Computers that were donated to Kenyan MPs from China were intercepted by the National Intelligence Service (NIS) over suspected bugging, Kahawa Tungu has learnt.
According to reports, NIS officials suspected that the computers were to be used as spy tools against the MPs over several projects funded by China that had caused jitters.
The Director of Criminal Investigation George Kinoti said that the matter was under scrutiny, and they would divulge more details with time.
“The matter is under our jurisdiction to get to the bottom of everything and once we are through, we shall give out full details. We are up to the task to get to the bottom of it.” Kinoti said as quoted by People Daily.
According to reports by the paper, Kenyan intelligence chiefs believe the equipment may have been intended to monitor MPs’ debates and discussions on the divisive China-Kenya relations issue, especially on the mega-projects financed by Beijing.
“We are looking at a possibility that some people in China may have become worried by the concerns being raised by some politicians about some of the mega projects they are undertaking in Kenya and thus saw the need to monitor such talk through eavesdropping. This would enable them to determine how to counter such concerns,” a highly placed source in the security circles said.
The donations included 46 laptops, five projectors and four cameras.
Last week, the container delivering the goods arrived at the parliament premises empty. In a statement on Wednesday last week, National Assembly clerk Michael Sialai confirmed that the delivery arrived on Tuesday but upon the opening of the container seals, it was confirmed to have been empty.
The offer to donate the goods was made during a visit by the Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China and a delegation of Chinese officials on April 13 in Nairobi.
In response, the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China said it was shocked to learn of the developments, considering that no such a thing has happened before.
“Over the years the Chinese side has made friendly donations to our Kenyan brothers and sisters, including medical apparatus, office equipment, food aid, etc, and they have all been delivered safe and sound. Among them seem office equipment donated and delivered to the Parliament in 2018. Therefore this is the first time such thing has ever happened, ” the embassy said in a statement.
However, China expressed its confidence in the Kenyan government authorities in resolving the matter.
“We notice that the National Assembly has informed the Directorate of Criminal Investigations to handle the matter, and believe that with the professionalism of DCI this matter will be resolved and equipment recovered with their intervention. With unwavering commitment to the bilateral friendship, the Chinese side will continue with our support to our Kenyan brothers and sisters. ”