, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 18 – Safaricom Chief Executive Officer Bob Collymore on Wednesday defended the security contract awarded to the firm by the government saying they are capable of handling it.
Speaking when he appeared before the National Assembly Committee on Administration and National Security, Collymore stated that Safaricom has in its 14 years of existence been able to deploy and continue to support over 3,000 base stations around Kenya which run on 2G and 3G networks adding that the firm has also deployed the LTE network in approximately 10 areas in Kenya.
“We have the ability to deploy and mobilise resources and materials almost instantaneously; we have become an integrated communications company that meets the needs to this nation.
“We are confident that we have the capability and competence to deliver on our contractual obligations,” he added.
The media was excluded for the sitting after Collymore made his formal response to the committee queries. This is after the Safaricom CEO said he was concerned about the company’s image.
The Safaricom boss told the MPs probing the contract that during execution, none of their employees or agents will have access to the security network.
“As credit to the Government, there is no way a State would compromise its sovereignty by allowing another government to have unchecked access into its communications systems-irrespective of a commercial relationship,” he said.
Collymore assured of the security system’s integrity saying they will build a stable and more secure technology where the National Police Service communications network will be separate and distinct from the Safaricom commercial network.
“It will not be possible to break through the system information security firewalls and related systems. This is because, besides integrating the world’s best multi-layered security elements, the management of the communication and any arising information will be handled solely by trained members of the police force.”
Safaricom was awarded the Sh14.9 billion contract to develop a state of the art surveillance communications system to improve the efficiency of the country’s security agencies.
Safaricom’s scope includes the design and construction of the LTE network. Once the network is up and running, the management of the system will be handed over to the National Police Service and will remain solely a prerogative of our security agencies.
The specifications are similar to those in use in large cities, such as New York and London.
Committee chairman Asman Kamama said that the members had be taken through the safety and operational features of the project
The Tiaty MP said the House team will adjourn to prepare its report next Wednesday after meeting with the National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich.