Safaricom repossessing numbers (What the heck!)

On Fri, 4 Sep 2020 at 12:08, Brian Munyao Longwe via kictanet <
kictanet@lists.kictanet.or.ke> wrote:

> Hi folk,
>
> It’s been a long time. I hope you are all well?
>
> So – mimi niko na issue.
>
> My Safaricom number 0715964281 has apparently been repossessed and sold to
> someone else. The other day I opened up my Safaricom app to send some
> m-pesa to my daughter as she transits through Nairobi from Malaysia and
> shock on me! It displayed the name as “Beatrice Chelangat”
>
> As many of you know – I have been “diaspora” for a good number of years
> (close to 9) and am currently based in Malawi. I went to the Kenyans in
> Malawi Whatsapp group and mentioned the issue and was told that my line is
> gone because I failed to top up in over 6 months. (This is very true, I
> think the last time I used the line was more than 8 months ago).
>
> What I find surprising is that this has never been a problem in the
> preceding 9+ years that I have been diaspora. My line has many times gone
> more than 6,7,8 months without a topup – but always “wakes up” when I load
> airtime. And m-pesa has always worked. What gives?
>
> I am distressed because my m-pesa, my e-Citizen, NTSA, bank accounts and
> many other digital assets / identity related items are linked to this
> number which I have had for the past 15+ years. My digital identity (and
> that of many others in similar predicament) is at risk. How did CA allow
> this kind of reappropriation to happen without an extensive process?
>
> I would expect that at a minimum – after the expiry of a period of
> non-use, and several alerts sent to the number Safaricom (or any other
> mobile operator) should publish a gazette notice listing numbers (and
> associated registered persons) they want to deactivate/repossess and allow
> a period (3 months?) for the owners to claim their number. At the end of
> this period then admittedly no one should complain.
>
> Otherwise as far as I am concerned I have just been the victim of a
> sim-cloning scam perpetrated by the same company that provides me with the
> telecoms service!
>
> I would like to hear what the thoughts of the many much brighter people
> than me on this group are….
>
> Best regards,
>
> Mblayo
>
>
Hi Mblayo,

Hope you are doing well in Malawi.

TBH, I don’t remember when or even how Safaricom introduced this change. I
first heard it when I called their Customer Care.
What I think you should do it look for the initial dotted lines that you
signed to see if that provision was there.

KICTANet Admin information

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