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Safaricom responds to allegations of election interference

Kenya , 27 Sep 2017

Safaricom responds to allegations of election interference

Kenya's official opposition, the National Super Alliance, has accused telecommunications services provider Safaricom of colluding with IEBC officials and helping to deny the party victory in the August elections.

The National Super Alliance alleges that the telco did not transmit the results to the IEBC national tally and their relay terminated in France at OT-Morpho's servers.

This has been refuted by Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore who issued a statement in response which reads, "All KIEMS kits had two SIM cards with one MNO as a primary provider and the other MNO as secondary. Each of the MNO established a VPN to transmit results from the areas where they were either a primary or a secondary provider. The role of the MNOs was therefore merely to transmit the results from the KIEMS kits to the IEBC servers."

During the Supreme Court petition challenging the results of the presidential election, IEBC lawyers confirmed that part of their infrastructure was hosted in France.

The regulatory body said their job was to transmit results to the IEBC servers and it is the Commission's job to display them in their tallying centres.

Presidential candidate for the opposition, Raila Odinga, said that Safaricom knew of the disappearance of around 100 KIEMS kits and that those kits still transmitted results from unverified locations.

They accused Safaricom of not reporting the alleged incident.

Collymore said, "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 is 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," he added.

The opposition has instructed their lawyers to institute private prosecution against Safaricom and some of its staff who they believe participated in efforts to sabotage the election.

Odinga added that they are also planning to take action against Vodacom, a major shareholder in Safaricom.

Collymore said that it was unfortunate that some of their staff have been dragged into the opposition's claims, but said the company is ready to face any legal action.

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