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Opinion

OPINION: ARE WE WITNESSING THE RISE OF HOMEGROWN CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA?

By King Fred Asira (Guest)

Kenya’s last two general elections exposed the dirty work done by foreign companies that collect personal data and use the same to propagate hate amongst Kenyans to advance a narrative. The narrative, is then used, to force a pre-determined outcome and justify violence on a target group without suffering consequences.

If you were of age in 2017, Cambridge Analytica definitely comes to mind. You’ll recall their hate messages that was used to divided the country right in the middle. During the last electioneering period, the nullification of the outcome and subsequent re-run that was boycotted by the opposition, there were reported numerous cases of police brutality. However, narratives of “thugs” dressed as police killing innocent Kenyans to paint the police as rogue got a lot more airwaves on mainstream media and trended on social media. The judiciary was branded as “wakora network” to discredit any anti government ruling, while individuals branded themselves as “system ya facts” to push the government’s side of the story and use state machinery to brand any opposing views as “fake news” with detrimental consequences to authors of opposing views irrespective of their credibility as journalists or media houses that could offer factual alternatives.

Kenyans went out of their way and exposed this backward behaviour that saw British courts jail certain individuals, thus, corroborating their allegations. This small victory was, however, not reciprocated by the government after the president went public to congratulate the police for a job well done.

Now, why am I bringing up this story? In the past couple of months, I have noticed a well calculated scheme by known Kenyan intellectuals and prominent politicians portraying Luos as “wan’goa reli” so who needs them? Cheap (which I interpreted based on the “wan’goa” reli slur, that their lives matter less), uncircumcised, Raila groupies etc. This open hatred, dehumanizing and ethnic profiling of an entire community is being normalized by both politicians especially in the Jubilee wing commonly known as tangatanga and a rising number of perceived intellectuals. Some of these intellectuals and whose sentiments can be found from public spapces they’ve appeared before, as well as their social media accounts include the likes of prof Edward Kisiangani, sc Ahmednasir Abdulahi, Dr. Boni Khalwale and their new entrant, Dr David Ndii who did not only call Luos cheap but went ahead to price their worth at Ksh 500 each.

Now the danger of normalizing this narrative is how it cheapens human life and makes it affordable to kill or eliminate such cheap beings. Considering a government that attaches monetary value on anything, why would a government spend billions on development where the people are cheap? What would stop a rogue government from killing 10 Luos worth ksh 5000 if those 10 Luos are standing between the government and what they really want? I mean, do you expect Jubilee government to feel guilty for brutally killing Chris Musando if one of the best economists in the world think he was worth ksh 500? Do you see the danger? Isn’t that the CA modus operandi? You see, my thoughts are that Cambridge Analytica will not come back as we know it, they will re-invent / upgrade themselves to something new. In fact, I’m of the opinion that they are currently using this target group to intentionally spread hate in advance as a harbinger for things to come.

History has taught us that once the government tames their “enemy”, they devour their children mercilessly because there will be no one to stop them. Open your eyes. Do not fall for this kind of hate. Reject these bigots. Do not celebrate them. For if we fall in this pit, we will all suffer, if not die.


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