ICT regulator the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) was staging World Consumer Rights Day in the lakeside city of Kisumu today.
However, the event was disrupted by some members of the public who infiltrated the show and caused a fracas that led to key officials fleeing from the meeting. The demonstrations were reportedly being held by people who were airing their grievances about the high cost of living.
According to eyewitnesses, the protesters damaged the Communication Authority (CA) property at the event’s location and stole items of unknown value. They even hurled objects at Director General Ezra Chiloba’s official vehicle in an attempt to vandalize it. Fortunately, Mr. Chiloba and other CA officials and guests managed to escape without any injuries.
The CA has since issued a statement about the disruption.
“It is unfortunate that this year’s World Consumer Rights Day event convened by the Communications Authority of Kenya and held at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Sports Complex in Kisumu was disrupted following protests in and around the CBD,” reads a statement by the CA.
“It is regrettable that a group of youth, ostensibly doing a demo in Kisumu, this morning disrupted an official function of the Communication Authority (CA), presided over by the CA Director General, Mr. Ezra Chiloba,” says ICT CS Eliud Owalo.
Earlier on, and before the interruption, the event kicked off with a roundtable discussion, which was focused on the theme “Empowering Consumers through better Quality of Service and Experience”.
The session was completed and broadcast live on a local TV station.
The panelists included Deputy Governor Dr. Mathew Owili, Director General of Communications Authority of Kenya, Ezra Chiloba, Safaricom PLC’s Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Stephen Kiptinness, Airtel Kenya’s Customer Experience Director, Goldermier Opiyo, and Wananchi Group (Kenya) Limited’s Customer Experience Director, Jane Kebenei.
Afterward, the Director General addressed the media and then left for an African Advanced Level Telecommunications Institute (AFRALTI) Governing Council meeting in Ciala.
As he was leaving the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Sports complex, he was met by a group of protesters who disrupted the event.
However, he was still able to attend the 65th official opening of AFRALTI Governing Council, where he urged members to make AFRALTI the top ICT capacity-building institution on the continent.
“The Communications Authority remains committed to protecting the rights of consumers, especially under the mandate of Mobile Telephony, Internet, Broadcasting & Courier Services in the country,” concludes the statement from the CA.