The year is 2020, the month is April, the date is 1st. Peter Ndegwa, a short man with huge accomplishments take over from the late Bob Collymore at Safaricom PLC.
Boardroom deals is sealed by Michael Joseph, alias Mr 10 per cent.
Whatever transpired to make Joseph accept an African at the helm of Safaricom is a story for another day, but what was shocking is that long serving Safaricom Board Chair Mr Nicholas Nganga was pushed out to create way for Michael Joseph who was suspicious of an all-Kenyan team leading the giant outfit.
But many months later, it appears the managerial set up is worse. The duo of Mr Joseph and Peter Ndegwa at the helm has proved more destructive for the Telco as services, staffing and customer care have become something of a mess.
Many bad things are happening at the Telco as can be seen from client comments online and be heard from complaints offline.
Safaricom started with incessant M-PESA upgrades that took away a lot of fees from the Telco. There’s was to much lost time as week after week, a MPESA update was scheduled.
There have been an increase in the number of fraudulent activities as reported by various clients. Some clients have lost money through shady Okoa Jahazi schemes. Safaricom staff have become bold in colluding with Criminals outside the organisation to defraud MPESA account holders
Cases of data theft have become worse as, staff sell stolen customer data to third-party app that use the data to send annoying adverts.
Read: How police set a trap for Safaricom staff in betting data leak suit
Some managerial decisions by the Telco, such as the pop up message on screens announcing airtime and data levels, irk Kenyans.
Safaricom has been accused of flouting intellectual property laws. There’s never a time when this was widely discussed on Twitter than between 2020 and 2021.
Read: Safaricom taken to court over copyright Infringement
It is after Ndegwa took over that clients started complaining of inefficient customer service by Safaricom agents. In the past, they’d respond to a call in a short period of time, comparatively. However, it is even worse that one has to wait for over 20 minutes to get a resply for a query on the firm’s social media accounts.
Safaricom agents on the Lipa Na MPESA services also complained about getting robbed after Peter Ndegwa took over.
Last September, Cnyakundi.com noted that Safaricom removed the feature for ‘searching’ contacts to send money to on MPESA. We questioned if this was a ploy to make/force smartphone owners to stop using STK and download MPESA app. As things stand now, this seems true.
Read more: Slavery in Kenya: The cry of a Safaricom customer care representative – Cyprian Is Nyakundi
There was also the issue with Safaricom HomeFibre which many people associated with a scam.
A post by blogger Cyprian Nyakundi on the mistreatment of clients at Safaricom service centers on Monday is just one of the pointers to how low the Telco has sunk.
There are many other complaints that show how far this Telco has failed. We’ve just covered some.
Poor management, tribalism and cronyism is failing one of the most consequential firms in Eastern and Central Africa.
Cyprian Nyakundi’s post