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Safaricom Accused Of Stealing Reverse Call Feature Idea Pitched To Them In 2010

PHOTO/ COURTESY

On June 18, Kenya’s largest telecommunications company Safaricom launched its Reverse Call feature enabling its subscribers to transfer the calling costs to the receiver.

“This innovation is in line with this commitment and has been tailored to mirror the relationships between our customers with a goal of empowering them to always remain connected with their loved ones,” said Sylvia Mulinge, Chief Customer Officer, Safaricom.

But according to Davidson Ivusa, the telco stole his idea which he shared with them on May 10, 2010.

His idea was dubbed “Jichomoe” which Mr Ivusa through his lawyer notes has been pending until lately.

Read: How Safaricom Stole ‘Thibitisha’ Idea From Innovator Through Zindua Cafe Programme

According to Ivusa, Safaricom promised to reach out once a decision on whether to develop the feature was reached.

As a result of this “predatory, malicious and exploitative conduct” Mr Ivusa wants the telco to cease using the feature with immediate effect or pave way for discussions through which it can acquire the rights to his intellectual property.

In the letter dated June 19, Mr Ivusa threatened to take legal action against Safaricom within 7 days of the demand.

It is not the first time the giant telco has been accused of “stealing ideas” with the most recent one being the “Mpesa 1 Tap”.

In 2017, a social media user by the name Jonathan Gikabu accused them of having stolen his idea of an NFC payment system which he presented to them in 2014.

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Written by Francis Muli

Follow me on Twitter @francismuli_. Email francis@kahawatungu.com

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