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Ruto sneaks in Pegasus spyware from Dubai to rig polls

Ruto sneaks in Pegasus spyware from Dubai to rig polls

By John Kamau, Editor, (

Even as Kenyans prepare to vote on August 9, with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) assuring of free, fair and credible poll, details are emerging that United Democratic Alliance (UDA) presidential candidate William Ruto has sneaked into the country a Pegasus spyware to rig the polls in his favour.

Pegasus is spyware developed by the Israeli cyber-arms company NSO Group that can be covertly installed on mobile phones and other devices including KIEM kits.

It was used to hack US’s Embassy in Uganda’s capital, Kampala where some of those targeted were US citizens working as Foreign Service officers.

It is imperative to note that Ruto has severally been to Uganda until mid last year when he was blocked from flying to the neighbouring country after the government established he was to meet NSO Group officials to hammer the deal to ship in the software.

Ruto, who picked an equally controversial figure, Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua as his running mate, has set in motion elaborate plans to rig the elections.

The first signal that Ruto plans to rig the polls came when police on Sunday, July 24 raided his private offices in the Nairobi’s Central Business District (CBD) over suspicious activities.

The detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) raided the Transnational Building following a tip-off from members of the public.

Speaking to members of the press, Nairobi Regional Police Commander James Mugera said the detectives were acting on a tip-off from concerned members of the public that some people were moving servers from the seventh floor of the building to an unknown location.

On arrival, the sleuths confirmed that the servers owned by a company identified as Lampstar Technologies were being moved to Ruto’s firm in Industrial Area.

The DCI's cybercrime unit seized two servers as investigations into vote-rigging claims continued.

And now can report that the Kenya Kwanza Alliance which Ruto heads knows they have no numbers to win this election.

They have therefore resorted to hatching a plan to rig the election and the patron assigned to oversee this operation is former ICT Cabinet Secretary, Davis Chirchir (pictured).

Chirchir is Ruto's Chief of Staff.

In 2017, he was the link between Cambridge Analytica and Jubilee Party operatives.

Cambridge Analytica ran Jubilee's campaign on high-octane propaganda and technology interference.

This year, Chirchir has assumed a similar role and is working with Venezuelan and Russian hackers to rig the presidential race in Ruto’s favour.

Some of the hackers who were arrested are Venezuelan nationals Jose Gregorio Camargo Castellanos, Joel Gustavo Rodriguez Garcia and Salvador Javier Sosa Suarez.

Carmago was first detained at the Jomo Kenayatta International Airport (JKIA) upon touching down on July 21, 2022, after security officers’ detected questionable luggage in his possession.

The bag contained 17 rolls of stickers targeted to serve various polling stations estimated to be 10,000 in 10 counties

The counties are Nairobi, Kiambu, Nakuru, Meru, Machakos, Murang'a, Bomet, Nyeri, Tharaka Nithi, Nyandarua and Kericho.

In a separate bag, Carmago was also found in possession of a personal laptop, a personal monitor, five flash discs, one mobile phone and assorted personal computer accessories.

The officers established that the rolls were the property of IEBC of the Republic of Kenya.

The suspect confessed that he was given the materials from Panama by M/S Smartmatic International Holding B.V.

The DCI questioned why no IEBC officials were present to receive the materials at the airport.

But the Commission's Chairperson, Wafula Chebukati, a known Ruto ally, defended the arrested hackers, claiming they were deployed by M/S Smartmatic International Holding B.V. to work with IEBC.

But it late emerged that the hackers were to work for a private firm, Seamless, owned by a Somali businessman who is said to be Ruto’s close friend.

During Carmago’s investigations, two other Venezuelan nationals - Garcia and Suarez - arrived at JKIA to pick him which widened the suspect's net.

"The officers were shocked how a foreigner all the way from Venezuela, Panama, Turkey to Nairobi contracted for a very sensitive and high-level service by supposedly IEBC had nobody waiting for him and in particular to receive the sensitive confidential materials which were supposed to be in secure custody after confirmation and reception by the procuring entity," DCI said in a statement.

Back to Chirchir, sources said he has set up two known hacking facilities, staffed with Russian and Venezuelan hackers.

A few weeks ago, Chirchir managed to illegally ship in Pegasus spyware from Dubai.

Pegasus is surveillance software made in Israel and Dubai's ruler is one of the known users of Pegasus.

Ruto often visits Dubai to, among other things, set up the deal to purchase Pegasus.

He intends to use Pegasus not just in the election period but also to establish Surveillance State if he successfully rigs the presidential race.

He will use it to spy on journalists, opposition politicians, civil society and bloggers.

Chirchir's team has been using the spyware to track the phones of journalists, IEBC officials and Azimio la Umoja politicians and bloggers.

Chirchir's plan is for the hackers to introduce malware in the KIEMS kit and they have a computer programme designed to add 1.2 million votes in total to Ruto.

The plan was to add 120 votes to each of 10,000 mysterious polling stations.

Like Cambridge Analytica, Ruto's attack dogs have also adopted propaganda as part of the scheme to rig the polls.

In the scheme, they are accusing President Uhuru Kenyatta of planning to assassinate them, which is all propaganda.

They are also using fakes manufactured by Chirchir's team to whip up public emotions.

The recent tape allegedly by Junet Muhamed’s exposing Azimio as planning to compromise Chebukati is one of the fake tapes made by Chirchir.

Manu more will be released before the August 9 polls.

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