NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 15 – Mobile phone manufacturers have urged the government to fast track operationalisation of the Anti Counterfeit Agency to respond to fake handsets in Kenya.
Nokia East and Southern Africa Communications Manager Dorothy Ooko told Capital News that the institution would be responsible for fighting counterfeits in the country.
“The Counterfeit Agency will define a clear mandate, what is the role of the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), of the Kenya Revenue Authority, so that we are not having unclear roles,” she said.
She told Capital Business that many consumers had been duped into buying fake handsets which currently have flooded the market at increasing rates.
She said KEBS had reported that it receives about three complains of fake Nokia phones every week adding that it was difficult to give statistics of how many of those phones are in the country.
Ms Ooko urged other stakeholders in the country to come together in order to have a unified front to fight counterfeits. She said it was a big loss to companies dealing with genuine products since their brand reputation is highly affected by counterfeits.
She also asked consumers to be alert and play their role by questioning sellers to ensure they are not offered fake sets.
For one to identify a genuine Nokia phone, she said, “Press *#0000#, you will get Nokia and your model number plus the software of your phone, that already shows you it is a genuine phone.”
She however appreciated the government’s effort of putting in place the Anti Counterfeit Law which imposes heavy fines on people caught with counterfeits.
Following the presence of many counterfeits, she said Nokia will launch an awareness campaign in major towns in the country with a view of empowering the public to be able to distinguish the genuine phones from the fake ones.