ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru has said that the bill in Parliament seeking to split Safaricom is “not one of the aims that the government supports”.
Addressing dignitaries and delegates at the 2017 Nairobi Innovation Week today at the University of Nairobi, CS Mucheru said the proposed amendments seeks to punish country’s biggest telecoms operator, Safaricom for its innovations efforts and discourage investments.
“This bill will Kenya a very unattractive destination for tech companies that want to come and innovate. We will not support it,” he said.
The proposed legislation is sponsored by the National Assembly Deputy Minority leader Jakoyo Midiwo.
In the anticipated amendments, seeks to amend the communication and banking laws so as to Safaricom, which is 40 percent owned by Britain’s Vodafone into two entities.
Midiwo who is also Gem MP reckons that Safaricom has been offering banking services without the necessary authorisation and now he wants the telecom to run M-Pesa as a separate business from the telecoms service.
The Lawmakers amendments to the law will put to a vote next week after the debate.
“That is not the way to go, it totally contravenes what we advocate for, let the operators decide if they want to spin off parts of their businesses but they should not be dictated,” Mucheru explained.
Safaricom-co owned by Vodafone is by far the biggest telecoms firm in Kenya. It has 26 million subscribers and dominates the thriving mobile-based financial services sector with its innovative M-Pesa platform.
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