No.14 in the series; a deep dive into the history of Kakamega and (after 1989) Vihiga districts, from the perspective of their political representation. Including a basic analysis of the 2022 election results in the region.
Back with No.,13 in this series on the political history of the rural Mijikenda of Kilifi and Kwale. Long and complex and still a few loose ends.
A history of Mombasa through the perspective of its political representatives. Part of a series (No.12). Had to do quite a bit of research to sort out the early period 57-62 better in my mind. There may still be errors, so please comment if you see them.
The Ruto campaign hacking allegations, which became public on 15th February, were initially followed up in many media outlets around the world. It also notable that Odinga, the day before, made reference to "hiring ethical hackers" which may have been an attempt to pre-empt the story he knew was about to break:
As the original Haaretz site is behind a partial paywall (I could read it initially, but now cannot), other links include:
Some feedback from Dennis Itumbi, one of the Ruto campaigners targeted:
Lots of sound and fury, not a lot of new substance yet.
But follow-on reports are missing from the 17 and 18 Feb press, also unexpected and interesting.
Breaking news: An extremely detailed and specific set of allegations about an Israeli private sector cyber-intelligence team for hire, which appears to have been actively hacking the Ruto campaign during the election for Azimio and - by implication if not exact claim - to have played a part in the recent campaign to manufacture fake results and cast doubt on the presidential election results.
Read and judge for yourselves (with thanks to a friend for passing this on):
it also names an individual who might have played a role in manufacturing the fake election results. More, I suspect, to follow.
Following a well-trodden path, an anonymous source (claiming to be an IEBC whistle-blower) recently published a set of alternative results of the 2022 presidential general election, which was narrowly won by William Ruto (according to IEBC staff and a unanimous Supreme Court verdict). These alleged results conveniently appeared just after IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati has retired, so could no longer properly defend himself. They were then picked up by the opposition and trumpeted as evidence of fraud:
After 2017, I looked at the alleged real polling station-by-polling station results produced by NASA after the polls and concluded (after several weeks of work) that they were a clumsy fake. So having been asked to look at these, I was not feeling particularly optimistic, but decided to give it a try.
The main differences between these alleged whistle-blower results ("AWBRs" henceforth) and the 2017 fakes are
1. They come from an anonymous source, not the Odinga camp (though they may of course be the same thing)
2. They are only at the constituency level (no polling station results, so nothing can be verified or disproved explicitly by reference to posted 34A polling station forms).
3. More than 70% of them (209 seats) match well with the official results, including virtually every seat which Azimio won.
The overall result claimed by the ABWRs is a 58% to 42% victory for Raila over Ruto, in contrast to the 49%-50% official result. So the difference is huge. Both sets of results report around 14 million votes cast, so the AWBRs have 1.2 million votes moved from Ruto to Raila. And since the results agree (to within 1000 votes) in the majority of constituencies, the difference are glaring. Which means they should be relatively easy to isolate and assess for plausibility.
The version I reviewed came from here: https://newsblaze.co.ke/iebc-whistle-blower-2022-presidential-election-results-tally. This was the original posting : https://theiebcwhistleblower.s3.us-west-2.amazonaws.com/True-Results.pdf, but they are identical.
Compare the result constituency-by-constituency between the two sets of results, looking for differences. When found, determine what changed and how, then compare with other elections for the same constituency on the same day (particularly the MP results as they are a direct comparator) and also compare for plausibility with other results from the same county. Check the two form 34Bs on a sample basis for plausibility of each.
The results are a mix of:
1. Real and agreed results (almost all the results in Mombasa, Kilifi, Lamu, Garissa, Wajir, Mandera, Embu, Kitui, Machakos, Makueni, Samburu, Turkana, Pokot, Baringo, Vihiga, Busia, Siaya, Kisumu and Homa Bay agree, for example).
