Safaricom = Yu

Yes. Mwangi the conspirator is back with a big fat bang.

Common knowledge and/or wisdom alludes to the fact that we have 4 telecom operators with licenses to operate in the country. This Would be Orange, Safaricom, Airtel and Yu.

Orange is primarily Government owned at 51% while France telecom holds 49%

Airtel is wholly owned by Bharti Airtel an Indian company with indian habits and psyche

Safaricom is publicly listed with the government holding 35% Vodafone group holding 40% and the rest left to the stock exchange.

When we come to Yu things get sugary and spicy, not necessarily nice and there is definetely some chemical X.

Yu is described as a subsidiary of the Indian based Essar group. Details of local ownership are scanty. Now a little digging on wikipedia shows that the telecoms subsidiary of the Essar group is majority owned by the Vodafone group at 67% while the Essar group holds 33%. The wikipedia articles can be found here and here

Ofcourse nothing is illegal here (I think. . ) but what is the wisdom in the regulator allowing one conglomerate to have controlling power of two telcos in the same market? isn’t this a case of fake competition? The only real competition in this case is Airtel, and Orange. Safaricom and Yu dance to the tune of the same master.


Turns out Yu is owned by the mother company Essar not the Vodafone-Essar subsidiary. Put down your pikes. We ain’t rioting today.