Kenya deploys army to guard telecommunication masts ahead of general election

Telecommunication gadgets will play a critical role in ensuring Kenya’s election is free and fair.

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Kenya’s general elections are scheduled to be held on 8 August 2017, where Kenyans would get a chance to democratically elect their preferred candidates through the electronic voting system and the same results relayed electronically to the national tallying center in Nairobi.

Telecommunication gadgets will therefore play a critical role in ensuring Kenya’s election is free and fair as stipulated in the constitution.

Kenyan military will be deployed to protect telecommunication masts in five frontier counties during election to prevent possible disruption of the network that will be used to relay results to the national tallying centre.

Police spokesman, Charles Owino said soldiers have been deployed to Lamu, Tana River, Garissa, Wajir and Mandera.

Mr Owino said deploying the military in risk-prone areas such as Mandera was critical to keeping the masts safe from terrorist incursions that could disrupt communications on polling day, stalling timely transmission of results as required by law.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) plans to electronically transmit the election results by making proper functioning of the network central and aiding the credibility of the polls in the process.

The masks belong to the country’s three telecoms operators namely; Safaricom, Airtel and Telkom Kenya whose networks will be used to transmit the results.

The exercise does not come cheap and will cost taxpayers Sh1.5 billion ($14 million as already allocated to the Department of Defence in the financial year 2017/2018.

Al-Shabab terrorists have in the past attacked police posts and destroyed communication masts in Mandera and Wajir, cutting communication between police officers stationed in the region before retreating to their Somalia base.

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