Safaricom Vs Airtel in Parliament

Posted on February 16, 2011

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Only a day after Safaricom Limited managers gave a presentation to a parliamentary committee on the price wars, Members of Parliament picked up the storm.

During the Prime Ministers’ question time in the house, MP Charles Kilonzo raised the issue seeking answers from Mr Odinga on the price wars.

Giving a detailed report from the Kenya Revenue Authority, Mr Odinga indicated that revenue from mobile tariffs had indeed dropped during the second quarter of the 2010/2011 financial year. This he added was projected to decline further at the end of this financial year

However as more MP’s piled pressure on the PM to state the government’s position on this was he was quick to add “The time has come for Safaricom to face competition,”

Among the MPs who sought answers was Ikolomani’s Bonny Khalwale who cited countries where pricing model similar to Airtels had caused havoc.

Some of the countries he mentioned like Uganda and DRC had featured prominently on Safaricoms’ presentation to the house committee the previous day. Dr Khalwale also accussed the PM and Information minister Samuel Poghisio for ignoring PS Ndemos advice on the price wars

Mr Odinga however asked the members of parliament to let the country have “healthy capitalist competition” to thrive and not to be “agents” to bring price wars between mobile phone operators to the floor of the house.

 

P.S Safaricom has indicated that they were invited to the parliamentary committee and did not take themselves there on Tuesday. They also say that they did not ask parliament to protect them from Airtel Kenya but gave their view on the pricing model the rival has adopted

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