Linking Submission By Raila's Lawyer On Jose Camargo To DCI Report

Soweto appeared before the seven-judge bench at the Supreme Court on Friday, September 2 and presented a PowerPoint containing a Form 34A document with Camargo's name

Linking Submission By Raila's Lawyer On Jose Camargo To DCI Report
A collage of lawyer Julie Soweto and an ID card of Jose Camargo. /VIRALTEAKE

Azimio la Umoja Presidential candidate Raila Odinga's lawyer, Julie Soweto, made shocking claims that Venezuelan national, Jose Gregorio Camargo Castellano, had added votes in the presidential elections to favour president-elect, William Ruto.

Soweto appeared before the seven-judge bench at the Supreme Court on Friday, September 2 and presented a PowerPoint containing a Form 34A document with Camargo's name, a form she claimed was uploaded on the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) portal. 

The form belonged to Gacharagu Primary School polling station in Muguru ward in Murang'a County. By way of his name appearing on the form, Soweto argued that he was solely responsible for interfering with the forms to change votes uploaded on the portal.

She further believed that it was through this that he played a major role in determining who between Raila and Ruto was the president-elect.

"At the top-hand left corner there, we have the name of one the Venezuelans Jose Camargo. This is the person who decided the President-elect of the country," she stated.

"We didn't make this up! We were told that we forged these forms, but this is how, My Lord, the staging was happening. This is on August 9 when we were told they (Venezuelans) did not have access to the system,"

The mention of Camargo at the Supreme Court raised eyebrows regarding Camargo as well as IEBC's assurance that the system would not be infiltrated, an assurance affirmed by IEBC's lawyers led by former Attorney General Githu Muigai.

Viral Tea established that her allegations had finer links to a response by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) regarding the evidence it gathered from the three Venezuelan nationals who were accused of interfering with the systems of the IEBC.

The evidence had placed Camargo allegedly at the centre of access to key election material ranging from the KIEMS kit to data on the deployment of election technology and passwords of IEBC personnel.

The report emerged after the three foreigners, Salvador Javier Suarez, Camargo and Joel Garcia were arrested at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) on July 21, 2022, which later ignited a stalemate between the DCI and the IEBC.

In its affidavit, the DCI argued that the Venezuelan was able to access the IEBC system remotely and change details of it anytime he wanted.

“It was established that the confiscated exhibits had substantial information held in the IEBC systems are in full control of foreign employees of M/S Smartmatic International Holdings B.V. and Seamless Limited who have been contracted by IEBC.

“Camargo was in a position to remotely access the entire IEBC data and has the capacity to add, delete, edit or manipulate in any manner the entire IEBC system," it read in part.

During the arrest, Camargo was found with a laptop that had vital information regarding the August 9 polls. Forensic analysis showed that the laptop had an IEBC database schematic diagram, IEBC network diagram, IEBC KIEMS kit, IEBC KIEMS kit deployment list, user name and passwords, local IP address configurations, virtual private network (VPN) settings and Smartmatic Mobile device management(MDM).

He was also found with a hard disk, 1TB (terabyte), which was found with file folders. The folders had IEBC election system information as follows; IEBC system Network details, IEBC system Network details, IEBC database development credentials, IEBC KIEMS project schedule and his travel details.

Also found were IEBC VPN access credentials, settings for remote access to IEBC server, results in the transmission system, IEBC dashboard users, IEBC system users’ access rights, IEBC intergraded data management system and updates development. 

Camargo was also found with a bag of 17 rolls of stickers targeted to serve various polling stations estimated to be 10,000 in number targeted to serve 10 counties. They included Nairobi, Kiambu, Nakuru, Meru, Machakos, Murang'a, Bomet, Nyeri, Tharaka Nithi, Nyandarua and Kericho.

"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," added the statement.

Entrance to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. /FILE

DCI also disclosed that from its analysis, 21 individuals had access to the system with two being Kenyans working at the electoral commission.

As a result, the detectives recommended for an audit be done on the IEBC system to uncover if there was any case of interference.