Safaricom has announced a planned increase in pricing for its M-Pesa mobile money tariffs as well as phone call rates, fibre and SMS charges. The changes are lined up with new provisions contained in the Finance Act 2023. The announcement by Safaricom comes a day after the Court of Appeal lifted an order issued in June suspending the implementation of the controversial act.
A three-judge bench lifted the suspension placed on June 30 pending the determination of an appeal filed by Treasury Cabinet Secretary Prof. Njuguna Ndung’u. Ndung’u had told the Court that the State was losing half a billion shillings per day since implementation of the act was halted.
Safaricom announced that it will review pricing across its key services to reflect new excise duty rates.
“We will be reviewing our call, sms, data, fibre and M-pesa pricing to reflect the increase in excise duty rates on fees charged on mobile money transfers services from 12 per cent to 15 per cent,” the telecommunications firm said.
The firm further stated that it would consider the decrease in the excise duty rate on Telecommunication services from 20 per cent to 15 per cent.
Safaricom told customers that detailed pricing information on all its products could be found on its website, through its USSD codes and M-Pesa agents.
A raft of tax hikes contained in the Finance Act, including an increase in VAT on fuel, and a new housing levy, had stoked widespread public anger and fueled anti-government protests led by the opposition coalition Azimio.
Busia Senator Okiya Omtatah filed a petition seeking to have the act thrown out on grounds that some of its provisions were unconstitutional, leading to the temporary suspension of its implementation. Omtatah has maintained that the act should be quashed in its entirety.
“We will not give up until the Finance Act 2023 is entirely quashed by the court because it contains provisions which are parallel to the Constitution,” Omtatah maintained on Friday, July 28.