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Big Blow To Unlicensed E-commerce Operators They Are To Be Shut In Communication Authority Crackdown

The Communications Authority of Kenya will closed down e-commerce firms operating in the country without a licence in a move likely to affect numerous online stores that have amassed a huge following on social media.

New CA Director General yesterday said the postal and courier sector has recorded significant growth particularly during the pandemic but that this has also come with an influx of rogue service providers preying on users.

He added that the authority is currently carrying out a market study in the postal and courier sub-sector in order to establish the service access gaps to inform remedies and initiatives towards boosting services for consumers.

The findings will enable the authority to take some interventions and address some of the noted challenges experienced by players and consumers of postal courier services.Besides consumers have raised concerns about online stores that use social media pages such as Instagram,WhatsApp and Twitter to push their products which later turn out to be scams.

Users are often directed to make payments through mobile money and once this is done they find they have been blocked by the store on all platforms or it has changed usernames.ICT Cabinet Secretary also said firms that have not been licensed to operate e-commerce services by the CA should be shut down.

He called upon the communication authority to enhance its enforcement interventions across the country and ensure those firms operating without licences are weeded out of the market.

The move for tighter regulation in the sector is also seen as an attempt to give a fighting chance to the Postal Corporation of Kenya.CA revoked the postal and courier licences of 21 service providers including several bus and matatu Saccos.

The State operator is struggling to maintain operations amid myriad challenges arising from technological disruption,competition, mismanagement and the Covid-19 pandemic.

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