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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Shutting Down Counterfeit Phones a Bad Omen

shutting down of counterfeit mobile phones in Kenya

The shutting down of counterfeit mobile phones will hurt Kenya and Kenyans

The recent directive by the government of Kenya to shut down 4 million subscribers it claims are using counterfeit phones is both illegal and mean. Illegal in terms of legality and mean in terms of leadership. To begin with, if this is the first time you are beginning to hear such kind of news then, it is quite profitable for both of us to that I take you through some of the recent stories dominating the headlines in both the television and print media.

The government of Kenya through its mouthpiece and legal arm in the communication world the Communication Commission of Kenya (CCK) has laid claim that over 30% of mobile subscribers in Kenya estimated to be at 4 million in mathematical non exaggerated figures are in breach of the laws of Kenya and its sovereignty and must be shut down either way. This comes in the light of massive loss of currency figures estimated at 9 zeros in revenue in terms of tax evasion. Tax evasion? Yes, tax evasion because importers of such products are good in avoiding tax collection system of the sovereign republic like Kenya as per the claims of director of CCK.

Simply put the directive to shut down these subscribers can be directly or either way associated with a husband who punishes his wife for letting trespassers pass through their fenced home through worn out parts of the fence which is according to natural laws irresponsible. This kind of husband might either be classified as lazy or for sure irresponsible or both or has more weaknesses that known words in the history of man kind can describe. By overlooking the natural way of how things should work, this husband, demands more from his wife than he himself can deliver.

As a citizen of a free civilized nation, I am a believer of moral obligations that as a citizen I am required to adhere to and that does not include in any way distinguishing fake or counterfeit goods from original ones especially when products are already in the open market. As governmentship was being constructed in the early years of man, many things were put into consideration including but not limited to the existing malfunctioning arms or bodies of government. The government exists for the people and not the people for the government. “Governments exist to do for the people what they could not or cannot do for themselves”. Barrack Obama current US president.

When a product is shipped into my beloved mama Kenya and is allowed into the market by the customs department and offered for sale by a registered business owner who pays his due taxes and operates legally my presumption is that the product in question is legal unless the government does not believe in its workforce to efficiently discharge their duties. The layers in place to oversee and test these products that are imported into this country are more than enough and some of them need scrapping.

First we have the customs, then the bureau of standards and one wonders how 4 million counterfeit phones found their way into the hands of 4 million Kenyans. Suppose the phones in question were worth shs.2000 each it would mean that shutting them down will cause a massive loss of 8 billion shillings to the population of Kenya because these phones must be replaced by the owners in order to continue utilizing the services that comes with each model. For a family that might not be in position during the shut down to purchase another original phone as these perpetrators imply, it will be the beginning of gloom and confusion. Gloom and confusion yes, take for example a family in remote area that expects at least something every month for basic needs like food and clothing and may be school fees from their kin, a brother or a daughter living elsewhere. Because mobile phones in Kenya have become inexpensive tools for sending and receiving money this family’s survival will be greatly affected because it is directly dependant on mobile phone. A Start over situation is likely for this family where no hope of quick recovery is at sight because this family like most of the families in Kenya depends on one or two bread winners who in majority of the cases are serving at a low paying job somewhere. Most of These bread winners are in micro scale businesses, casual jobs or other low paying jobs. They earn between shs.5, 000 – shs.10, 000 per month and have to make grievous sacrifices to buy even second hand clothing and locking them out of the existing mobile networks is mischievous, evil, lawless and selfish.

You cannot abscond your duty as a servant and punish the served for your crime or as a ruler and punish the ruled for your crime. Each person must be responsible for his own acts. The planned shut down will only achieve the following;

The people that livelihood depends on it will loose their lives because the new environment might pose another gigantic challenge in their lives due to the low income life they are exposed to.

The businesses that depend on it will die because of lose of contact with customers.

The rate of poverty will increase because millions of Kenyans to be shut down might not be in position to buy new mobile phones.

The switching off of those phones bought in the open market in Kenya and claimed to be counterfeit by the same government will cause a huge crack and gap in the economy of this country because the products are not locally made and will only profit the manufacturers of those phones and their respective governments and some few perpetrators in the ruling elite and unless that is the outcome want we not then we must stop the move at all cost.

There are plenty of reasons but the greatest of all is that it is not the citizens call to protect our borders it is the work of our respective government to use our taxes in a manner that befits self rule.

It is also the duty of CCK to stop the madness because it will cause unnecessary loss of lives to innocent people whose lives depend on the use of mobile phones because in our case here it seems we have a hell of a government body incapable of discharging its duties as prescribed in the constitution and the laws that constituted it. Furthermore its specialty is on wrecking and performing illegalities to correct the undoing of customs officials and Kenya bureau of standards (KBS).

Just because some mobile company wants to make money from Kenyans isn’t a good reason to put millions of lives at a risk that might affect their entire life on earth. STOP STOP, STOP and think if those millions of rupee you have been promised will clean your conscious from blood.

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