Why MPs are against Bonga Points expiry to be introduced in 2023

The lawmakers are looking to probe the decision by communication service providers to introduce an expiry of data bundles and Bonga Points

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National Assembly Committee on Information and Communication could summon ICT Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo over Safaricom's data bundles expiry.

This is after members of parliament raised concerns about the way telecommunication firms set expiry dates for the services which the clients paid for.

Safaricom the biggest telecommunication service provider recently announced plans to introduce expiry dates on Bonga Points should users fail to use them within three years.

The matter was tabled in the house by Kamukunji member of parliament Yusuf Hassan who described the acts by the service providers as exploitation. Hassan said the biggest beneficiaries of such impositions were the service providers alone.

“There is a need to protect Kenyan Internet consumers who find themselves exploited by the expiry of data bundles before they can deplete it, and deliberately reduced Internet speeds," Hassan said.

National Assembly majority leader Kimani Ichungwa said internet services should be offered the same way as electricity tokens where consumers only pay for what they have taken up.

Ainabkoi lawmaker Samuel Chepkonga described the expiry of data bundles as 'robbery without violence'.

Safaricom in its defence said the setting of an expiry date was a push for the customers to use the data.

Safaricom announced that Bonga points older than three years would expire on January 1 2023. It said the move would motivate users to redeem the points to get products like phones, airtime and even shopping.

“Effective January 1, 2023, all Bonga points older than three years will expire and will be unavailable for redemption,” Safaricom said in a statement.

The points are now being redeemed for retail payments through the Lipa Na M-Pesa Buy Goods option.

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