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Safaricom CFO Sateesh Kamath, Chairman Nicholas Nganga with CEO Bob Collymore

Kenya

Closed M-Pesa shops in election period costs Safaricom Sh400Mn

Safaricom CFO Sateesh Kamath, Chairman Nicholas Nganga with CEO Bob Collymore/HILARY MWENDA

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 15 – Safaricom has lost Sh400 million owing to business disruption during the election period.

The Chief Executive Bob Collymore says the losses occurred when M-PESA agents opted to close shop over the period.

Data services however registered an improvement as Kenyans followed election proceedings and held discussions online.

“We also found a lot of areas just shut their shops because they were scared of violence and they were scared of having cash on the premises,” Collymore said.

He says the impact of the drought, reduced credit growth to the private sector and the rising inflation may affect the firm’s operations in the short term.

Collymore was speaking at the sidelines of the Safaricom Annual General Meeting where the shareholders approved a final dividend of Sh0.97 per share.

The shareholders have also approved the change to company’s article of association in regards to approval of any business plan, approval of the annual budget, the appointment of CEO as well as the appointment of the financial director who will now need not less than 75 percent of directors’ vote.

To enhance their efficiency the telco is set to open a new call centre in Eldoret and hire about 300 staff to handle increasing customer queries.

“We are committed to enhancing the position of Kenya as the leading mobile money market in the world by proactively launching interoperability in the country, expanding our offering through products like ITap and exploring potential opportunities for taking M-PESA outside Kenya,” Collymore reassures.

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