Kenya’s National Intelligence Service (NIS) has contracted South Africa’s defence company Milkor to provide it with a social media surveillance system as it seeks to monitor activists and political commentators in the run-up to the 2022 general election.
According to Indigo Publications owned Africa Intelligence, NIS has contracted Milkor to provide the 360 degrees social media and cybersecurity solution to the agency for a period of two years.
The tool is suspected to be targeted at activists, Kenyans online and bloggers who might influence the political space as President Uhuru fights to stop his deputy, William Ruto, from succeeding him.
South Africa’s Milkor is least known for cybersecurity solutions but more for grenade launchers, drones and armoured vehicles.
Milkor‘s two-year contract is the brainchild of National Intelligence Service (NIS) boss Philip Kamweru who is known to be one of the most powerful individuals in the Uhuru’s succession game. Through the influence of Kamweru, President Uhuru has increasingly appointed intelligence operatives to key civilian institutions like Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Immigration Department, National Police Service, Kenya Revenue Authority among others.
While NIS believes to have an upper hand on non-cyber operations, the criticism and challenge of government officers online has seen even President Uhuru Kenyatta deactivate his accounts and rely on institutional accounts to communicate messages.
Key influential figures online like David Ndii, Gathara, Boniface Mwangi, Jerotich Seii among others have continually tried to challenge the narrative of Kenyan government on governance, fight against corruption, race to replace President Uhuru and performance of the government in key sectors.
Powerful and uncoordinated police wings have also been deployed to intimidate and scare bloggers and activists from reporting on matters with terror and other harsh charges being preferred on individuals thought to be daring in the challenge of the government.
President Uhuru Kenyatta might be trying to silence Deputy President William Ruto’s supporters online where they have managed to beat the President’s side in staying ahead of the political propaganda game.
With his contract renewed for another term from August 2019, Philip Kamweru will provide key arsenal in the race to stop William Ruto and ensure that President Uhuru (criticised for being incompetent) has his preferred successor assume the presidency in 2022.
Philip Kamweru is expected to coordinate his actions with the Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI) headed by Major General Said Mohamed Farah, Directorate of Criminal Investigations and other military entities. With a new Chief of Defence Forces having been sworn, all resources will now be channelled towards ensuring that Deputy President William Ruto never becomes President while President Uhuru Kenyatta and his family continue to have a say on Kenya’s leadership beyond 2022.
Major Philip Kamweru is known to have brought a number of his former colleagues in the military to civilian intelligence and also other civilian institutions like the Nairobi Metropolitan Services.
With NIS having deployed a number of 5G powered base stations around it’s Thika Road headquarters and other parts of the city, the intelligence service’s passive monitoring of cyber threats might not be passive for long. Already NIS has gained control over the CCTVs under the National Integrated Command and Control System (ICCS) ensuring that they not only monitor but can actively stop threats or subjects when there is a need.
The ICCS cameras with facial recognition capabilities will be key in the arrest or abduction of individuals thought to be key in challenging President Uhuru’s determination to impose his successor on Kenyans.