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Monday, March 17, 2008

Safaricom Introduces 20 Bob Scratch Card As Government Continues To Ignore The Masses

Although it has not officially been announced sources on the ground inform me that Safaricom agents started selling Kshs 20 (approx US 30 cents) scratch cards today.

Is it any wonder that Michael Joseph’s company is the most profitable outfit in East and Central Africa and probably beyond? And if you want to know their secret, it is really very simple. They listen to the common man and they don’t just listen, they act.

This is in sharp contrast to the political class who have no interest in the common man at all. In fact it is ion their best interests if the ordinary folk remain as poor as possible so that they can bribe them to vote them back into power when the elections come round again.

Ironically on the same day that 20 bob scratch cards were introduced there were running battles along Jogoo road where matatu touts and drivers went on strike over the inadequate facilities at the new matatu terminus in Muthurwa which was created when the government banned matatus from entering the CBD. One protestor interviewed by a local TV station put everything into perspective rather neatly. He said that there were many homes where there were at least 3 private cars. One for the husband, another for the wife and a third one to take children to school. So what was the logic of banning matatus from the CBD? It was better to ban private vehicles. He added that the government should realize that matatus served the majority whom they should take care of.

That simple logic awed me.

Now my question is simple. Will ODM’s enmtry into government change the way government does things? Will ODM succeed where ODM-K failed because I do not hear Kalonzo Musyoka talking about a 24 hour economy and the creation of jobs for ordinary Kenyans. If he fears getting fired...

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Anonymous said...

If Michael Joseph can understand the common man, why not Kenyatta?

Uhuru Kenyatta has demonstrated why he MUST NEVER be permitted to rule this country.

The man, born with a silver spoon in his mouth, is totally out of touch with the masses.

Anonymous said...

Chris, you are asking a laughable question-will ODMs entry into Government change the way Government does things? the answer is obviously no!
ODMs influence in Government is minimal and waning for one reason-COMPROMISE they will not be able to be as effective now that they have been swalloed up in the machine
All the grand plans they had while they were campaigning have now become shelved pipe dreams, and once again elite political balance has been restored in the equation that leaves us the mwananchi poorer but grinning and bearing it all
the active hardworking population of Kenya is being exploited...but not for the benefit of the country
face the facts Chris....Kenya is not going anywhere with the current set of leaders governing it. Wait until 2010 is my best advice

Kenyan Revelations said...

I had a dream last night, a bad dream indeed. Kibaki named his expanded coalition cabinet and notably missing from that cabinet was a minister whose PA was nabbed red-handed receiving a bribe to nominate criminals to City Hall.

For a man who has never boarded a ma3 all his life, Uhuru does not understand what people are feeling. He needs to be abandoned by the Kenya Express to the promised land. Hopeless warlord, this drunken-looking son of Jomo.

-Kenya Revelations-

Anonymous said...

Kenyan politicians and governing bodies like ECK and the likes,have no shame whatsoever.I wonder what these people tell their children when having a family dinner????

Anonymous said...

Luke, you may be correct BUT... not discount the constitutional changes (including majimbo and beginning with the dilution of the executive's power this week) and other reforms Kenya will undergo in the intervening years.

The reforms will lay the groundwork for future economic growth and equity.


Proud Kikuyu Woman said...

Great, now we agree that Safaricom indeed is a great company and has not been making unfair profits like you guys claimed right here not so long ago. Coz if I had been waiting for the government to sell me a land-line phone when I got my Safaricom line,I might still be waiting today. That on top of the poor service for which I'd still be billed.
Government should be able to do very well though. What with all aspiring presidents who were making all those promises a few months ago on the campaign trail essentially being the most powerful guys in one government? Let them pool all their ideas together and deliver.
1) Equitable distribution of resources, starting with wao wenyewe
2) Economy indelee kukua waKenya tuendele kujivunia
3) 24-hour economy.
Now who can beat that? Seriously

kalamari said...

Mr. Danny Waweru,

While I could be farthest from the truth, your various literally quotations seem to suggest that you are currently crammed in the backroom of some obscure British library of old tales. Not to say that yours are diffusing the whole intention of ‘blogs’ but you seem destined to take us away from our 9-5 jobs. You see, had I the time to peruse thru the chapter of ‘Divide and Rule’ (Nowrojee) that you aptly quote, I would be out of a job. Then again, for lack of research time, whose to say whether you, or for that matter Nowrojee himself is right.

The point is, while Anderson, Akiwumi and ‘Njoroge from down the way’ are impeccable sources of quotations, my ultimate goal in tickling your fancy is trying to understand what you, Mr. Danny Boy Njoroge is thinking.

While I’m sure you have never written a book and will therefore never be quoted in heaven or earth, I would like to know your point of view on the skinless skulls disposed by the likes of Mungiki alongside the alleyways of Kibera.

Welcome to Kumekucha

kalamari said...

Back on topic. Chris, Safaricom is actually the ultimate beneficiary of this whole Ksh 20 scratch card shenanigan.

