28 August 2014

Kenya: Safaricom Security Contract Gets Final Okay

Nairobi — The National Assembly on Thursday approved the Sh14.9 billion Safaricom surveillance contract awarded by the government but directed the firm to ensure 30 percent of its works were awarded to local enterprises.

The contract will see Safaricom build and run the National Police Service Surveillance System whose pilot projects will begin in Nairobi and Mombasa.

MPs voted for a number of amendments to the report by the security committee, which included a requirement "to ensure promotion of technology transfer, job creation and in line with the government undertaking to create jobs and opportunities for Kenyans, Safaricom Ltd and/or their agents who shall be charged with the responsibility of rolling out the network ensures that at least 30 percent of the contract is given to local enterprises."

They also directed the government to ensure the contract is rolled out to all the 47 counties as soon as possible and that processes including back office operation and the recording, retrieval and storage of information on occurrence book are fully implemented.

While presenting its report the Departmental Committee on Administration and National Security said the surveillance system "would greatly help security agencies face up to the rising wave of security challenges in the country".

Amendments were proposed by Leader of the Majority Coalition in the National Assembly Aden Duale which saw some MPs laud the deal while some castigated it. Parliament had in June stopped the signing of the contract pending investigation over the ability of Safaricom to manage the task.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has previously stated that the contract is one of the major solutions to the challenges police officers are facing in taming insecurity cases in the country.

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