CS Mucheru claims 96pc network coverage ahead of election

Joe Mucheru

Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru during the the KPC Fibre Optic Cable launch at the Nairobi Serena Hotel on April 7, 2022.

Photo credit: Diana Ngila | Nation Media Group

CT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru says the country has attained 96.4 percent of 3G and 4G network coverage to facilitate transmission of election data during the August 9 General Election. The ministry, through the Communications Authority (CA), has partnered with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to ensure steady network connectivity countrywide.

On Friday, Mr Mucheru admitted that 1,111 polling stations lacked network coverage but said 1,500 satellite modems have been installed in all the 290 constituencies for smooth transmission of data.

“IEBC CEO Marjan Hussein Marjan and chairman Wafula Chebukati held a meeting at Bomas of Kenya and confirmed that there is full network coverage. A credible election is delivered by the IEBC and not by the government,” he said.

ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru, former Othaya MP Mary Wambui and Laikipia Governor Ndiritu Muriithi during the burial ceremony of Esther Waitherero, sister to the late former President Mwai Kibaki, in Othaya on July 22, 2022. Photo/ JOSEPH KANYI

Photo credit: Joseph Kanyi I Nation Media Group

Mr Mucheru spoke at St John Bosco Gatuya-ini Catholic Church in Othaya, Nyeri County, during the funeral mass of the late retired President Mwai Kibaki’s sister, Esther Waitherero who died on July 14, 2022 at the age of 115.

He said the government is investigating the arrest of three people working for a firm contracted to deploy technology during the polls were arrested after landing in the country.

The three employees of Smartmatic International B.V. were arrested on arrival at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) from Venezuela, the IEBC said in a statement Thursday evening.

“You cannot carry election materials as personal effects. As a government, we must be vigilant and verify whatever is coming into the country. If you are making a procurement, there is a procedure which should be followed in delivering goods into the country,” Mr Mucheru said.

“You cannot have such items in your luggage. These things must be clarified but I don’t think that the government is trying to do any mischief. The authorities are working on that matter,” he added.

Mourners during the burial of Esther Waitherero, sister to the late former President Mwai Kibaki, in Othaya on July 22, 2022.

Photo credit: Joseph Kanyi I Nation Media Group

The CS urged the mourners to support Azimio La Umoja One Kenya Coalition presidential candidate Raila Odinga, assuring them that he was the ideal person to protect the interests of Mt Kenya region.

“Let us support Raila by at least 10 percent of our votes so that he wins the election. It is not good for us as a community to be left out of the national negotiation table. Let us be part of the government. Five years are so many to be in the opposition and that is why I have decided to tell the truth. I have been given this chance to speak and it is good that I tell you the truth,” said Mr Mucheru amid resistance from the mourners.

President Uhuru Kenyatta led the country in bidding farewell to the centenarian, describing her as a liberation heroine.

“Mama Esther made personal sacrifices towards our hard earned independence. Her passing on is therefore not only a loss to her close family but to the entire country,” President Kenyatta said in a statement.  

President Kenyatta said Ms Waitherero was a selfless and dedicated woman who devoted the prime of her life to the service of the country.

Ms Waitherero was a sister the late Anastacia Wangui, the late Philip Githinji, the late Kinyua Kibaki, the late Benard Ndiritu, the late retired President Mwai Kibaki, the late Margaret Wangari, the late Samuel Githinji, Magdaline Njoki and Lucia Waitherero.
She left behind five generations.

Ms Waitherero used to offer a motherly role in taking care of Mr Kibaki, who was the last born in a family of six. She helped her parents in bringing up Mr Kibaki.

Mr Kibaki, third Kenya’s President, was born to Mr John Kibaki Githinji and Ms Wanjiku Kibaki on November 15, 1931 in Thunguri village in Othaya Sub County in Nyeri County.

Mr Kibaki was buried on April 29 at his home in Othaya where he was accorded full military honours. The late former President was survived by his elder sister – Ms Waitherero – who played a big part in raising him.

Ms Waitherero, a mother of four, led a humble life with her children at Gatuya-ini village.