The State has acquired hate speech monitoring gadgets to monitor mongers on private phones ahead of general elections, Interior CS Joseph Nkaissery said on Saturday.
Nkaissery also made it clear to those bent on creating parallel tallying centres to gather and announce presidential vote results at the end of the election exercise will be arrested and prosecuted.
“As long as I am still the Interior Minister, do not dream that you can bend the law and go scot free. I will deal with you as per the provision of the existing laws of the republic,” warned Nkaissery.
Speaking in Birrika shopping centre in Kajiado West on Saturday during a political rally organized by Maasai professionals to drum up support for President Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election, Nkaissery said the State is armed to the tooth in monitoring hate mongers.
“Those private charts you make under your roofs aimed at inciting Kenyans will be monitored to the letter and our officers will come for you,” warned Nkaissery.
He made it clear that he is the Minister in charge of internal security and not a politician when making such a statement.
“I am fighting for the government and the President to win that coming election because if he is defeated, I will also go home. I do not want to go home,” reiterated Nkaissery.
The announcement by Nkaissery that the State will tap into private phones comes barely two months after the Communications Authority (CA) claimed the state had no such intentions.
The authority was responding to outbursts by Kenyans opposed to the arrangement in February saying the government had no such intentions.
According to the CA, at the time, the Device Management System (DMS), which come into effect on February 21, would be able to detect counterfeit devices in the country and stop SIM Box technology which is illegal in Kenya.
However, reports in local mainstream media suggested that the system would be able to tap into user’s information and the government will have the power to spy on subscribers.
At a press briefing in February, the CA director general, Francis Wangusi, dismissed the allegations and said the system has nothing to do with content or anything that is being transacted on the networks.
“The device has only one way and it is being managed by the Communications Authority of Kenya. The device can only be queried by the mobile subscribers,” he said, adding that there is no way the CA can access subscriber information with the system.
Wangusi explained that the DMS represents the second phase of the device verification process started in 2012 and that was agreed upon by all stakeholders in the industry.
“The authority is in the process of deploying the second phase of the system in order to manage the menace of counterfeit devices,” he said.
The Consumer Federation of Kenya (Cofek) said, at the time, it intended to go to court to challenge the implementation of the system.
Wangusi also said the resistance by some mobile networks is based on the fact that they currently benefit from illegal SIM Box technology and income from counterfeits.
During the Birrika political rally, Nkaissery did not expound on how the state will tap into private conversations except that security agencies have been supplied with the gadgets and are ready to go.
Nkaissery told the people of Kajiado to re-elect President Kenyatta, a Jubilee party governor, senator, Woman representative, MPs and MCAs so as to change their lives for the better.
“I wonder what the current Kajiado governor, David Nkedianye, has been doing with financial allocations in the last four years. If you compare Narok and Kajiado, there is a very big difference in the use of government resources,” claimed Nkaissery.
He claimed that Narok county government has established headquarters, completed stadium and has built a public university on top of the roads that have been built to standard requirements.
Kajiado county headquarters is operating from the Ministry of Planning offices after the governor claimed a land set for county headquarters had been grabbed.
Those who attended the Birrika political rally included; Kajiado West MP Moses Sakuda, National Transport Safety Authority director general Francis Maja and Environment and Natural Resources PS Charles Sunkuli, among other local leaders.