NASA Alleges Safaricom was Party to Election Rigging, the Telco Responds
It has been a minute since uncle Bob and Co. found themselves in a somewhat uncomfortable situation but thanks to the National Super Alliance (NASA), the spotlight has been put on the telco.
NASA has accused Safaricom and OT-Morpho of colluding with Kenya’s election agency IEBC to rig the August 8 elections in favor of the incumbent. The coalition alleges that the two companies are also planning to rig again in the repeat polls which are set to be held on the 26th October.
This comes days after IEBC announced that they had implemented some changes to their ICT infrastructure. One of the changes was that Safaricom would be the only distributor of KIEMS tablet SIM cards to the gazette polling stations. During the August 8th elections, Safaricom, Airtel, and Telkom had been allocated specific zones to supply SIM cards and a VPN network to facilitate results transmission.
NASA, in a statement read by ODM leader Raila Odinga, alleged that the kits assigned to the Safaricom network were never submitted to the IEBC portal.
That’s not all:
The opposition also claimed that Safaricom was aware of the theft of thousands of KIEMs kits under its network. They add that Safaricom was aware that those kits were not under the control of the IEBC yet did not care to report. The said kits are believed to have been used to transmit results via the Safaricom network. They allege that this took place between July 25th and 27th.
Safaricom came out to blow off some steam in a press statement. The statement started by clarifying their roles in the August 8 elections which were:
- 1) Provide a dedicated secure channel to transmit the encrypted data from the KIEMs kits to the IEBC server.
- 2) Provide technical support to the IEBC before, during, and after the general elections day including a dedicated project manager.
- 3) Provide a record of transmission from all the SIM cards provided to the IEBC under the contract for purposes of General Election.
The press statement also clarified that they transmitted all results from their assigned zones and that these are reflected on the IEBC servers.
The statement read, in part:
Contrary to what is alleged in the NASA statement, results from KIEMs kits from Safaricom zones, were transmitted and are on the IEBC web portal. Further, it is factually incorrect and unsupported by any evidence whatsoever that Safaricom was informed that some 100 KIEMs kits, as alleged, were stolen from IEBC. As such there was nothing required for Safaricom to report and in any event, if any KIEMS kits were stolen it the responsibility of IEBC to make such a report and further notify the MNOs to deactivate the SIMs. Safaricom did not receive such a report from IEBC.
The telco added that they are ready to face investigations or prosecutions on this issue.
Read the full statement here.
We must remember that NASA has requested its supporters to boycott Nation Media products sometime back. Whether they will call a boycott on Safaricom products remains unknown. However, some NASA supporters have stated that they will boycott the Safaricom network.