The government might be hinting on a possibility to shut down the internet during the general elections this year. This is after the Director General, Communication Authority of Kenya, Francis Wangusi revealed that the government has spent Ksh 11Billion on a spectrum monitoring system to monitor unauthorized broadcasts during the elections.
The authority has issued a stern warning to media owners and politicians over misuse of broadcasting networks to facilitate ethnic incite. Wangusi also confirmed that the Communication Authority further spent sh 600 million and Sh400 million on a social media monitoring system and device management system respectively for the purpose of monitoring communication across the country.
The systems put up are justified as tools to prevent Post election violence like were in 2007. The CA has however maintained that the internet will be shut down in the worst case scenario. This comes days after Communication Authority warned against misuse of mobile phones, citing penalties for each offense. That again, is a proactive measure to monitor communication and mobile money transactions during this election year.
As the members of the parliament and the senate burned the midnight oil to vote in the manual backup, Communications authority went ahead to spend sh11 Billion on surveillance systems. Isn’t that contradicting? It almost feels like the government cannot wait to spend money on unnecessary projects. Again, this is not the first time CA is doing this, last year the authority invested Sh400 million on the same.
If the internet is shut, Kenya will join African countries that have done the same for political reasons; Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Morocco, Algeria, Burundi, Libya, Egypt, the Central African Republic, Sudan and Niger.