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“Robbery without violence” – Parliament to probe Safaricom’s expiry of data bundles, airtime and bonga points

ICT Cabinet Secretary, Eliud Owalo

Parliament, through the National Assembly Committee on Communications, Information, and Innovation, is set to summon ICT Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo to explain the move by Safaricom to impose an expiry limit on some of its service offerings.

The services to be probed include expiry of data bundles, airtime and the recently communicated Bonga points.

Kamkunji MP Yusuf Hasan also raised an issue of internet throttling, where the rogue Telco, as per our research, has been engaged in limiting data speeds especially on its Sh20 – 1GB per hour offering.

“We need to protect Kenyan Internet consumers who are exploited by IPs and telcos over the expiry of data bundles before they can deplete it, and deliberately reduce Internet speeds,” Hassan said.

Lawmakers say Kenya should learn from the South African experience where the telecoms regulator in 2019 issued new rules that demand operators must let customers roll over unused data at no cost.

READ: Senator Godfrey Osotsi: You must again put the Interior Ministry to task over Safaricom’s theft of Transcend Media Intellectual Property

Parliament now wants the ICT Cabinet Secretary, Eliud Owalo, to explain the rationale behind the imposition of expiry dates on the services.

Ainabkoi MP Samuel Chepkonga described the expiry of data bundles as “robbery without violence” and demanded that the ICT committee summon the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA), the ICT Cabinet Secretary and telecommunications firms Safaricom, Airtel, Telkom Kenya and ISPs.

Hogwash

This week Safaricom introduced an expiry date on Bonga Points in a bid to encourage redemption and unlock the underlying revenue that totalled Sh4.5 billion as of march this year.

This we take as hogwash, nonsense, balderdash.

The listed telco has told subscribers that all unredeemed Bonga points will now be expiring after three years, meaning that those accumulated before December 31, 2019, will expire effective January 1, 2023.

 


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