You see, unless the underlying fees associated with obtaining, maintaining and using the Ksh 500 or higher scratch card are relatively lower than those of catching a Ksh 20 worth of talk with Shikwekwe, this thing is really not for the benefit of the mwanainchi.

The reality is that such ‘works of art’ truly work for the benefit of the common man only when they are actually tangible commodities….like miniscule Colgate.

This other stuff is called stringing the bait in India.

demogod said...

First & Foremost Kenya has ome of the worst political class in the world, I would compare them with Myanmar generals but in "suits". Instead of making our government more efficient and accountable to the masses, the bloody politicians are busy enriching themselves and their families in broad daylight.

What's the point of having matatus being banned in the CBD? The problem lies in the road networks around and in the city, and there is no control of the car population in Kenya. The road networks are never upgraded and when things seem so bad, the govt tries to find a quick fix solution. We do not have a government that plans for the future.

The way to get this whole issue of congestion sorted out is to invest in upgrading our infrastructure, impose tolls within and around CBD, and make people use public transport within the CBD. However, the public transport needs to be streamlined with certain measures in place for cleanliness, order, safety etc.

Our young and able population is definately not beng utilized the way it should because our politicians do not have the mindset to change the way things work in Kenya. We need a political class that is for the people and is fully accountable to people, and we should have all our MPs 7 Cabinet Ministers put on a performance measure package. If they do not deliver the services or results, they should be fired like any CEO or Director ofthe company.

Kenyans now have to take certains things in their own hands, and make sure that the tax payers money is fully accountable, used to build Kenya and grow the income levels of Kenyans. Kenya should never be for the elite, this is a big mistake we keep on making where we harbor "idiots" within the government who just want to enrich themselves.

If Raila & ODM had promised on changing Kenya then they should do as they say, there should be no compromise on that front. If Raila falls into the trap of power brokering and egos, he should be booted out. There is no time for playing games iwth Kenyans. Kenyans deserve to see their lifes changed for the better, we as a country have everything that anyone can ask for, yet we are still poor.

A country like Singapore with a population of 4 million people and no natural resources, is one of the richest countries in the world with a GNP Per capita of US$30K+, and reserves of 1/2 a triallion dollars. What makes it work, its simple leadership. Although it may be called a dictatorship by some in the western media, the important thing is the government delivers results to the people year in year out, and have made sure that every Singaporean has a roof over their heads.

Why can Kenya with a huge manpower resource, natural resources, vast land mass, ports, etc etc cannot become like Singapore? Pure & Simple - change the leadreship to reflect the needs of our people, and make them accountable....

I hope and pray that our young leaders of tomorrow have the dedication to change the stereotypes and take Kenya to a new path of prosperity to the masses.

Anonymous said...

For one i want to agree with Kalamari, what has it got to do with the common man...If they dont reduce the calling rate...That is about 6 SMS's only....Compared to CELTEL pamoja tariif where you talk for a cool 20 minutes and that is not propaganda...It is happening the one bob per minute imevuma...If Michael Joseph reads Kumekucha tell him to reduce the call charges and that will also enable my shosho to call me and thereby make me buy the 20 bob scratch card otherwise ni bure, and i am not pessimistic here....For example tarrific tarrif is 10/ per minute off peak from 6:00 pm to 6:00am, during peak hours is about 28/- per minute so if i need to call from 7:00 am in the morning it will not serve me....

The irony in life is that....right here in Kenya some people dont have water to drink whereas in primary school i was taught in science that water is life, i was a very sad kenyan to watch news on KTN on sato night where they showed in NEP, i think it was in Wajir or Mandera whereby a family is given 20 litres of water per month, and the likes of Kimi yapps about some imaginary 7% economic growth or was it not supposed to be felt in North Eastern? This govt this time round MUST and i repeat MUST work for the common man...Which is better a country of 100 millionaires or a nation where a million people are fed? Wasipofanya kazi wembe ni ule ule...I hear nowadays ni machete or how else do you explain yester years reformers like Mukhisa and Muite being defeated hands down?


Anonymous said...

Why not go further and appreciate our very local Equity Bank, "your listening and caring financial partner.." Unfortunately whatever it does, Safaricom/con will always be associated with powerful ghosts of Mobitelea, the showdy outfit that owns a substancial stake in the company. Then again, they go about blighting our small towns with their tasteless logos of green and white. Let's not even talk about their poor network service and constant line congestion. Just walk near any Safaricom/con customer service office and you will see long qeues of customers who are not very satisfied with their service....! I'm just fed up to here with Safcon!

Anonymous said...


Wacha your usual jibes, sneer and matusis. The fact is one Daniel Waweru has taken you to the cleaners and rightly so. Keep them honest Danny! Suddenly with reasonable voices from Danny, Kimi Raikkonen, and.. me!.., one will have to think twice before posting in Kumekucha. Let's keep them honest guys! Kalamari, whatever you say or's evidently clear you have been FLOORED! But thanks coz everytime you're sent sprawling on the canvass, you rise up again! Guys, isn't Kumekucha great??

Anonymous said...

