6 November 2017

Kenya: Raila Odinga 'To Ditch' Safaricom and Adopt Airtel

Photo: Nairobi News
Nasa MPs after addressing journalists at Okoa Kenya offices in Nairobi on November 03, 2017.

National Super Alliance (Nasa) leader Raila Odinga is set to ditch services offered by Safaricom this afternoon.

Mr Odinga says he will migrate to Airtel as the reality of his call for boycott of firms he accuses of supporting Jubilee regime starts to sink in.


Mr Odinga is expected to migrate at 4pm as he visits an Airtel store on Koinange Street accompanied by a host of Nasa MPs, according to Nasa CEO Norman Magaya.

Last week, Nasa listed Safaricom, Bidco and Brookside as some of the firms whose products and services their supporters should boycott for allegedly supporting entrenchment of the dictatorship.

"We will resist the products of these companies because they are beneficiaries of the regime that killed people in this country," said Suna East MP Junet Mohamed.

Safaricom denied and dismissed Nasa's accusations of aiding rigging of the August 8 General Election.

Bidco and Brookside are yet to react.

250,000 SHOPS

Mr Odinga's migration came on the day Safaricom dealers warned the livelihoods of at least one million Kenyans would be directly affected if the opposition boycotts their products.

Safaricom Dealers Association, which said it has already started feeling the pinch of the boycott, on Monday said its members were bound to lose business due to the boycott call.

Mr Jerim Ouko, a director of the association, said the businesses of more than 400 dealers and more than 250,000 small M-Pesa outlets were bound to suffer.

A dealer refers to those who issue out M-Pesa lines and control vast regions, while small outlets refer to the shops where ordinary Kenyans do their everyday M-Pesa transactions.

"These are your brothers and sisters. They have families to feed and children to educate. Already, there are too many of us Kenyans who are unemployed," he said.

While distancing themselves from allegations made by opposition leaders that Safaricom may have played a role in the August 8 botched presidential poll, they said they just want things to go back to normal.

"We are also treating that as an allegation and we leave it at that since can't confirm that Safaricom was involved or not,: said Mrs Esther Muchemi, the chairperson of the dealers.


The opposition has refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of President Kenyatta's re-election even after he was declared winner in the repeat election.

Nasa is still claiming fraud in the election, which was shunned by its supporters.

The Safaricom dealers said they had not been in touch with the other flagged companies, but were reaching out to politicians to stop hurting the economy.

"I am personally not a supporter of any economic sabotage. I'd advocate for Kenyans and politicians to build new businesses and institutions and please stop destroying what we have already built," Mrs Muchemi said.

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