2. Transpositions and movements of votes between candidates which could be real. Examples would include Kitui South (5000 more votes for Raila than the IEBC reported, which better matches the MP results) or Matuga (6000 votes moved from Ruto to Raila here). This includes three seats in the north - Laisamis, Isiolo North and Isiolo South - where the reversed results (all votes for Raila are assigned to Ruto and vice versa in the AWBRs) could potentially be true. I haven't checked the 34As but it should be verifiable quickly in a small seat like Laisamis. Either Ruto got 14,000 and Raila 4000 (as IEBC calculated) or the other way round. The IEBC 34B for Laisamis is pretty clearly 14000 for Ruto and appears signed by party agents:
3. Clumsy transpositions which are so obviously false that they lead me to conclude that again we have a fake on our hands. In 43 constituencies (including the three above) the AWBRs reverse the votes for Ruto and Raila in a way which in most cases simply makes no sense. Its been done carelessly and without consideration for logic or consistency. From a sample, the 34B pdf format forms claimed as "proof" have also been cut and pasted childishly to swap the results over.
Buuri and Maara in the Meru counties. UDA won both seats in the MP contests, and Ruto won by huge margins in all the other Meru seats, but in these two the results have been switched, rather obviously (red indicates that the results reported by the AWBR have swapped the IEBC reported results for the two candidates round).
In Nyeri, the home of Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, where UDA won every seat in Parliament by 4-1 margins, we again see three seats (Tetu, Kieni, Mukurweini) with the Raila-Ruto results switched, plus Mathira and Othaya where 7000-10,000 votes have been moved (leaving the results in Ruto's favour but by smaller margins). Nyeri Town was left as the IEBC reported, leaving a bizarre patchwork which makes little sense:
Similarly in Kirinyaga, Martha Karua's home, three of the four results have been reversed, but strangely the 'faker' again left one of the four as it was, producing a bizarre result whereby a 5-1 victory one way switches 5-1 the other way. By comparison, UDA won all four seats in parliament roughly 2-1, they won the Governor and Senator seat 5 and 10-1 versus Jubilee candidates, and the Women Rep seat 4-1:
One more example I think clinches that these results are a simple fake: the results in Uasin Gishu, Ruto's home. Few would argue that Raila would stand much chance here. In the Women Representative seat UDA won 6-1 versus ODM, for Governor and for Senator, Azimio didn't even have a candidate and UDA won every parliamentary seat between 3-2 and 5-1. There is simply no possibility that Odinga beat Ruto in Uasin Gishu and won Kesses, Turbo and Moiben by huge margins. Yet that is what the AWBR claims: three of the six seats have had their Ruto votes counted for Raila again and vice versa, leaving the other three results unchanged. And just to be sure I didn't make a mistake in the export, here's the original image from the original whistle-blower site:
Laisamis (a constituency in Marsabit District), mentioned above, can be used an an example of the cut and paste done on the alleged "true" accompanying Form 34Bs to support the faked summary. IEBC Forms contain watermarks to prevent exactly such a thing happening. The left side shows the original (Ruto wins), the right side the AWBR fake (Raila wins).
Zooming in a bit on the 21 and 330 on the first polling station, the watermark on the original in the 330 box reads: "...NDARIES COMMISSIO..." [curling down]. In the Raila fake on the line below, the 21 box reads [curling down] "..DARIESCOM [curling up] "..DBOUN...". You can see someone just cut and pasted the number from left to right side and vice versa.
Conclusion: Just as in 2017, this data set is at least partially a gross fake and no credence should be given to its reported results. No politician should use this fake to justify or rationalise any action.
A political history of the northern Kikuyu of Nyeri, Kirinyaga and Nyandarua as told through their elected representatives, 1957-2022 (including results of the 2022 election).
President William Ruto's first cabinet was announced after some delay on 27 September, and a curious collection it was. With 22 cabinet secretaries, plus the President, Deputy President and the Attorney General (ex-officio), there are 25 seats at that august table. So, let's take a look at Ruto's choices.
