National Super Alliance (NASA) leader Raila Odinga has dragged Kenya’s leading telecommunications firm Safaricom into the election dispute.
Mr Odinga today asked the mobile service provider, which was contracted by IEBC, to explain why it routed results from the polling stations to a server in France and terminated them there instead of transmitting to the electoral commission’s server in Kenya.
This, he said, gave room to the manipulation of the poll outcome relayed to the national tallying centre at Bomas in the capital Nairobi.
Our attention has been drawn to the statement read by NASA on September 26th with regard to the conduct of the August 8th General Election. Safaricom Limited would like to clarify our role in the last general election. We were required to:
a. Provide a dedicated secure tunnel to transmit the encrypted data from the KIEMs kits to the IEBC server, also known as a Virtual Private Network or VPN;
b. Provide technical support to the IEBC before, during and after the general election day including a dedicated project manager; and
c. Provide a record of transmission from all the SIM Cards provided to the IEBC under the contract for purposes of the General Election.
For further clarity as to how transmission was conducted, the country was divided into zones, allocated to Safaricom, Telkom Kenya and Airtel Kenya, collectively known as the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs).
All KIEMs kits had two SIM cards with one MNO as primary provider and the other MNO as secondary. Each of the MNOs established a VPN to transmit results from areas where they were either a primary or secondary provider. The role of the MNOs was therefore merely to transmit the results from the KIEMs kit to the IEBC servers.
In accordance with the contract with IEBC, all the mobile operators connected their VPNs and transmitted the data to the IEBC cloud servers. It was IEBC’s responsibility to transmit results from its servers to the tallying centres and this was publicly available information.
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.
Safaricom is deeply concerned that the NASA statement has recklessly gone ahead to mention innocent Safaricom staff members needlessly endangering them and their families. This action is callous and unnecessary. Safaricom would like to state that we discharged our contractual obligations strictly in accordance with our contract and the law.
Safaricom is ready to face any investigations and/or private prosecutions, brought by any party, on this matter.