hacking claims, Nasa principal Musalia Mudavadi, who also chaired the campaign committee, came up with further claims pointing to escalation of cyber fights.

Page 1 of 2