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Safaricom to transmit majority counties in Kenya repeat-poll

Safaricom to transmit majority counties in Kenya repeat-poll

With Kenya's re-elections scheduled to commence today, techweez reports that Safaricom will handle the transmission of results for a majority of 22 counties, while Telkom and Airtel will share the remaining 25.

Following the country's failed first election, the telco was caught in the midst of controversy with allegations of results manipulation from political opposition. According to the techweez report, all the 45,000 result transmission kits will be equipped with Safaricom SIM cards.

"Safaricom will cover most parts of North Eastern province, Eastern and the North Rift regions that cover 22 counties. Airtel Kenya will feature prominently in Coast, Central Kenya and some parts of Nyanza. Telkom Kenya will man Nairobi and other 10 counties in central Rift Valley. Lastly, and similar to the last polls, a live feed will be provided for viewers across different platforms."

Last month, Kenya's official opposition, the National Super Alliance accused the telco of colluding with IEBC officials and helping to deny the party victory in the August elections. The party alleged that the telco did not transmit the results to the IEBC national tally and their relay terminated in France at OT-Morpho's servers.

Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore refuted the allegations, while French digital security firm, OT-Morpho also dismissed claims of any hacking.

Collymore responded via a statement saying, "All KIEMS kits had two SIM cards with one mobile network operator (MNO) as a primary provider and the other MNO as secondary. Each of the MNO established a VPN to transmit results from the areas where they were either a primary or a secondary provider. The role of the MNOs was therefore merely to transmit the results from the KIEMS kits to the IEBC servers."

The telco was further accused of not reporting the disappearance of around 100 KIEMS kits that it allegedly knew about, which still transmitted results from unverified locations. Collymore said, "It is factually incorrect and unsupported by any evidence whatsoever that Safaricom was informed that some 100 KIEMS kits, as alleged, were stolen from IEBC."

OT-Morpho also dismissed claims that the electronic system it supplied to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to biometrically identify voters was hacked.

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