Michael Joseph if you ever read Kumekucha, the common man does not only need a 20 bob scratch card but to bonga na bob.
Safcom can make Millions if the call rates could only drop further what his subscribers are crying for is a Pamoja Tariff( for Safcom)!
What happened to this guy did he stop listening, he really used to!!!

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:44 Reasonable voices of who?....Kimi who..LOL give me another one maybe Tom lakini pia yeye awache matusi

Anonymous said...

Digest this.....

**If Safcom lower their prices, there will be MORE congestion. Look at Xmas day or valentines day!

** Michael Joseph 'is said' to use Celtel line on many occassions...

** Govt should allow competition from other companies. This will make Safcom improve their service delivery.

** Shadowy Mobitelea outfit should be outed as soon as possible!

** Safcom's customer care number 100 NEVER goes through!

Councillor Muhindi said...

Uhuru's recent decision to shift Mathrees to Muthurwa, without a corresponding plan for the people who have to walk long distances just goes a long way to illustrate the lack of creative thinking perversive in our local government system. When I see the resultant chaos, I ask myself, where are the grassroots peoples' representatives (City Councillors) in this mess?

Recently on this blog, a post attempted to give the impression that local authorities are likely to see more dynamism and creativity from this year just because many are now controlled by the ODM Councillors. The writer completely missed the fact that the calibre of Councillors, whether PNU or ODM has not changed one bit since 1992. Because of the 3-piece voting system, many voters elected Councillors without even checking their credentials to manage a local authority in the best way possible.

The recent myopic decision by Uhuru and co., and the LOUD silence from our City Councillors illustrates my point further. These elected Councillors, NOT the local government Minister, should at this moment be putting their heads together to come up with a creative transport plan for the City among other urban planning challenges. Unless they are completely out of their depth, this is why they serve as City Councillors.

Otherwise, why the hell are they drawing salaries if they cannot come up with coherent policies that will help get Nairobi out of this rut?

Our so-called "City Fathers" are getting away scot free because the mainsream media chooses to ignore them until the next chaotic mayoral polls.

It's not too late for Kumekucha to fill this gap. Kindly start enlightening Kenyan taxpayers and blog readers here on such ignored but highly lucrative funds (for Councillors that is) such as the Local Authority Transfer Fund (LATF). Since 1999, this fund has remained the most serious cash cow for Councillors across the country due to our ignorance.

Anonymous said...

Councillor Muhindi, you are on the spot...I couldn't sleep yesterday after seeing pictures of small children going to Moi Avenue primary school all the way from Bahati estate just coz of a man who has never lived that kind of life...What does he know? Uhuru was born eating cerelac, he doesn't know mateso...Have you ever heard him talk since implementing that stupid idea...Kibs one aloof man, now Uhuru has taken from him...Does it run in the blood...Just wondering!!! Someone challenged him to walk from Muthurwa to Anniversary Towers for a whole week then maybe he will know what people are talking about...Ati decongeting the town by removing PSVs kwani is city centre owned by private car owners?
To those parents who take their kids to schools in the city up confine the children to schools in the estate where you leave...Wacheni mateso bila chuki


Victoria said...

Hi Chris,

I'm glad to see a post on Safaricom because this so called post election government continues to baffle me.

I thought it was clear that Safaricom IPO would not proceed until the shody deals with shady shareholders were brought to light and MIA shares restored to their rightful owners, i.e. the mwananchi - and not sold to them!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What's going on?

Shall the thievery continue as planned? Shall we watch it happen?
Will we be fools and partake of it?

Does Raila know about it?

What you said in an earlier post rings true, we are fools to look to our so called political leaders for leadership.

We, as a nation, inherently lack integrity.

As for a 20/- shilling scratch card - it's value in airtime is probably worth less than the paper!! We need to empower our fellow Kenyans, not look for coniving ways of robbing them of the little they have!

Anonymous said...

So how much does the 20 bob scratch card cost to print? 25 bob? lol, reminds me of the TZ currency!

kalamari said...

Anon @12.44. I agree that Kumekucha is great. I don’t agree with anything else you said.

Anonymous said...

The mainstreem media in kenya is such a letdown this is an opportunity for job creation and money making just as this blogg is a success can some clever people come up wth aplan on how to finance some roving reporters who by now would have interviewed the mayor and interrogated him on the Mathree issue and published the same here for futher direction and action by bloggers. Just a Thought
Sir Alex

Councillor Muhindi said...

Very true Sir Alex.

The main stream media should take a great deal of flack for not informing Kenyans on the most salient issues pertaining to the grossly mismanaged and corrupt local authorities. What saddens me even more is the fact that they only highlight these institutions when something catastrophic has happened.

Here's a link to a KACC report on the inept management at City Hall that was released last year without a single word emenating from top Kenyan media houses.

The contents are simply disgusting. Its amazing we still think of the Anglo-leasing scandal when it comes to corruption in Kenya, yet similar scandals permeate a majority of our 175 local authorities unabated every year.

Maybe Alex, I'll take you up on your idea to start a publication that exclusively focuses on local authorities in Kenya. These institutions have for too long enjoyed their obscurity, away from public glare and scrutiny. As we rebuild Kenya, there's no better time to start reforming local authorities than now.

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