Kenyan Opposition Leader Claims Election Systems Were Hacked Following Initial Results

By Peter Pedroncelli Published: August 9, 2017, 7:21 pm
Kenyan opposition leaderKenyan opposition leader claims voter fraud via hacking in Kenya's elections. Photo: Nation.co.ke

Kenyan opposition leader, Raila Odinga, has alleged that the electoral commission’s servers were hacked in order to sway early election results in favor of incumbent, Uhuru Kenyatta, ensuring that the current president remains in charge of the country.

With election results from Tuesday’s voting almost entirely counted, Kenyatta appeared to have an unassailable lead over Odinga, prompting the opposition leader to suggest that the results were a fraud made possible thanks to hackers infiltrating the system, according to Daily Maverick.

With 97 percent of stations totalled, Kenyatta was leading with 54.32 percent of the votes versus Odinga’s 44.8 percent, while none of the other six candidates managed more than 0.3 percent of the votes.

Following Odinga’s claims of result hacking, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), which runs the elections, promised to investigate and recount votes manually, reported the BBC.

Waguma Chebukati, the chairperson of the electoral commission, said that they would be looking into hacking claims.

“We will come up with a methodology to verify the allegations made on hacking. For now, I cannot say whether or not the system has been hacked,” said Waguma, according to The Guardian.

Kenyan opposition leader tweets about ‘hacking’

Without providing any source for his hacking allegations, Odinga took to Twitter to denounce the voting as fraudulent, alleging that hackers had tampered with results, which were different to those which his party had manually tallied from physical voting forms.

“What the IEBC has posted as results of the Presidential Elections is a complete fraud based on a multiplier that fraudulently gave Uhuru Kenyatta votes that were not cast,” Odinga said via his official Twitter account.

“We have uncovered the fraud. Uhuru must go home. The IEBC must be fully accountable. We know some persons gained entry into the IEBC Election Management Database & took over the mandate of Kenyans to choose leaders,” he added.

“We reject the results streamed so far and demand IEBC produces Form 34As from all polling stations before any further results are announced,” Odinga tweeted.

He backed up those claims with further allegations at a press conference in Nairobi on Wednesday.

“The 2017 general election was a fraud. The electoral fraud and fabrication of results was massive and extensive,” he told the media, according to the NYTimes.

Odinga believes that the system was hacked between 12:37pm and 4pm on election day, using the credentials of recently murdered election official Christopher Msando to hack servers and change results from polling stations.

Msando, the election commission’s head of IT, was tortured and murdered before his body was found in a forest outside of Nairobi.

“They loaded an algorithm which is a formula to create a percentage gap of 11 percent between our numbers,” Odinga continued, referencing the gap between himself and president Kenyatta at the time.

Fears of violent protests realized

Kura Yangu Sauti Yangu, a set of rights groups coordinated by the Kenya Human Rights Commission, commented on the situation via a statement, saying that the voting had been orderly, but that early results were “completely unverifiable”.

The allegations of fraud and corruption within the voting process has stirred protests, some violent, throughout the country as protesters and police clash.

At least six people have been killed in protest violence, Aljazeera reports, and onlookers fear a repeat of post-2007 election violence which saw over 1000 people killed in the months following the elections.

Official results are expected to be released in the coming days, with the electoral commission allowed a week to produce final results.

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