Even as Safaricom is being used as a pawn in a major power game being played by the duly elected government of Kenya and the PNU party, there are some rather fascinating developments taking place on the ground that have nothing to do with the IPO but are equally captivating.
Many Kenyans from the diaspora, due to their privileged upbringing find it extremely difficult to identify with the common man on the street and in the villages. For that reason this article may appear to be a little strange to them.
My sources on the ground indicate that some shop keepers are lamenting that their sales of soft drinks and sodas have dwindled considerably since the launch of the tiny Kshs 20 airtime card. One shopkeeper in a rural center in Kenya told Kumekucha that last weekend, a generous local personality visiting the village bought sodas for about a dozen people he had met at the shopping centre. A bottle of soda costs Kshs 20 which is exactly the same price as that of “Bamba Mbao” as the new Safaricom scratch card is fondly referred to by poverty stricken Kenyans. About half the people opted to take Safaricom scratch cards rather than drink the sodas.
If this is a sign of things to come then we can expect the lowest denomination card to raise turnover for Safaricom considerably at the expense of other consumer products like a bottle of Coca Cola. It will be interesting to see how the giant world renowned soft drink manufacturer will respond to this latest threat in the local market.
How safe is Safaricom or Celtel if you’re a political activist? Do the security agencies listen in? I discuss this issue in my raw notes including something you must know about how local intelligence units usually listens in on cell phone conversations. Find out how to get my raw notes today.
Strange Somali truck driver who played peculiar games with private parts