CCK seems not to be in safe hands now. The information and communication regulator has chickened out in almost every directive they initially issued in the recent past. First it was the issue of the Mobile termination rates then the digital signal distributions and broadcast licenses, followed by the number portability and now counterfeit phones.
All arguments fronted by CCK Director General, Francis Wamukota Wangusi, looks both foolish and trivial in all the cases.
On mobile termination rates and under pressure from Safaricom and Orange, CCK had no excuse at all but to act on orders from baba (President Kibaki) and not dare carry out the agreed mobile termination rates reduction. Kibaki was probably protecting the vested interests on his henchmen in the intervention and as a semi-autonomous state agency, CCK could have easily gone against the president’s directive. That was not to happen as everyone at CCK was scared stiff of crossing the path of baba.
On digital signal distribution and broadcast licenses, I understand CCK but I still believe that laws were bent to please media owners. Media in Kenya is majorly owned and controlled by Kibaki, Kenyatta family, Moi, Agha Khan and SK Macharia. These are the same people who are ruling Kenya now. There was no way they were not going to get their way around the signal distribution and broadcast licenses with such a weak Director General at CCK.
On digital broadcast signal distribution, CCK bent the procurement rules of the country just to make sure that the powerful media owners listed above got a cut of the pie yet controlling digital signals should not have been an interesting undertaking for any media owner who is interested in optimising earnings from media business.
On broadcast licenses, the judiciary is being used to subvert justice in the same way it is being used on the mobile number portability. How can a judge issue a temporary order on a case and then consistently refuse to fix a hearing date on any of the cases? So this means that the order remains in effect indefinitely. Travesty of justice!!
With the fake phones switch off, CCK intimated that they were ready to switch off the fake phones from their networks. This was in August. CCK was supposed to effect the move on 1st September. Before the September date, CCK postponed the directive again till 31st December 2011 claiming that most of the operators does not have the capacity to switch off fake phones. Now the December date is almost here and CCK has again postponed switching-off of counterfeit phones to April 30th 2012 claiming;
the extension was necessitated by the need to first undertake a consumer awareness campaign and also for the industry to establish a mechanism through which consumers could confirm the status of their mobile devices.
I doubt if come May 2012, CCK will switch off the fake handsets as it has promised. Apart from the mobile termination rates, all these other flip-flops occurs under the supervision of Francis Wangusi. A regulator should not please the political class but must check on the interest of the consumer. CCK might think that it is a great thing not to switch off fake mobile handsets but the truth is that the counterfeit handsets are more dangerous to the users than what they will lose when the handsets are switched off.
It is painful that CCK under Francis Wangusi has not seen it best to stop operators from putting profits before lives.
Industry statistics puts counterfeit handsets in Kenya at close to 2.4 million, representing 9.39 % of the active mobile devices in the country.