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Committee gives Safaricom Kenya green light on surveillance deal

Kenya , 25 Jul 2014

Committee gives Safaricom Kenya green light on surveillance deal

A Kenyan parliamentary committee, tasked with investigating the multi-billion shilling surveillance tender award to mobile network Safaricom, has recommended the telco be awarded the deal.

Earlier this year, Safaricom initially won the deal, said to be worth KSh 45.3 billion.

But the project was suspended by Kenya’s parliament, pending investigations into whether due procedures were followed regarding the tender award.

A parliamentary committee subsequently investigated the deal. Government, in turn, has expressed urgency in setting up the surveillance system, which is intended to offer protection against terror attacks by using 1,800 ultra-high definition CCTV cameras and 80 enterprise Long Term Evolution (eLTE) base stations in Nairobi and Mombasa.

And in its report submitted to parliament, the House Committee on Administration and National Security has endorsed the tender award, saying that companies which raised issues with the procurement failed to provide sufficient evidence to substantiate their claims.

“The House approves the tender award and the signing of the contract to Safaricom for the provision of a National Surveillance, Communication and Control System for the National Police Service,” read part of the report.

The committee even went on to say that competing companies that lost out on the tender award had “purposefully mislead the committee on their ability to undertake the project”.

The committee, for example, highlighted how Tetra Radio, one of the companies that had tendered for the deal and lost, did not satisfy the tender requirements.

With the parliamentary team having submitted its recommendations, the fate of the tender now lies with the Kenyan parliament, which will decide whether or not to adopt the recommendations.

Safaricom dominates Kenya’s mobile market with a 67.9% share and over 21.6 million subscribers.

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