NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 27 – Safaricom has denied claims by the National Super Alliance (NASA) that it was complicit in tampering with last month’s General Election.
Reacting to the allegations by NASA leader Raila Odinga, Safaricom Chief Executive Officer Bob Collymore on Tuesday said all results in polling stations it had been assigned by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) were transmitted to the commission’s servers and made available to the public results portal.
“In accordance with the contract with IEBC, all the Mobile Network Operators (MNO)connected their Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) and transmitted the data to the IEBC cloud servers,” Collymore explained in a statement.
“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,” he added.
Collymore also denied claims that it transmitted results from non-gazetted polling stations using some 100 Kenya Integrated Election Management System (KIEMS) kits allegedly stolen from IEBC.
Safaricom said in the statement that the electoral commission did not at any given time bring to its attention – either directly or through the project manager assigned to handle the IEBC contract – a report suggesting that some of the KIEMS devices had indeed been stolen.
“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,” Collymore affirmed.
He further expressed regrets with the manner in which NASA had “recklessly gone ahead to mention innocent Safaricom staff members needlessly endangering them and their families,” terming the action as “callous and unnecessary”.
According to Collymore, the firm is prepared to face any investigations and prosecutions filed against it by any party – NASA included.
While making the claims on Tuesday afternoon, Odinga had threatened to institute criminal proceedings against six Safaricom employees he claimed were complicit in tampering with the August 8 presidential election, annulled by the Supreme Court on September 1.
“We have the names of six individuals at Safaricom who had intimate knowledge of this conspiracy and either actively participated or concealed the conspiracy. We’ve asked our lawyers to initiate private prosecution of the officers under the Cybercrime Act,” the opposition leader said during a press conference at his Capitol Hill office.
The statement by the opposition chief came even as a planned demonstration to push for the exit of IEBC Chief Executive Officer, Ezra Chiloba, needed in an anticlimax after Odinga, his co-principals in the NASA and parliamentarians allied to the alliance failed to join their supporters.
The leaders failed to show up for the demonstrations despite National Assembly Minority Leader John Mbadi having indicated in a news conference earlier in the day that all its leaders will be taking part in the protests.
Both Odinga and Mbadi denied reports that NASA leaders failed to show up for the protests in fear for their lives after an alleged withdrawal of their security detail early Tuesday.
Despite counter protests from a section of Jubilee Party supporters, the demos were largely peaceful as police managed to disperse rival camps which at some point charged into each other.