Kenya’s political opposition is asking supporters to stop using M-Pesa mobile money
A week after Kenya’s opposition leader Raila Odinga lost the repeat presidential election, he walked into a crowded phone shop by telecommunications company Airtel Kenya in Nairobi’s central business district.
Surrounded by a throng of supporters chanting “resist,” Odinga was there to officially cancel his Safaricom line and migrate to Airtel. Before his withdrawal from the Oct. 26 election redo, Odinga had accused Safaricom of committing electoral malpractice during the results transmission. Both operators along with Telkom Kenya were hired to provide connectivity between polling stations and the electoral commission’s national tallying center in the Aug. 8 elections. But during the repeat vote, only Safaricom was retained to transmit poll results.
After president Uhuru Kenyatta was declared winner, the opposition National Super Alliance (NASA) coalition said it would put in place a program for an economic boycott targeting companies aligned with the government and the ruling Jubilee party. Just as he urged his supporters to quit the vote, Odinga now called on them to cancel their subscriptions with the country’s biggest mobile operator and to not purchase dairy products from Brookside and cooking oils from Bidco.
Photo courtesy of Erik (HASH) Hersman.