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POLITICAL GOSSIP

State to snoop on WhatsApp calls to curb violence

Team to check conversations via encrypted social media platform's call function

In Summary

• Many Kenyans use WhatsApp to share messages they wouldn't want third parties to access. 

• In the purge and shakeup of parliamentry committee leaders, was the competency of loyalists ever a factor? A couple of high-profile incompetents is raising eyebrows.

Kenyan WhatsApp call users will no longer enjoy the benefit of secrecy.
STATE SNOOPS: Kenyan WhatsApp call users will no longer enjoy the benefit of secrecy.
Image: FILE:

Are you making phone calls through WhatsApp (pictured), thinking it is safe from snoops and scrutiny by security agencies? Well, think again, especially if you make incendiary remarks regarding the 2022 politics. It appears that going forward, you will have ever-present company on your lines. A little bird whispers to Corridors of Power the state has acquired multi-million shilling equipment to monitor such encrypted calls. These are calls made via WhatsApp and other apps with encryption functionality. A dedicated team has been assigned to monitor conversations round the clock  in attempts to thwart any violence planned before, during or after the 2022 General Election.

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A head of a professional association is whispered to be using his powerful position to do the political bidding of the Tangatanga wing of the Jubilee Party. The man is reportedly being used by the faction to scuttle the handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga. The mission is to defeat any cause the President takes up in efforts to deliver his agenda. A mole whispers to Corridors of Power the man’s activities are facilitated from sources whose main agenda is to frustrate the President. He is said to work closely with a powerful politician from Lower Eastern. 

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A personal assistant assigned to the chairman of a parastatal in the Ministry of Agriculture has become a nightmare for staff members in the organisation. Reason? The man is said to have become an extortionist par excellence. The youthful man has perfected the art of creating the fear of possible mass transfers of staff from the Nairobi-based headquarters. He then approaches terrified staff and says that due to his influence with the chairman, he can sweet talk him into cancelling the transfers. However, the staff members are  expected to part with huge amounts of money, as much as Sh40,000. Who will come to their rescue?

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That changes in the leadership of parliamentary committees were driven by political motives is no longer a question. What is worrying some concerned lawmakers is whether competency was factored into the replacements. Corridors has overheard a group of MPs lamenting about the persistent truancy of two leaders—the chairperson and the deputy—of a crucial National Assembly committee. The duo is barely around when their attention is sought on matters raised with Speaker Justin Muturi. Their colleagues say it was time the two were called out, despite the fact they probably assume incompetence is protected by powerful people in government who value loyalty over service to the people.