Consumers Federation of Kenya (COFEK) has joined the Communication Authority of Kenya (CA) to fight the decision by Safaricom to challenge reduced call charges.
This is after the Communications and Multimedia Appeals Tribunal through its Chairperson Rosemary Kuria allowed COFEK to join the petition as interested parties today.
The orders have been made in the appeal filed by Safaricom LLP Vs Communications Authority on reduction of communication charges.
She has directed all parties to file their replying documents within 14 days and the Appellant/Safaricom to file further affidavits within 7 days of service.
Status quo to be maintained pending the hearing.
Mentioned on February 2, 2022 to confirm compliance and further directions. Airtel and Telcom Kenya have also been enjoined in the petition.
COFEK through lawyer Henry Kurauka had made an application seeking to be enjoined in that matter saying that they want to fight for Millions of Kenyans who are struggling to pay school fees among other needs.
They term the decision by Safaricom to challenge the move by CA to Lower call rates at this time as unreasonable, unlawful, predatory, outrageous, and oppressive and offends the spirit of the constitution of Kenya.
“If the reduced charges are not implemented, the rights of the consumers will be greatly infringed, ”added Kurauka.
Kurauka had told the Communication tribunal that it has a jurisdiction at any stage of the proceedings to enjoin a party whose presence before the tribunal may be necessary in order to enable it to effectively and completely adjudicate upon and settle all questions involved in the suit.
He says the Constitution and Consumer Protection Act call for the tribunal to consider the sensitivities and public interests involved before issuing and orders in favor of Safaricom.
Kurauka says that Safaricom’s move to increase call rate will worsen due to the current high cost of living. He added that the public and consumer’s challenges will worsen due to the current high cost of living.
“There is no reasonable cause to retain high charges by Safaricom at a time when most consumers are struggling to meet basic amenities for their families such as food,housing,healthcare,school/college airtime,fee,clothing fuel and other important social and family needs, “added Kurauka.
Kurauka says Safaricom commercial interest cannot supersede public interests.
The lawyer said that COFEK has not demonstrated any financial and or other loss it’s likely to suffer if Safaricom’s decision is upheld.
Safaricom has appealed against the decision by the Communication Authority finding that the current mobile and fixed voice termination rate (MTR and FTR) of Sh 0.99 implemented by all telecommunications service providers did not reflect the true cost of interconnection.
It appeals against the decision by CA finding that the current mobile and fixed voice termination rate (MTR and FTR) of Kshs. 0.99 implemented by all telecommunications service providers prevented operators from offering consumers more affordable and competitive prices and services.
The Company has appealed against the decision of CA finding that it considered comments from the stakeholders regarding its Notice of Intention to Review the Rates using a benchmarking methodology as published in two (2) local dailies on 27th and 28th July, 2021.
Safaricom appeals against the decision of the Respondent finding that it responded appropriately to the comments from the stakeholders regarding its Notice of Intention to Review the Rates using a benchmarking methodology as published in two (2) local dailies on 27th and 28th July, 2021; 9.
The Appellant appeals against the decision of the Respondent in undertaking a review of the MTR and FTR based on benchmarking methodology prior to a detailed cost-based study being undertaken.
The matter will be mentioned on February 2, 2021.