Safaricom blames system glitch for offensive tweets

Former Safaricom CEO Michael Joseph during a press conference in Nairobi on Monday July 01, 2019, regarding sudden death of the company's CEO Bob Collymore. [David Njaaga,Standard]

Mobile service provider Safaricom yesterday distanced itself from distasteful tweets suggesting that a Kenyan would run the Sh1.12 trillion firm to the ground if put in charge.

The telco found itself in an embarrassing situation after a series of rogue messages were published on its social media handles, including one bluntly telling the Government that Kenyans appointed to several other firms had deliberately run them down.

One of the offensive tweets said the Government should first improve the management of the corporations it owns “before they can think of imposing their choice on Safaricom”.

The company later apologised and attributed the posts on Twitter to a system glitch.

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“Good morning. We apologise for the series of tweets that went out from our official accounts last night. We had a system glitch that has since been rectified. Thank you,” said Safaricom on Twitter yesterday morning.

The messages came against the backdrop of a raging debate on who will succeed the late chief executive Bob Collymore who died of cancer on Monday.

The appointment of the telco’s former boss Michael Joseph (pictured) as acting chief executive following Collymore’s death has kicked up a storm online, with some saying a Kenyan should take the reins. ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru has voiced his preference for a Kenyan to steer the telco into the next growth phase but has at the same time maintained that the board would have the final say on the matter, alluding to non-interference by the Government in the selection process.

In a TV interview on Tuesday, Joseph said none of the people currently in management is ready to take up the telco’s reins.

While Collymore sought treatment abroad, Sateesh Kamath, the firm’s chief finance officer and Joseph Ogutu, director of strategy and innovation, jointly oversaw operations.

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Sylvia Mulinge, chief customer officer, is also been seen as a possible contender, having been appointed to head Vodacom Tanzania at one point but was forced back to Safaricom after being denied a work permit by the Magufuli administration.

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SafaricomGovernmentBob Collymore