Safaricom could pay out Ksh449 million in what is set to be the largest fine issued by the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) against a telecommunications operator in the history of the country.

The fine from CA is levied upon Kenya’s biggest telco for failing to connect smaller firms, Reuters reported on Monday.

The international media agency reported that documents in their possession revealed that Safaricom was being accused by a rival firm for blocking calls to its network. CA also said the giant telco had failed to respond to queries over the complaint from Elige Communications.

CA wrote to Safaricom on August 1 saying it considered the giant telco’s behaviour as  “an act of blatant disregard of not only other licensees’ rights but also the Authority’s directives and in contravention of license conditions.”

Safaricom then responded two days later denying any accusation of non-compliance with the regulator and said Elige Communications was flouting its licence conditions by carrying international traffic instead of local calls.

The giant telco has also secured a temporary suspension of the fine pending a hearing before an industry tribunal.

Neither Safaricom nor Elige Communications has yet to comment on the matter.

According to Reuters, Safaricom’s share price dropped to Ksh27.75 after news of the fine.

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The Ksh449 million fine is estimated to cover 0.2% of Safaricom’s gross revenue for the last financial year.

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