Nasa warns firms over August 8 poll ‘sabotage’

Opposition leader Raila Odinga has threatened to call for economic boycott of products from corporations he claimed sabotaged the August 8 presidential election.

The statement by Mr Odinga comes just a day after he accused leading mobile phone service provider Safaricom of working with a French digital security firm to tilt the August 8 presidential elections outcome in favour of President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Mr Odinga claimed Safaricom routed results from polling stations to OT-Morpho servers in France without ensuring that the outcome ended up in the servers of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

The Nasa leader claimed the mobile phone firm deliberately sabotaged the process of results transmission by routing figures from the polling stations to OT-Morpho servers, creating a window for the manipulation of the numbers.

DISMISSED CLAIMS

“We will not allow Kenya to be the playground for forces that want to stifle our progress as a nation. In fact, we are considering beginning a period of economic boycott of products and corporations that are working against the interests of the people of Kenya,” Mr Odinga told a press conference Wednesday at Okoa Kenya offices in Lavington, Nairobi.

But responding to the claims in a paid-up advert in Wednesday’s newspapers, Safaricom has dismissed the accusations, terming them reckless, callous and unnecessary, and warned that the allegations could endanger the lives of its staff and their families.

Chief executive Bob Collymore, in a statement on Tuesday night, said the firm was ready to be investigated by any agency on the role it played in the elections.

“Safaricom is ready to face any investigations and/or private prosecutions, brought by any party, on this matter,” he said.

ROUTING RESULTS

Mr Collymore said Safaricom played its role of routing the results from Kiems kits to the IEBC servers in areas that it had been allocated and that the figures were captured on the IEBC portal.

“Contrary to what is alleged in the Nasa statement, results from Kiems kits from Safaricom zones were transmitted and are on the IEBC web portal,” he said.

The responsibility of transmitting the results from the IEBC servers to the constituency and national tallying centres was the preserve of the commission, and the political players, among them Nasa, were aware, said Mr Collymore.

But in his statement, Mr Odinga said big corporations are part and parcel of the killing of democracy in Kenya.

“The people are the main market for the products of these corporations, we can retaliate by telling our people not to buy their products.

“South Africans did it in their struggle against apartheid. We may be forced to do it in our struggle for democracy and progress. That time is coming,” said Mr Odinga.

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