Customers outside a Safaricom shop. The push to have Kenyans register their SIM cards again is rubbing many the wrong way. [Photo/ Nyongesa Sande]
Customers outside a Safaricom shop. The push to have Kenyans register their SIM cards again is rubbing many the wrong way. [Photo/ Nyongesa Sande]

Kenya’s largest telco Safaricom finds itself on the receiving end of criticism from a large section of its customers over the push to have subscribers register their SIM cards afresh.

The push follows a directive communicated by the Communications Authority. CA Director-General Ezra Chiloba had warned that those who fail to register their lines face fines of Ksh300,000 or six-month jail terms.

Aside from those questioning the legality of the process in its entirety, others observed that it is already a requirement for SIM cards to be registered with a National ID upon purchase – posing the question why the current exercise is necessary.

Safaricom also caught some flak for requiring its millions of subscribers to visit a Safaricom shop or d****r to complete the registration. Its biggest rival Airtel, for instance, is allowing customers to complete the entire process online.

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Many Kenyans online highlighted the irony of Safaricom, Kenya’s biggest tech company, being unable to offer online registration. Among those who took on the telco are Kenya’s Ambassador to the UK Manoah Esipisu and tech thought leader Sheila Birgen, among several others.

Safaricom’s customer care channels were flooded with enquiries and complaints from concerned customers over the directive.

Sample some of the reactions below;

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