Safaricom is warning its subscribers to be wary of the activities of some unauthorized agents claiming to carry out promotions on behalf of the company. The company has unearthed a syndicate where some operators, one linked to a competitor, has been extorting money from the public claiming that they have been contracted to do promotions on behalf of Safaricom.
Two employees of a company called Bambua Limited, which has been retained to carry out promotions on behalf of one operator, were arrested on Wednesday in Westlands . They claimed they were carrying out a some promotion called “Bambua” on behalf of Safaricom. Their main target has been shopping malls and other high-density areas. All participants in the promotions had to be Safaricom subscribers and were being given some fake scratch cards which would reveal a number of prizes like anti-radiation accessories and “Safaricom” T-Shirts.
The “potential winners” became suspicious with the fact that they were being asked to pay Ksh300 before they could claim their “prizes” in the promotion. The “winners” alerted the Police and two suspects were arrested and taken to Parklands Police station. The two are Elijah Mburu Gichumi and . They appeared at the High Court today, 14th April, charged with gaming in a public place. The police say they might prefer more charges on the duo and company.
“We advise our subscribers to be extra careful. It is clear that whoever is behind this is not just after ill-gotten money, but is certainly hell-bent on tarnishing the name of our brand in the process. We are keen to get to the bottom of this and thank the Police for their quick action,” said Safaricom’s Director of Corporate Affairs Nzioka Waita.
Safaricom maintains that all its promotions are normally announced publicly and that the company does not ask winners for payment as a condition before they can participate or claim their prizes.
Safaricom is currently locked in a dispute with Airtel Kenya on claims that Safaricom is not deactivating Safaricom subscribers who are porting to Airtel. Safaricom also claims that Airtel is not disclosing all information to porting clients during registration. Bambua Limited once worked on Airtel promotions but we are not sure if they are still contracted by Airtel.
Airtel’s Head of Corporate Communications and PR has said that the company is not willing to comment on this issue.