ICT Africa Headline News

Kenya: Safaricom 'Not to Blame for Delayed Iebc Results'

06 March, 2013
Charles Gichane, Charles Gichane
March 6, 2013

Nairobi — Safaricom says it is not to blame for delays experienced in the electronic result transmission system that stalled relaying of results by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) on Tuesday evening.

In a statement, Safaricom Chief Executive Officer Bob Collymore says that the role of the integrated communications service provider was simply to provide connectivity between the mobile devices and the IEBC tallying centres and had nothing to do with the servers.

"Safaricom did not and does not have any role in the technical design, management or specification of the servers, the mobile software application nor the graphic presentation of the results data used by the IEBC. The Safaricom mobile and virtual private network has remained robust with 100 percent uptime in all areas where coverage was to be provided."

Collymore has insisted that Safaricom's responsibility was to provide the Virtual Private Network (VPN) for the conveyance of the results, from polling stations and to deliver 17,900 original manufacturer warranted handsets to the IEBC for use by polling staff for purposes of transmitting electronic results.

"Safaricom was neither involved in the supply of the software to be used on the mobile handsets nor the distribution and storage of the devices," added the CEO.

He has maintained that the mobile devices that were to be used by the IEBC staff in relaying results on the Safaricom VPN were 32,000 representing only two percent devices connected to their data network at any given time.

IEBC had to freeze the tallying on Tuesday night with electoral officials citing technical hitches in sending results electronically. The commission then decided to hasten the process by starting to announce results brought in by returning officers.

Earlier, reports had indicated that IEBC computer servers had crashed because of the high capacity of results being transmitted but commission chairman Issack Hassan refuted these reports.

He maintained that IEBC had back up data and had resorted to announcing the results through the Returning Officers to speed up the process and allay voter anxiety that seemed to have gripped the country.

Hassan also said that the commission's ICT experts were trying to resolve the delays together with technology experts from political parties.

"The commission is aware of these delays and that they are giving rise to different speculations and rumours that the server of the commission has crashed and I want to assure you that this is not true," he maintained.

Returning Officers began arriving at the IEBC national tallying centre at the Bomas of Kenya on Wednesday morning to deliver physical results.

IEBC reported 53 Returning Officers had arrived by early Wednesday afternoon.

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