1stly, a tiny confession. I selfishly hoped that Kenyans would boycott this IPO because its one of the few ways of getting a decent allocation of shares,. However as a Kenyan nationalist, it does concern me that the sort of blunders that led to the situation in Jan/Feb would be perpetuated by such a boycott. Raila’s statement if its meant does show he maybe “seeing the woods for the trees”
As an investor you want invest in profitable and growing companies. As a human being with a conscience (hopefully), you want to do what is ethical. Being a hypocrite is not ethical. Of the 11m mobile subscribers, 9m use Safcom. Yet most have known about the Mobitelea issue.
There is no doubt about it. Vodafone bribed m-o-1 and his peeps so as to gain a foothold in Kenya back in 1999. It was not the first company that did this and moreover this was the practice going back to Kenyatta days. For example, Biwott's ownership of Kenol/Kobil originates from this route. Some maybe aware of the Turkwell dam kickback issue. What has set Safcom apart is its success. Seeking to know about this issue is important because we have to start being transparent. We can go through Parliamentary Committee route or even via Vodafone Plc. It must not stop there, if there is legal evidence of the true owners of Mobitelea, the shareholding should revert to GoK.
In the meantime, Safcom shares are on offer, buy them. Lakini, I won't complain too much if you boycott.