First, only four of 25 have held ministerial level office before (Ruto himself, Musalia Mudavadi, Davis Chirchir, Simon Chelugui). It is not a cabinet with much experience in governing. Mudavadi's elevation to Prime Cabinet Secretary gives the government gravitas, but its not obvious he had much influence on his colleagues' selection and how much actual power he will wield remains to be seen, especially as his role and that of Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua overlap significantly (just as Ruto and Fred Matangi's did before). Only one of Kenyatta's CS's (Chelugui) was retained and continuity was not seen as of value.
Second, Ruto did not attempt to poach from Azimio and did not reward any recent defectors to his side, seeming to focus on loyalty more than rewarding or winning more short-term support. Third, he appointed 7 women of 23 selected posts, fewer than expected and less than one third, and his choices were in some cases quite surprising.
Fourth, the ethno-regional calculus followed a familiar pattern, but with some oddities. Firstly, two of his nominees do not disclose their ethnicity directly - Zacharia Njeru was born in Nakuru slums and is probably Kikuyu or Meru; Rebecca Miano's origins are unknown. Putting them aside, it seems an ethnic calculus was followed much as most Kenyan cabinets have done, with the President's Kalenjin largest at five seats (not surprising), the core of his victory the Kikuyu next (four), then the Luhya three, Mijikenda, Meru and Kamba two, and Maasai, Somali, Mbeere, Luo and Gusii one each. But the Kipsigis Kalenjin have three and the Nandi none, which is odd to say the least. And the northern and southern pastoralist representation is not strong.
Of the 23 appointees, only three could be considered technocrats - Njuguna Ndungu (ex-CBK Governor) at the treasury; Miano (ex-KenGen CEO) and - generously - Chirchir (KPTC and IT). At least 13 are active politicians who stood for county level seats in 2022, most of who lost. Clearly promises were made and needed to be kept, to some at least. Other close political allies - like Josephat Nanok in Turkana and Ndindi Nyoro in Murang'a - were potential candidates but did not fit in, for unclear reasons. But it is a political cabinet above all else.
In terms of backgrounds, it is a cabinet of lawyers (Attorney General Justin Muturi, Kipchumba Murkomen, Moses Kuria, Kindiki Kithure, Rosalinda Tuya, Alice Wahome, Miano), communications experts (Alfred Mutua, Eliud Owalo, Kuria), self-made businessman (Ruto himself, Franklin Linturi, Njeru, Aisha Jumwa, Aden Duale, Chelugui) and procurement specialists (Chirchir, Susan Wafula). It is not (with exceptions) a cabinet of captains of industry or government insiders.
Finally, why we have Wafula, Njeru, Peninah Malonza and Florence Bore in the cabinet at all is a puzzling question. They appear to have few special skills or life experiences and all will struggle to make a mark at this level.
So, overall, a conservative cabinet (dominated by well known allies), a political cabinet (with few technocrats) and a curious one.
In a secret ballot, on 8 September 2022 ex-Minister and newly elected Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang'ula (candidate for Kenya Kwanza) was decisively elected as House Speaker, beating his Azimio opponent (and ex-Speaker) Kenneth Marende by 215 votes to 130 (62%-38%).
This was a significantly higher margin of victory that the status of the two alliances formally would suggest (roughly 184-165, including one additional "defection" to work with Kenya Kwanza by a KANU Rift Valley MP). Thirty more MPs voted for Wetang'ula than a party line would suggest, indicating either that Wetang'ula has strong personal support amongst ODM or DAP-K MPs in Western, or that other groups have made unpublished deals with William Ruto and allies.
Wetangula's candidacy required him to fail to take up his role as Bungoma Senator, resulting in the seat being declared vacant and a by-election. Unless internal battles between UDA and Ford-Kenya results in two competing candidates, this should be an easy victory for Kenya Kwanza.
For the avoidance of doubt, I'm not posting anything directly on the ongoing petition case at the Supreme Court, as its messy enough as it is. The evidence presented has to stand and win alone.