Safaricom’s name has now been drawn into alleged electoral malpractices surrounding the August 8 general elections in Kenya.
In a statement issued on September 25 and titled “AUGUST ELECTIONS WAS A MASSIVE CONSPIRACY BY JUBILEE, IEBC, TELCO FIRMS AND OT-MORPHO”, the National Rainbow Coalition (NASA) says that its in the process “of putting together information linking local telecommunication firms, particularly Safaricom and Telkom Kenya, in collaboration with Safran to deliberately manipulate Kenyan elections and deliver a fraudulent victory to Jubilee and Uhuru Kenyatta.”
(TOP: Bob Collymore, the Safaricom CEO).
The statement, co-signed said by the four NASA principals – Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka, Kalonzo Musyoka and Senator Moses Wetangula – states the coalition is “on the trail of local owners of Safran and the firms that printed fake result declaration forms and ballot papers along Mombasa Road that equally led to the fraudulent declaration of Uhuru Kenyatta as winner.”
Zeroing in on Safaricom, NASA says that it’s “exposing Safaricom’s link in this conspiracy alongside Safran.”
“First, the IEBC conspiracy. It is a matter of public record that Safaricom was contracted by the IEBC to transmit election results from the KIEMS kits at the polling stations to the IEBC servers. All this data was to be conveyed via Virtual Private Network (VPN) in order to ensure that there was no tampering of the results before reaching the servers,” notes the statement.
“Safaricom was thus contracted to provide two exclusive VPNs for this purpose. It has since come to our knowledge that one of these VPNs terminated at a cloud server registered in Spain but operated from France under the control of OT Morpho. We have the IP addresses and have traced them. And the second VPN, was to originate from Safaricom and terminate at the local IEBC server. Both VPNs were fully paid for by the IEBC. However, the VPN from Safaricom terminating locally was never set up.”
Consequently – according to NASA – the results from the polling station KIEMS kits were leaving the country but never found their way back to IEBC as none of the kits under Safaricom’s network ever got their results onto the IEBC’s public web portal. Furthermore, when purported results started streaming onto the portal without accompanying forms 34A/B, Safaricom’s senior management knew that these results did not come from the KIEMS kits but Safaricom failed to alert the authorities about this anomaly.
NASA further notes that between July 25 and 27, “some 100 KIEMS kits were stolen from the IEBC,” an incident which was shared with Safaricom.
“We are particularly keen to know why the same stolen KIEMS kits were allowed to continue operating on the Safaricom network even the company’s management knew those kits were not under the control of the IEBC.
Was the management of Safaricom aware that the IEBC had not reported this alleged theft of hundreds of KIEMS kits to the authorities?”, NASA asks in its statement.
NASA then goes ahead to identity 6 senior Safaricom staff who, in its view, “had intimate knowledge” of the “conspiracy and either actively participated or concealed the same.” The six are: Thibaud Rerolle (French National, Director Technical and I.T, Safaricom), Anthony Gacanja (Head of Technology Security, Safaricom), Shaka Kwach (Head of Special Projects – in charge of Elections, Safaricom), Robert Mutai (Head of Technology Strategy, Assurance and Governance, Safaricom), Farouk Gaffour (Head of Network and Service Operations, Safaricom) and Andrew Masila (Senior Manager, Strategy and Architecture, Safaricom).
The coalition then recommends that the Director of Public Prosecutions immediately commence investigations with a view to the arrest and criminal prosecution of the six individuals under the country’s Cyber Crimes Act.
However, in a statement (attached below and signed by the firm’s CEO Bob Collymore) issued on September 26 in a bid to clarify its position regarding the NASA accusations, Safaricom refutes the allegations, stating that the telco discharged its contractual obligations strictly in accordance with the contract and the law.
Our position statement. pic.twitter.com/0YzBA6Ne3p
— Safaricom Limited (@SafaricomLtd) September 26, 2017