Viral Politics

Computer?VirusA new form of post-election unrest, the Kibaki Tosha Tena Virus and the Odinga Raila Pop-up, has reared its ugly head, infiltrating technology, breaching Kenya’s borders and adding more frustration to the already troublesome mix.

As for the first virus, PreciseSecurity.com says:

Seeing this “KIBAKI TOSHA KIBAKI TENA” message during Windows logon means that you have been infected with W32.Baki.A. A worm that spreads via local, network and removable drives. It is known to promote a presidential candidate in Kenya and has a full message of:

“KIBAKI FOR PRESIDENT VOTE KIBAKI FOR A BETTER FUTURE. We need a person who have thought of tomorrow and willing to salvage our country. Kibaki have done so in the past five years. KIBAKI TOSHA TENA”

While both spread through local networks and removable drives, they have not been confined within Kenya’s borders. Uganda is also affected and other nations are likely to join the list. As Henry Lutaaya of the Uganda Science Journalists Blog explains:

Two viruses named after the two presidential candidates of Kenya Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga are causing mayhem and exasperation among many computer users, while at the same time undeniably creating jobs for several others: read technicians who sell and install anti-virus soft-ware.

So, what does the viral message mean? Rob Crilly, a freelance journalist in Kenya blogging at South of West, says, “My Swahili is pretty poor, but I think it means something along the lines of ‘Kibaki is enough again.'”

In response, Nzibi monga Nzibi agreed and added, “in the Swahili (or Kingwana) of the eastern DRC, this slogan would obtain the following translation: ‘Kibaki Get It Out Again.'”

Sprinkling a bit of humor on the situation, Xs adds, “For now all we care about is HOW DO WE REMOVE THESE WORMS? (The viruses i mean)”

Antivirus software has since gained ground, adding tools to remove the problem files. The best advice, as always, is to keep your software up to date… and the worms out of Office (as in Microsoft.)

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