Wangusi Fumbles as CCK Chickens-out of Fake Handsets Directive

CCK has many problems and one of them has been management crisis out of first the attempted sacking of the Director general by the board which was ignored by the minister and later implemented, albeit through proxies, by a court order. Njoroge was good in standing by decisions which might not have been popular but were for public interests. So the mafia like cartel in the communications sector made it hard for him to operate and ensured that he was sacked.

Enter Francis Wangusi (appointed acting CCK Director general) and the major fumbles and falls begins. You know CCK is like ICPAK, Medical Practitioners Board or Architectural Association of Kenya in a way. It is a valve which has to be there to control. The vale will have no function when a certain chemical pushes it out and forces it to allow everything through. That is how Francis Wangusi is behaving now.

CCK gave the mobile operators in Kenya up to September 9th to switch-off all fake handsets on their networks. The fake handsets don’t register normally on the operator’s networks or they have duplicate IMEI with the existing handsets. Just like the issue with the mobile number registration, portability and interconnection issue, Safaricom led the onslaught in demanding that the directive be suspended “until when there would be full consultation”. I have an issue with Safaricom leading all the time in rubber-stamping illegality with ambiguous moves and threats and mob injustice.

It is very wrong for mobile operators to put profits before all else they would just sabotage the country. Fake handsets don’t pass through proper channels so it is hard for the revenue collector to administer tax on them and when they do pass, they have other negative aspects like health and security risks to the users. Phony handsets have exploded on the ears of the users at the least expected moment. The radiation being emitted by the handsets actually don’t meet even the bare minimum standards by any country in the world.

The fake handsets pose a security risk to the country. It is very hard for the security organs to effectively track such handsets on networks because either they don’t fully show their details on network or they look more like decoys of the “real” handsets when they have duplicate IMEI. Again when we complain that the government can’t have a maternal health program or such critical policies and the former retorts that it doesn’t have enough funds, what do you think? Think of the 5 Million or so handsets which are in the country illegally and could have earned the government more money to implement such programs.

I find it hard to see the reason why CCK and Safaricom (leading all other operators) would not want to implement such a useful directive saying that they are waiting for a health report. Which health report? NONE I assure you is being worked on now. Francis Wangusi is simply being a chicken here. He is in for huge perks and sitting duck but not doing really work which might be nasty to those who don’t want Legal money.

CCK, Safaricom, Orange, Yu, Airtel, please don’t you play with the lives of our population. We will treat you as killers as long as you see no need of killing the fake handset business in the country. Nobody should argue that voice revenue is more important than individual lives.

As long as you are allowing fake handsets onto Kenyan phone networks, you are like the drug barons at the coast who would do anything possible to stop the anti-narcotic groups from stopping the trade. You are all killers. STOP THIS ILLEGAL TRADE NOW!!

As I rant, enjoy this Twitter TT.

Written by Robert

Robert Alai is a respected Kenyan blogger, technical evangelist, and social justice activist. Robert is known for his hard-hitting articles and opinions disseminated through his Twitter handle or Facebook page. he is the founder of KahawaTungu.

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