At least six government websites hosted by Microsoft’s Azure were on Monday shutdown over what is believed to be due to unsettled debts. The affected websites include those of the Ministry of Lands, Labour, Ministry of Energy, Mining and Petroleum, and that of the Ministry of East Africa Community among others.
The websites are said to have been brought down after failing to pay web hosting fees to Microsoft.
Those who tried visiting the websites were greeted with a light blue screen with an “Error 403 – This web app is stopped.” message.
The ICT Ministry has however issued a statement and apologized for the inconvenience caused by the shutdown and said it is working towards restoring the services.
Several Government websites including those of Lands, Energy and Mining ministries shut down over non-payment to Microsoft. pic.twitter.com/mqBDNhrOh7
— Ali 'Mwamvita' Manzu (@Ali_Manzu) November 5, 2018
“Some Government of Kenya websites are down and the ICT Authority is working round the clock to ensure that the issue is urgently resolved and normal services resumed,” the statement said.
“The ICT Authority apologises to its valued customers for any inconvenience caused.” the statement further read.
Well, this is really embarrassing coming from state ministries. I am sure before shutting down the websites Microsoft must have sent a number of reminders about the pending bills and plans to bring the websites down, reminders someone chose to ignore.
ICT staff at one of the affected ministries speaking to Kenyans.co.ke said that they actually started experiencing the run down early last week.
The staff told Kenyans.co.ke that most of the ministries affected had been moved under the Information Communication Technology (ICT) Authority which had not paid up their web-hosting bills.