National Super Alliance leader Raila Odinga has commenced his Safaricom boycott by migrating to Airtel.
Mr. Odinga had promised he will migrate to Airtel as part of his party’s plan to commence an economic boycott on companies he accuses of supporting the ruling Jubilee regime.
NASA listed Safaricom, Bidco and Brookside as some of the companies whose products and services their supporters should boycott.
“We will resist the products of these companies because they are beneficiaries of the regime that killed people in this country,” said Suna East MP Junet Mohamed.
The telecommunications giant, however, denied such claims it was involved in rigging the August 8 elections. Bidco and Brookside are yet to react.
Raila Odinga along with a host of NASA lawmakers made their way to the Airtel store on Koinange Street where they were pictured with a new sim. That sparked a good number of NASA supporters across the country to commence their own Safaricom boycott.
In Siaya, a stronghold of the opposition, residents have since morning thronged Airtel shops in the town.
One NASA supporter identified as Onyango Fred said: “Now that we have seen our leader at the Airtel shop, that automatically means Airtel is now the better option and not Safaricom.”
Another one, identified only as Ogolla, threatened violence against Safaricom vendors, saying it would be wise for the company to suspend its services in NASA strongholds as they will incur massive losses.
“I want to assure them that if our routine demonstrations kick off, not even Safaricom boosters and Mpesa kiosks will be spared,” he said.
Safaricom Dealers Association has, meanwhile, appealed to NASA to call off its boycott saying over a million Kenyans risk losing their jobs.
Chairperson Esther Muchemi said the political stalemate and campaigns for election has already lowered Mpesa commissions. She added that the boycott will force them to downsize in order to meet operational costs.
“This is purely bad politics. We urge our politicians to sober up. We are choking. Let them calm down and listen to us. Let them stick to politics and let us run the businesses.”