Kenya under fire over mobile money transactions spy plan

Summary

  • The Consumer Federation of Kenya (COFEK) took a swipe at the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), saying what it intended to do was “a serious offence against consumer privacy”.

Arusha. The Kenyan government has come under fire for its proposal to spy on mobile money transactions.

The country’s taxman said the move is intended to integrate its system with mobile money service and hence increase revenue collection. However, the proposal has been criticized on grounds that it was an infringement to consumer privacy, multiple sources said.

The Consumer Federation of Kenya (COFEK) took a swipe at the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), saying what it intended to do was “a serious offence against consumer privacy”.

COFEK secretary-general Stephen Mutoro said the move should be stopped, calling on the central bank and the communications authority to intervene.

Consumer privacy in Kenya is guaranteed by Article 31 of the Constitution and the Consumer Protection Act, 2012.

Mutoro warned that if the system persisted, the mobile telecommunication service providers could be sued “for allowing such privacy breaches.”

Other commentators took to the social media criticising the proposal, saying taxation through mobile money transactions was not a problem.

“The problem is how the taxes are put to use. Integrating M-Pesa, Airtel Money and T-Kash with KRA is probably the worst idea under this government,” they said.