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Court summons Safaricom bosses

Workers mount a plaque as they work on the memorial for the victims of last year’s terrorist attack that killed 148 people at the campus of Garissa University College. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Workers mount a plaque as they work on the memorial for the victims of last year’s terrorist attack that killed 148 people at the campus of Garissa University College. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Safaricom’s #ticker:SCOM acting CEO and two other senior employees have been summoned to appear in court on Tuesday to explain why they have failed to avail an expert to testify in a case in which five suspected terrorists are charged with killing 147 Garissa University College students in 2015.

Milimani Law Courts chief magistrate Francis Andayi directed that the boss of the mobile service provider, an investigator Inspector Rabala and liason officer William Siongok go to court.

Mr Andayi issued the directive after a State prosecutor, Duncan Ondimu, disclosed that “efforts to procure an expert witness from the company to testify against the suspects have been futile.”

Mr Andayi granted the request and summoned the three officials.

The court papers did not mention the Safaricom executives expected to appear in court by name.

A Tanzanian, Charles Rashid Rashid, has been charged alongside Mohamed Abdikar, Hassan Aden Hassan, Sahal Diriye and Osman Abdi with the killings. Two security guards also died in the attack.

Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore has been away on sick leave since October last year.

A circular signed by board chairman Nicholas Ng’ang’a avoided naming an acting CEO in Mr Collymore’s absence.

The telco’s chief financial officer Sateesh Kamath was appointed to “take a primary role,” in Mr Collymore’s absence, “supported” by Joseph Ogutu – the company’s director of Strategy and Innovation.

Mr Ondimu told the magistrate that Safaricom has been delaying the case, which is of great public interest given that youthful college students lives were cut short in the terrorist attack that shook the nation.

The prosecutor disclosed that his efforts to get an expert in telecommunication matters had been frustrated by the investigation and liaison offices.

“I have been calling and speaking to both Inspector Rabala and Mr Siongok about the expert testimony required from Safaricom, but have ended up being frustrated,” said Mr Ondimu.

He said Mr Siongok has been promising to return his calls about the witness expected from Safaricom in vain.

“We have been sending summons to Safaricom to avail an expert witness to shed light on some of the issues over the attack, but none has come forth,” Mr Ondimu stated.

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