Peter Ndegwa has today taken over the CEO of Safaricom at a time when the company is claiming a stake in supporting the fight against COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
The new CEO joins the company from Diageo Europe. He has big shoes to fill, taking over from two larger-than-life CEOs Michael Joseph the founding CEO and the late Bob Collymore, the immediate former CEO who past away last year.
As the most profitable company in East and Central Africa, the new Chief Executive has his work well cut out, being the first Kenyan to lead the telecommunications company.
As the country grapples with COVID-19 pandemic, the new CEO will find the telco has rolled out a number of measures to support the government and Kenyans at large.
What he could consider is adding more measures, especially penalties, specifically automatic deductions on Fuliza once a customer receives money on their M-PESA and they has an outstanding bill. Currently, even some of the measures take place like cash transfers to the elderly and vulnerable members of society.
Already, the company has zero rated all person-to-person transactions below sh1,000. M-PESA users are now be able to send any amount below sh1,000 for free over the next 90 (ninety) days. This represents 75 per cent of all M-PESA transactions.
A pending request to CBK to increase transaction limits has seen the regulator finally approve the increase of daily M-PESA transaction limits from the current sh70,000 to sh150,000. In addition Kenyans are now able to transact up to sh300,000 up from the current limit of sh140,000, and hold up to sh300,000 in their M-PESA wallets. This will further help small and micro business enterprises (SMEs).
Safaricom has also zero rated all charges for payments made to all hospitals and dispensaries across the country for a period of ninety days.
To support the working from home request by the President, the company doubled the bandwidth offered to our Home Fibre customers at no extra costs to customers for a period of ninety days.
Safaricom is working with the Government by providing a Call Centre and integrating a toll-free line 719 which has been set up by the National Emergency Response Committee on Coronavirus to support Kenyans in understanding how to prevent and manage suspected cases. All calls to 719 are free. Over 300 customer care were executives trained and handling the line.
The Safaricom Foundation purchased and donated four thermal cameras for Ministry of Health that will help with screening at various border entry points.