By Dr. Joze Manda.
To understand HH’s desperation to ascend into power, one has to go backwards and analyze our past elections in regards to what was done by HH and his UPND in their quest to rig the 2016 elections. This on its own explains the dangerous predicament we find ourselves in as a country. We have a major opposition political party whose only focus is to grab political power by any means possible and not help change the status core of our poor citizens.
Apart from selling our country to the imperialist who want to loot our mineral wealth, HH and his UPND are also willing to sale our souls to sponsors who believe in homosexuality and worse still they are prepared to do anything to rig elections including using data manipulation of whatever means.
During our last general elections, HH and his UPND engaged the disgraced UK data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica to influence voters ahead of the 2016 general elections.
According to a letter of engagement dated 11 March 2016 from the Chief Executive Officer of Cambridge Analytica Alexander Nix to Hakainde Hichilema *(attached below),* it shows in black and white that the firm worked for HH and his UPND in the 2016 election at a rate of $150,000 per month. The contract covered a short period of 3 months. *(We all know what almost happened then)
The letter promised to “deploy certain third-party persuasion techniques which the company claimed had proven hugely successful in past campaigns in Nigeria. It further claimed that a similar approach is exactly what was needed to deliver victory to the UPND.”
Cambridge Analytica was introduced to Hichilema by his British political advisor, Henry Sands, who previously had worked for former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan on a controversial election campaign in which he lost power to the current president. Mr. Henry Sands of Sabi Strategy Group is an Associate of the Brenthurst Foundation of which HH is also a member.
Mr. Sands who is also the Managing Director at SABI Strategy Group, a firm that provides comprehensive communication strategies and solutions to international businesses, High-net-worth individual and political organizations, also attended Birmingham University with HH to study for his Finance and Business Strategy masters programme.
Documents uncovered by the Canadian newspaper the Globe and Mail show that Cambridge Analytica had boasted of using unsavoury tactics in that 2007 election in Nigeria, including vote buying and voter suppression, in addition to circulating anti-Islamic videos to stir up voters’ fears.
The Cambridge Analytica Scandal
Cambridge Analytica was also at the center of a controversy over its acquisition and use of personal Facebook data in the 2016 United States presidential election. The firm also come under heavy scrutiny for its role in the Kenyan and Nigeria presidential elections.
The Facebook–Cambridge Analytica data scandal was a major political scandal in early 2018 when it was revealed that Cambridge Analytica had harvested the personal data of millions of peoples’ Facebook profiles without their consent and used it for political advertising purposes.
It was described as a watershed moment in the public understanding of personal data and precipitated a massive fall in Facebook’s stock price and calls for tighter regulation of tech companies’ use of personal data.
The illicit harvesting of personal data by Cambridge Analytica was first reported in December 2015 by Harry Davies, a journalist for The Guardian. He reported that Cambridge Analytica was working for the United States Senator Ted Cruz using data harvested from millions of people’s Facebook accounts without their consent.
Further reports followed in the Swiss Publication Das Magazine by Hannes Grasseger and Mikael Krogerus (December 2016), (later translated and published by Vice), Carole Cadwalladr in The Guardian (starting in February 2017) and Mattathias Schwartz in The Intercept (March 2017).
The scandal finally erupted in March 2018 with the emergence of a whistle-blower, an ex-Cambridge Analytica employee Christopher Wylie who included HH and UPND on clients that where engaged by his former company. He had been an anonymous source for an article in 2017 in The Observer by Cadwalladr, headlined “The Great British Brexit Robbery”.
Fast forward to 2021 – The New plan
Latest classified information has emerged that link HH to the new Cambridge Analytica owner, Ahmad Al-Khatib, the source has confirmed that a new contract has been secured to help the UPND to win the 2021 elections with massive social media campaigns, data manipulation and increased propaganda against the PF government at a monthly fee of USD 225,000 for a period of 1year 3 month from March 2020.
Cambridge Analytica, has re-emerged with an Egyptian as its sole investor and has its concentrated focus on the Middle East and Africa.
*The new company, Auspex International, will keep former Cambridge Analytica director Mark Turnbull at the helm, according to a Financial Times report that says an unnamed African country (Zambia) is already on board as one of the first clients.*
The Cairo-born investor Ahmad Al-Khatib, now based in London, was the former director of Emerdata, a firm established to rescue and rebrand the Cambridge Analytica operation. The company ceased doing business and filed for bankruptcy in the UK on May 2, blaming the “siege of media coverage.” Ahmad *Al-Khatib was in Zambia for the weekend of 22nd to the 24th of November to finalize the contract with HH.*
Al-Khatib, said the new Auspex will use similar data-driven communication strategies to make positive social change, promoting health care and other programs while countering the extremist influence in some nations.
“We’re not a data company, we’re not a political consultancy, we’re not a research company and we’re not necessarily just a communications company,” he said. “We’re a combination of all four.” In short, they help opposition leaders rig elections in their countries, which is a treasonable offense worldwide.
HH and his UPND must know that they are being watched very closely by security data experts.
Dr. Joze Manda is a Political Analyst based in Lusaka