Word in the International Security grapevine and circles has it that president Uhuru Kenyatta has been duped more than twice on landmark Security deals since 2013 turning Kenya into a laughing stock as Local and International companies and brokers pocket billions of shillings in the deals.
It all started with the coming of Jubilee government into power. Novice and green in office, President Uhuru was alive to the fact that security will be one of the areas that needed immediate attention.
Cahorts and International brokers had been camping at Ministry of Internal Security and Office of the President with hundreds of pages of proposals on how to tackle the security situation.
One such clique of â€˜Solution providersâ€™ was IBM led by its in-country commander in-chief Nick Nesbit. Nesbit had been a friend to the President way before he came to power, and its rumoured they schooled together at one time. Story for another day.
Jackpot Engineer-in-chief Nesbit & co allegedly devised a way to make a kill from the goodwill enjoyed from the house on the hill. Together with Fred Gumoâ€™s Son and others, they managed to convince OP and statehouse that IBM can deliver an end-to-end solution that covers Video Surveillance, Data Centre, Call Centre, Video Analytics among others.
This was to come at a small fee of $10M. Do your own conversion to Kenya shillings. It’s pretty huge.
IBM will eventually be paid $8M upfront to hasten the delivery of this critical Security Infrastructure with the promise that it will go live before the Kenya@50 celebrations.
It was a critical deliverable as the country expected many Heads of State to attend.
Two years down the line, it is alleged IBM never delivered the system despite the huge payments from public coffers. Only thing delivered is a small Toyota Noah mounted with two cameras parked at Jogoo house, probably costing Kes. 1M.
As they say, the rest is history.
Despite repeated efforts and concerted efforts from National Police Service to have the TORs adhered to, IBM buried its head in the sand and never flinched. To date, the NPS accepted and moved on.
To alleged public con number two. Whilst the above was ongoing on, another cartel led by Safaricom, tired of fleecing the subscriber directly, decided to eat life with a big spoon. I will show you how poor you are by looking at the next few billions.
Having noted that IBM has eaten their share, and will not be able to deliver the solution, Safaricom led by Secretary of Delivery Nzioka Waita (then in Safaricom), Bob Collymore, Ronnie Osumba and other heavy hitters were fighting their way into the lucrative sector.
To make their proposal Juicy, they promised to deliver the solution together with Huawei at no upfront cost to government. The government was to to do some kind of batter trade with LTE License fee, and ofcourse the government pay the balance.
The deal was to provide Command centre, LTE Radios, and countrywide CCTV Surveillance with Video Analytics at a cost of KES. 15B. To date the details on the contract entered between Safaricom and GoK are silent on Video Analytics essentially rendering the cameras installed all over virtually useless and no usefull than VHS tape recorded images where one has to rewind, forward etc to view video at certain time/place.
To make matters more complicated, Safaricom will only store data for 15days. Older data has to be paid for separately. Safaricom will also install the cameras in Nairobi and Mombasa only thereby opening a chance to charge the government more for other cities.
Basically the government security will be run by safaricom and GoK will have no control, even though NPS is the user. Safaricom brokers have also pitched tent from Statehouse and OP to Min of Interior in order to sell Video analytics to the government as separate project at a cost of KES. 3B.
The team that made this happen seconded their own Nzioka Waita to watch over Delivery and sign-offs as a government employee. Uhuru appointed Waita secretary for delivery! Imagine!
With the 2,500 Cameras being installed in Nairobi and Mombasa only, Safaricom has sold GoK each camera at approximately Kes. 4.5M. Factoring connectivity etc.
This is the biggest ICT fraud in East, south and Central Africa. As the Son of Jomo sits on the throne with head held high on new developments in the security sector, seeing camera installed on the streets etc, he should note that his government has cost Kenyans a lot of money in these two dubious procurements.
Soon, NPS, being bystanders in both procurements, will accept and move on waiting for the next scandal. But how long will this go on?