575 Kenyans become the first casualty of Kenya's loss-making telecommunication firms, Telkom Kenya and Airtel merger as they are set to lose their jobs

Telkom Kenya
  • Telkom Kenya has announced that it is going to sack 575 out of its 800 employees before its merger with Airtel takes place.
  • According to a memo from CEO Mugo Kibati, the move is as a consequence of discontinued transferred business.
  • In February this year, Telkom Kenya announced plans to merge operations with Airtel in a deal that will see the former swallow the Indian owned telco, Airtel, which is the most bleeding of the two, after nearly a decade of being in the red.

More than 500 Kenyans are set to become jobless soon in what is one of Kenya’s biggest layoffs programmes.

Telkom Kenya has announced that it is going to sack 575 out of its 800 employees before its merger with Airtel takes place.

According to a memo from CEO Mugo Kibati, the move is as a consequence of discontinued transferred business.

“Telkom Kenya must terminate the employees that are currently deployed to serve in these functions. Other employees who provide administrative and/or support services are also likely to be impacted,” the memo reads.

Mr. Kibati said the Communications Workers Union has been notified of the impending sacking and termination letters sent to the respective employees as a one-month notice on account of redundancy.

In February this year, Telkom Kenya announced plans to merge operations with Airtel in a deal that will see the former swallow the Indian owned telco, Airtel, which is the most bleeding of the two, after nearly a decade of being in the red.

Airtel has been in the red since its entry in Kenya. Its parent company revealed that in 2016, Airtel Kenya was technically insolvent.

The operator had Sh55.3 billion ($553m)in current liabilities in the year to December 2016 that far exceeded its current assets worth Sh9.7 billion ($97m).

The two operators have a combined 23 percent of Kenya’s 41 million mobile subscribers, but have long struggled to compete with Safaricom, which has a 71.9 percent market share.

The disparity is even wider in revenue terms, with Safaricom, which is 35 percent held by South Africa’s Vodacom, enjoying more than 90 percent in both voice and short messages categories.

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