Midiwo in another attempt to cut Safaricom’s stranglehold in telco market
Leading communications service provider Safaricom could be spilt into several smaller entities following a new push by Parliament to break the firm’s lead in the financial sector. National Assembly Deputy Minority Leader Jakoyo Midiwo (Gem) is seeking an amendment to the Kenya Information and Communications Act (1998) to have telecommunication companies separate their businesses along lines of service provision.
This will see operators forced to split along several lines including voice carriers, data and Internet service providers and mobile money transfer companies each with separate company accounts and management. The amendment is contained in the omnibus Statute Law (Miscellaneous) Bill that is currently in the third reading.
“Telecommunication companies will have to be split into their different business platforms,” explains Midiwo. “You can’t offer mobile phone services, money transfer and mobile banking at the same time since there are considerations of fair competition and job losses we have to make as legislators.”
Midiwo further explained that telecommunication service providers intending to engage in financial services will have to obtain a fresh licence from the Central Bank of Kenya and be subject under regulation from the same institution.