Microsoft shuts down government websites over ‘debt’
Key government ICT services have been disrupted for the last two days over alleged unsettled debts to Microsoft Azure.
At least ten websites of key ministries, counties, departments and agencies remain inaccessible as a result of the deadlock, blocking service delivery to millions of Kenyans.
Microsoft Azure, a cloud computing service, manages the data center of the websites.
The amount of debt owed is not yet clear but is thought to be significant enough to prompt the Microsoft-owned service to opt for a shutdown of the websites.
Officials at the Information, Communication and Technology ministry attribute the deadlock to licensing and maintenance issues.
Among the ministries and departments affected include Ministry of Lands, Ministry of Labour, Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Mining and Petroleum, Ministry of East Africa Community and the Immigration Department.
“The page you are trying to access is currently stopped and does not accept requests,” the websites read when one tries to access them.
The ICT ministry issued a statement and apologised for the inconvenience caused. It said it was working towards restoring services.
“Some Government of Kenya websites are down and the ICT Authority is working round the clock to ensure that the issue is urgently resolved and normal services resumed,” the statement said.
“The ICT Authority apologises to its valued customers for any inconvenience caused.”
Sources who spoke to NTV said there exists contractual differences between Microsoft and the Kenyan government.