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Influencers Cut Ties With Safaricom After Network Outage During Anti-Finance Bill Protests

Kenyan influencers have called out Kenyan giant telco Safaricom for the internet disruption that was experienced nationwide during the Anti-Finance Bill protests on Tuesday, June 25.

The creatives accused Safaricom of censorship, terming it as strange that the time the outage occured coincided with the time when the protests had taken a turn for worse, witnessed by the killings and injuring of protesters by anti-riot police.

Drawn from different creative fields, the influencers boycotted online, and shared what drove them to terminating their partnership with the telco firm.

Internet chef Dennis Ombachi who has been vocal against the Finance Bill announced the end of his relationship with Safaricom after the resumption of social platform X , saying their relationship was no longer in his best interests. He also lauded CNN correspondent Larry Madowo for his coverage of the day.

“Twitter is finally back ,Larry Madowo the North Will Remember 🇰🇪 . As for the green army on Waiyaki Way, I won’t be working with you as you’re values and mine are not aligned!” he wrote.

Singer Ben Cyco announced that he would remove all his music from Safaricom platform Skiza, where creators earn money from use of their music as ringback tunes by mobile users.

“I’m pulling all my music from Skiza platform by @SafaricomPLC . It’s time to part ways with sympathizers,” he said.

City photographer George Magunga joined the wagon, severing ties with Safaricom after a decade of working together in advertising campaigns.

“It is a tough decision for since I have been loyal to SafaricomPLC for over ten years. And we have worked together all along. But after what you guys did yesterday, I am ashamed to be associated and you guys can keep your jobs.

Our lives, our sovereignty are greater than your paycheck. You crossed the line. Switching off internet so that the government can massacre people in Githurai was a point of no return,” he added.

Content creator Muchiri Mike was next, stating that it did not sit right with him to continue supporting the communications firm following the network disruption.

“I’ve been an influencer for @SafaricomPLC for the longest time. I am cutting all ties with them. I cannot, in good conscience, continue to associate myself with a brand that has turned its back on the very people it should support,” Mike stated.

This triggered a chain reaction from other influencers who also struck their working relationship with the communications firm, including content creator Brian Kimanzi and X influencer Droid among others.

Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa on Wednesday, June 26 clarified the cause of the internet outage , stating that it was due to reduced bandwidth on some cables that carry internet traffic in and out of the country.

He maintained that the issue was widespread and affected other telcos and hence should not be interpreted as the firm’s interference with the internet connectivity.

 

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