Ruth Kang'ong'oi, CIO East Africa
March 6, 2013
Following public concern and numerous queries from the media, Kenya's leading integrated communications service provider Safaricom Limited has issued a statement clarifying its specific role with respect to the conduct of the historic March 4th, 2013 General Elections.
According to the statement, Safaricom was one of several service providers contracted by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to provide network connectivity for the electronic transmission of electoral results.
"In accordance with the terms of our contract with the IEBC ,Safaricom's responsibilities were two fold, the first was to provide the virtual private network (VPN) for the conveyance of the results from polling stations across the country previously identified as having sufficient mobile coverage to the IEBC's constituency, county and national tallying center infrastructure. The second was 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," reads the statement
It is also worth noting that the observed traffic on the VPN provided by Safaricom did not exceed 3.5 Mbps at any time. When put in to context, this is a small fraction of the 3,000 Mbps traffic we observe at any time in the network. The total number of mobile devices provisioned to be used by the IEBC polling staff to relay results on the Safaricom VPN were 32,000. This represents only 2 percent of the 1.5 million devices connected to our data network at any given time.
Safaricom further notes that it must be clarified that during the entire election period, Safaricom's role was simply to provide connectivity between the mobile devices and the IEBC tallying centers. 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. Safaricom has as well provided unrestricted access to representatives of the 8 presidential candidates to assess and monitor its network performance. All of them were and still are confident in our network quality.
"As a responsible corporate citizen, Safaricom appreciates and takes seriously its assigned responsibilities and will continue to play its part to support the IEBC in its duties,' concludes Safaricom.