Some of Kenya’s top-ranking political class are crying foul after waking up to blocked Safaricom SIM cards on Sunday, October 16th. The public figures rushed to social media platforms to vent their frustrations over the inconvenience. The country’s leading telecommunication company blocked their telephone lines in compliance with the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) registration requirements deadline.
Tasked with developing the information and communications sector in the country, the Communications Authority of Kenya had set a country-wide deadline for SIM card registration for Saturday, October 15th. Safaricom customers who failed to follow through had their mobile phone lines blocked at midnight.
Some high-ranking officials who made their frustrations public on social media platforms include Makueni Governor Mutula Kilonzo Junior, Nandi Senator Cherargei, Senior Counsel Ahmednasir Abdullahi, and Charles Kanjama.
“After two and a half decades of being a loyal customer of @Safaricom_Care, they unceremoniously switched off my line this Sunday. Tomorrow I will move to one of the competitors and will never use their services again,” Senior Counsel Ahmednasir Abdullahi said on Twitter.
Makueni Governor Mutula Kilonzo Junior responded to the city lawyer’s tweet, saying, “I suffered the same fate. It took a while to figure out that my line had been barred.”
Senior Counsel Ahmednasir Abdullahi later reported that his barred mobile phone SIM card had been reinstated.
Their followers on the platform had different reactions to the politician’s cries. Some felt it ironic that top brass political leaders and influential lawmakers failed to comply with the simple directive.
The top politicians were not the only casualties. Thousands of Kenyans who failed to follow the directive suffered a similar fate.
Safaricom has been running a campaign to remind its customers to register their SIM cards before the deadline. Those affected got a text message from the company informing them that their mobile phone lines had been suspended.
CA set up the SIM card registration exercise to help weed out fraudsters running illegal activities in the country while masking behind unregistered mobile phone lines. The deadline had been set for April 2022 but later postponed to October 15th to offer clients more time.