Safaricom Dealers Association has called on Kenyans supporting the opposition coalition, NASA, to reject its call to boycott the telecommunication giant.
NASA members, on Friday, November 3, directed their supporters to boycott business corporations and businesses such as Safaricom, Brookside and BIDCO manufacturers, alleging their support for the Jubilee ruling party.
The association, which constitutes dealers and M-Pesa agents of Safaricom, told journalists on Monday during a press conference that they had already incurred major losses since the announcement of the planned boycott and during the election period.
Esther Muchemi, the group’s chairperson, said that Safaricom dealers had been affected by the ongoing electioneering period, stating that some M-Pesa agents received lower commission during the political campaign periods as compared to the season before.
She added that the calls for a boycott was a political fight and that politics should not be used to kill businesses in the country.
The association’s Nyanza region representative, Jerim Ouko, said: “We are appealing to Kenyans to think carefully before choosing to fight these (political) battles before they ruin themselves and the country.”
“This is a political matter and our joint position as members of different political parties is that we cannot progress as a country if we continue to kill what we have grown together,” he added.
The association, however, opened the door for dialogue with NASA in a bid to convince the opposition coalition to call off the boycott but maintained that they will only do so from a business point of view.
“We don’t want to engage from a political perspective. We will only be talking from a business perspective and how this boycott affects the economy,” said Muchemi.
According to Ouko, their members own over 250,000 shops across the country and the boycott threatens to adversely affect their welfare.
“These (dealers and agents) are your brothers and sisters. They have families to feed and children to educate,” Ouko said.