Mr Rigathi Gachagua, speaking in Kikuyu dialect, made sensitive comments touching on Safaricom's business. [ Photo / pd.co.ke ]

A statement making rounds on Twitter allegedly from Safaricom has been found to be fake. The statement started circulating after Kenya Kwanza coalition running mate Rigathi Gachagua made comments regarding the telecommunications giant on a breakfast show at Inooro FM.

Gachagua, Deputy President William Ruto’s presidential running in the 9th August  general elections, is reported to have said the United Democratic Alliance government would close down Safaricom since it is benefitting only a few people.

In a clip reviewed by Business Today Rigathi Gachagua, speaking in Kikuyu dialect, says, “Instead of having one big company like Safaricom paying most of the taxes, if you take that amount of money from such a company and redistribute it to many people so that they each pay a bit…”

The statement was picked by popular blogger Robert Alai on his Twitter account with over 800 retweets. Other users also picked up the statement.

The statement condemns Gachagua remarks “in the strongest terms possible” and listed five points indicating Safaricom’s roles and benefits to the Kenyan economy including being the most valuable company in the region and employing over 5,500 people directly and over 500,000 indirectly including 247 agents.

The statement talks of M-Pesa and how earnings from the mobile money service have grown and points out at Safaricom’s CSR projects in all 47 counties.

It concludes: “It is therefore inconceivable that anybody would make remarks that would seek to destroy a beautiful Kenyan story that Safaricom as a brand represents in Kenya and beyond. We call for sobriety and restraint from our leaders by urging them to avoid making statements that do not inspire confidence among businesses and investors.”

Fact-check on the statement indicated that while Gachagua made the remarks, Safaricom did not issue the statement in response. Safaricom on its Twitter account disowned the statement and flagged it as FAKE, saying, “please note that all our official communication is shared through our verified social media channels.”

Another giveaway that it is not a genuine statement is that it was not signed by any Safaricom official.

VERDICT: Statement on Safaricom letterhead responding to Gachagua’s comment is Fake as it as it been disowned by Safaricom.

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