An M-Pesa agent serves customers at a Nyeri shop. FILE PHOTO An M-Pesa agent serves customers at a Nyeri shop. FILE PHOTO
By NYABOGA KIAGE and ELGAR MACHUKA

Safaricom M-Pesa agents have condemned Nasa’s call to its supporters to boycott the telecommunication company’s products and services.

Through their officials of the agents have also asked Kenyans to ignore boycott calls and urged the agents to embark on a promotional campaign to recover the losses they made during the election period.

The association’s national chairman Alfred Nyangweso said that the call is tantamount to killing the economy of Kenya.

Mr Nyangweso said the money transfer service has employed over 5 million people countrywide and its failure will amount to massive unemployment in the country.

“M-Pesa as one of the services offered by Safaricom has grown to be one of the largest sources of self-employment in Kenya and asking people to boycott all Safaricom products will render many jobless,” said Mr Nyangweso

Mr Nyangweso said the service provides a source of income and livelihood to citizens of all regions regardless of tribe or political affiliation and shops can be found in every town or village in the country.

He added that only in the former Nyanza region, it has employed over one million people, most of whom are youth.

“This means that it is not only Jubilee supporters who will be affected by snubbing Safaricom. Over 1 million people in the Nyanza region will lose their jobs most of whom are youth,” he added.

Mr Nyangweso further said that the telecommunications company is owned by millions of Kenyans through shareholding and the profit it makes trickles down to them.

He added that only in the first half of the year, the money transfer platform was able to make over Sh26 billion in profit and expect to make more than Sh53billion by the end of the year.

He said that the coalition’s supporters will be blindly destroying themselves if they follow through with Nasa’s call.

“Safaricom is a company owned by many Kenyans and they will be blindly destroying their own investments if they follow through with the boycott,” he said.

Mr Nyangweso added that the move will also affect the newly established online sales platform, Masoko, which is set to create more employment opportunities for the youth who have taken up the internet in marketing their products.

The same sentiments were shared by Ali Musa, the Deputy Chair of the agents’ association, who has over 500 Mpesa outlets in Nyanza region.

Musa says he earns over Sh3million in monthly profits and has employed many people through his business.

He urged Nasa to look for different ways to solve its political grievances rather than destroy the economy.