Safaricom sued over illegal registration of a Sim card

Court orders switching off of Sim card illegally registered and used to dupe Kenyans

In Summary

• Eunice Wanjiru said Safaricom registered a mobile number using her ID yet she did not own the number.

• She said the action has caused her pain and suffering after she was listed on CRB. She has been denied credit facilities by banking institutions for being listed by CRB.

A Mombasa court has ordered Safaricom PLC to temporarily switch off a Sim card purportedly registered by a woman who claims she does not own the contact.

The court directed on June 7 that the disputed mobile number remain switched off pending hearing and determination of an application by Eunice Wanjiru Mburu.

Mburu found herself blacklisted by CRB, which denied her access to loans by financial institutions. This was because her personal details, including her ID card, were used in registering a number she said she does not own.

The woman has sued Safaricom PLC and Metropol Credit Bureau seeking compensation for general damages.

According to court documents seen by the Star, in August 2020, Mburu had sought a loan from her employer, a banking institution, to take health insurance cover for her infant. She also wanted to boost her transport business.

The loan application was declined after her employer told her she was adversely  listed by CRB as a defaulter after failing to pay a loan from Family Bank’s PesaPap. It was Sh4,500 and had accrued to Sh5,386.

Mburu said she learned from her employer, CRB and Family Bank that the Sim card had been used several times to con and defraud members of the public.

According to a statement by the telco, the contact had been receiving funds from various individuals, a clear indication that the number might have been used in conning unsuspecting Kenyans.

Mburu said she approached Family Bank in a quest to be delisted from CRB but she was told it was impossible and she had to repay the loans first.

She said she asked Safaricom to have the number blocked and to investigate how her ID was used to register another Sim card without her permission.

Mburu said the Mombasa branch employees said they could not investigate themselves and referred her to their Nairobi offices.

She was later issued with incomplete statements and the name of the account holder was omitted, she said.

“A closer look at the statement showed the user of the Sim card [was in the name of a] Nixon but financial transactions were under my name, hence proving mischief,” she said.

Having failed to clear her name with all parties, Mburu said she repaid the loan to get credit clearance.

She has accused Safaricom of breaching her right to confidentiality, security and consumer protections.

She said since she could not secure a loan from her employer, she was forced to borrow money from her friends, which in return has jeopardised her reputation.

“The actions by Safaricom and CRB amounted to negligence, carelessness and recklessness and I hold them liable for embarrassment, loss and damages I have suffered,” she said.

The next hearing date is August 17.


(Edited by V. Graham)


WATCH: The latest videos from the Star