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Opinion: Safaricom is complicating SIM Card re-registration

Peter Ndegwa, CEO Safaricom

First of all, I do not support the directive by the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) asking clients of the three Telcos update their SIM card details.

For once, Safaricom should’ve targeted those whose registration details are not properly captured or those whose SIM cards appear to be carrying out suspicious activities.

Kenyans have commended Airtel Kenya and Telkom Kenya for having a simple online platform that captures National ID pictures (front and back), National ID number and mobile phone numbers.

The crux of the matter has been Safaricom PLC.

Safaricom requests clients to visit its official shops, and have their details retaken; however, it doesn’t stop there. Safaricom is also asking that pictures be taken.

READ: Transcend Saga: Safaricom multi-billionaire staff and their subversion of justice

There’s nowhere in the CA directive that allows the taking of pictures

Blogger Cyprian Nyakundi has accused Safaricom of building a surveillance system.

Others have questioned the need to take pictures, adding that Safaricom might be registering people into a kind of Huduma Namba for the government.

Ezra Chiloba, CEO, Communication Authority of Kenya (CA)

Some have even stated that the data collection might be misused during elections.

However, when all is said and done Safaricom is complicating a simple issue.

Yes, some people have registered numbers using other people’s details. This they did when Safaricom hadn’t stolen Obutu Anyona’s Intellectual property, which Safaricom calls ‘Tuwaanike’.

Those people need to be gotten rid of. But there are other ways.

Safaricom’s reasons for not putting up an online portal seem convincing. They say some scammers will take advantage and send phishing links to unsuspecting people and use the information to rob them.

While the above seems convincing, this is the same Safaricom that sells client data to betting firms and other unscrupulous people. The danger, therefore, isn’t even with outside conmen. The enemy is Safaricom Plc staff who have benefited from this data trading and are now billionaires.

Secondly, what is the need for fresh registration yet we register lines while buying them, we’ve been renewing our old lines and we also use MPESA?

Safaricom is complicating a simple thing.

READ: MMC Africa Legal Advice That Could See Safaricom Lose Sh115Trillion In A Data Breach Class Action Suit

The government should stop this exercise, tell us what’s really going on, or find other ways to reign in on the scammers who have registered numbers using other people, mostly deceased ID cards.

The re-registration is a no.

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