Safaricom repossessing numbers (What the heck!)

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

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