List of Government, M-Pesa services that have been disrupted

Customers get M-Pesa services at a shop in Nairobi. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

A number of government and telecommunications firm, Safaricom services are currently experiencing downtime.

A spot check by The Standard on Thursday afternoon, July 27 revealed that several Safaricom and Mpesa application services have been disrupted including Lipa na Mpesa service, Mshwari, Bank to Mpesa service, and the Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) USSD code used for payment of electricity tokens.

A KPLC customer trying to pay earlier on Thursday got this response: “Transaction failed, M-PESA cannot complete payment of Ksh2000.00 to KPLC PREPAID. The Organization's system receiving the payment experienced some technical challenges, try again later.”

The breakdown seems to have taken more effect on users as customers complain of their inability to access some services.

The Ministry of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs on July 27, confirmed that there was a challenge in the government e-citizen platform that could affect airline onboard travellers destined to Kenya.

“The Ministry presents its complements to all Diplomatic Missions and International Organizations in Kenya and has the honour to inform that there is currently a challenge in the Government e-citizen platform, which is impacting processing of e-visa. Therefore, travelers will be issued visa upon arrival at all entry points to Kenya,” the statement read in part.

Kenyans were outraged on Thursday with some questioning if the official government website has been hacked.

But, Cabinet Secretary for Ministry of Information, communication and Digital Economy Eliud Owalo confirmed that the e-Citizen platform was indeed hacked.

“Yes, the eCitizen platform was hacked and we are addressing it. They tried jamming the system by making more than ordinary requests to the system. However, no data has been accessed or lost,” Owalo said in an interview with Spice FM.

According to Owalo, the hackers began by slowing the system down and then tried to break into it but were unable to.

The government recently revamped the e-Citizen service to accommodate over 5,000 services from one hundred plus ministries, State departments, and county governments.

The breakdown has affected a number of services including the application of birth certificates, business registrations, marriage certificates, passports, and certificates of good conduct among others.

Kenyans took to social media to express their disappointment in accessing the services.

“I can’t access M-cop, it isn’t working. I am unable to pay for services as usual because M-pesa is down,” a journalist told The Standard.