Kenyan MP wants CCK’s fake phone switch off plans put off

Kenya’s Embakasi Member of Parliament Ferdinand Waititu is seeking a court order to hold over paralyzing of non-genuine handsets.

The country’s telecommunications regulatory body the Communication Commission of Kenya (CCK) had earlier set the fake handset switch off for September 30.

Waititu, who wants the process postponed until early next year on grounds that it would give Kenyans ample time to acquire genuine handsets, argues that CCK’s move is ill intentioned as it goes against the consumer rights.

CCK’s general director Francis Wangusi confirmed that the commission has so far postponed the switch off plans up to three times as a result of lack of technicality and hence, this time round, it would take off as scheduled.

He further explained that they have reached an agreement with Consumer Federation of Kenya (Cofek) to ensure the switch off takes off as scheduled.
Earlier on, HumanIPO had reported that Cofek had vowed to go to court to block the process following a survey conducted by Infortrack Harris that found majority of Kenyans support CCK’s initiative.
CCK’s April report indicates that 29.2 million are mobile phone subscribers while the Central Bank estimates that KSh116 billion (US$1.4 billion) was transferred through mobile phones in 2011.
Experts argue that the genuine phones will increase the security level in the country as well as make it easier to track phone-based crimes.
According to industry statistics by the CCK, close to 3 million mobile phones in the Kenyan market are counterfeit, translating to about 10 percent of all the active mobile devices in the country.
The process is expected to start on 30th September this year targeting 10 percent of active mobile phones gadgets in the Kenyan market that are bogus as reported by CCK.
One can check for the cellphone status by dialling *#06#, for the IMEI number to be sent via SMS to 1555.
Fake mobile phones have repetitive numbers, decimals, alphanumeric, letters and fraction, the CCK notes.

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