The Communications Authority has come to the rescue of Safaricom after the Kenyan opposition alliance National Super Alliance (NASA) accused it of elections technology fraud.
NASA had accused Safaricom, with over 70 percent of the country’s voice market, to have conspired and to have been involved in the manipulation of the August 8th general elections results in favour of Jubilee Party.
Safaricom and three other telcos were contracted by the IEBC, Kenyas elections body to provide a medium of the end-to-end transmission of election results in line with the Elections (Technology) Regulations, 2017.
The country’s Supreme Court declared the August 2017 presidential elections as null and void and Kenya is set for a repeat presidential poll on October 26.
“CA wishes to implore on Kenyans not to lose faith and confidence in technology. ICTs have been successfully deployed and embraced in all facets of life in the country, including banking, business, education, health, agriculture and government services just but to mention a few. Elections are no exception and the Authority is confident that ICTs can be deployed successfully to support this important national activity,” said Mr. Francis Wangusi, CA Director General.
Wangusi added that the country was divided into three zones and each of the three mobile operators was assigned one region to support the transmission systems of the IEBC. In each of the three zones, an additional mobile operator was assigned the responsibility of providing back up services in case of technology failure.
“In line with our oversight responsibility as the ICT sector regulator, the Authority directed the mobile operators to report any cases of transmission failure to us. No cases of transmission failure were reported to us,” agreeing to the fact that Safaricom didn’t report any failures or they just didn’t happen at all.
CA sees the attack by NASA as one directed against investments in the ICT sector and is therefore calling on all well-meaning Kenyans to support investors in the sector and to underline public confidence in ICTs-whether they fail or not and whether they are right or wrong.
CA also wants NASA mum about this allegations against Safaricom and other telcos. Safaricom is owned by South Africa’s Vodacom and the Kenyan government through the treasury.
“We urge political actors to canvass their agenda in a responsible manner in order to avoid putting into jeopardy the impressive investment and other gains that Kenya has made in the local ICT sector. In the same vein, we implore politicians to report any alleged election malpractices on the part of industry players to the relevant law enforcement agencies instead of engaging in blanket ‘lynching’ of investors in this strategic sector,” he concluded.