Safaricom Reviews Okoa Jahazi – Sambaza Data Relationship After Public Outcry


A while ago the internet was up in arms over what Safaricom subscribers termed as theft and lack of ethics. The issue at hand was that, if one subscriber wanted to purchase data bundles for another who has an outstanding Okoa Jahazi balance via M-Pesa, the sender was required to foot the outstanding airtime loan alongside purchasing the data balance.

This did not sit well with customers, who saw it as unethical to disclose someone else’s loans to third parties as well as theft for those who saw it as being forced to clear the debt of another. According to Safaricom, the service was introduced to streamline the sambaza data process, which was taskful if the recipient had an outstanding Okoa Jahazi debt since anyone with an outstanding debt cannot purchase any other resources until the debt is settled.

Thus, people who needed to sambaza data to Okoa Jahazi debtors had to first send airtime to them to clear their debt before buying the data. So Safaricom made the process into one where both deductions were made at the same time.

It, however, seems that the online complaints regarding this process got to high places as the telco quietly removed this requirement. Safaricom will no longer require third parties to clear recipient’s outstanding Okoa Jahazi debts while purchasing data bundles for them via M-Pesa.


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