Kenya’s opposition party NASA has called on its supporters to boycott Safaricom products and services. The move comes after Raila Odinga, the party leader threatened to call for a boycott of products from corporations the party claims were part of the country’s August 8 poll rigging scheme.
According to Suna East Legislator, Junet Mohammed Safaricom and other companies have denied Kenyans the right to participate in democratic elections. ‘’If these corporations think they can go to bed with the regime, they will feel the power of our supporters ‘’ he says.
‘’This is the beginning of the liberation of our country against corporates that have gone to bed with the Jubilee regime’’
NASA is accusing Safaricom of abetting rigging through its network during the polls. The opposition alleges that Safaricom worked with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to derail the transmission of presidential results. It also accused the company of conspiring to cover up electoral offences committed by IEBC and French IT firm OT-Morpho.
Safaricom, however, dismissed the claims in a previous statement with the CEO, Bob Collymore who is away on medical leave terming them as factually incorrect and unsupported by any evidence whatsoever.
Collymore said contrary to NASA’s allegations, results in all 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 results portal as well.
“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. It was IEBC’s responsibility to transmit from its servers to the tallying centre and this was publicly available information” Collymore explained in the statement.
The Communication Authority (CA) also threw its weight behind Safaricom and other mobile operators that IEBC contracted to provide a medium of the end-to-end transmission of election results. Francis Wangusi, the CA Director General said no cases of transmission failure had been reported to them during the entire August 8 polls period. Wangusi went further to urge the opposition 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.
One thing we will be waiting to see for sure is how this boycott is going to affect Safaricom which posted a half-year net income of Sh26.2 billion up from Sh21.6 billion the same period last year
Other companies NASA wants its supporters to boycott include Bidco and Brookside.