A lady who participated in the Safaricom Bonyeza na Ushinde promotion but did not win anything has taken her complain to the Senate. Ms Lucy Kache Ngao has asked senators to investigate the activities of the mobile network service provider to find out if its lotteries are indeed genuine competitions or mere fleece traps.

Ms Ngao’s petition was tabled yesterday by Senator Emma Mbura, the Star reports. She says through media campaigns she was made to believe she would be an instant millionaire if she participated in the Bonyeza Ushinde na Safaricom promotion, which was held from August 7 to October 5 last year and from November 7 last year to January 5 this year.

Entries sent through SMS were charged at a premium rate, though she does not disclose how much she invested in the lottery. Senate Speaker Ekwee Ethuro ordered an investigation into whether money raised in lotteries, especially by foreign-owned companies, is repatriated out of the country and report back in 60 days.

Mbura said some lotteries are a means to fleece poor Kenyans of their hard-earned money.  “We need to p***e all these lottery competitions from different companies afresh. Some are too good to be true, thus attracting desperate and unsuspecting Kenyans,” she told the Star on the phone on Wednesday.

Ethuro said the petition raises important issues and ordered the Standing Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights to take up the matter. He said issues include appropriate regulatory framework for gaming control and licensing and the need for reform to address the new medium of gaming, such as mobile phones.

Ethuro said the public needs to be educated on gaming and lotteries and their effects on participants. Ethuro said the Senate should come up with laws to regulate the industry at both the national and county level.

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