For a long time two things have been responsible for bringing Nairobians to a standstill; rains and power blackout. Over the weekend though as the nation would come to learn, the above two issues have been overthrown by Mpesa, the mobile money platform ran by Safaricom.
On Saturday evening, Mpesa experienced a systems failure that saw scores of city dwellers, who rely on the Lipa na Mpesa service to pay bills and buy goods stranded.
Stranded Mpesa users took to social media to air their frustrations and share pictures of abandoned shopping in supermarkets, passengers stranded in Taxis and others at pubs and restaurants.
Safaricom issued a statement two hours later saying the Mpesa outage was occasioned by a systems update and apologized for any inconvenience caused to customers.
Below are some of the complaints shared on Twitter.
MUHATIA: Stranded at a shop after trying to pay with Mpesa, @SafaricomPLC I don’t know whether to leave my merchandise or go with it since I have already made two attempts and am told SENT, but no message to back it up.
mkenya_msafi : Clearly today is a Good indication that Safaricom MPESA is a monopoly. Everything is not running now! @AIRTEL_KE and @TelkomKenya shud have better options but you guys never get it!
@Safaricom_Care @bobcollymore This paybill number 166166 is not working. Customers are stranded in a supermarket. I’ve tried paying 3 times unsuccessfully. Do not process the transaction.
Luiz Mash: @SafaricomPLC should realize that they are no longer just a call service provider we can ignore. They are now woven into our day to day lives. Returning items after picking them from a supermarket is embarrassing to say the least!
Isaac Sichangi Jr :Safaricom has to really work on their Mpesa infrastructure to be able to handle the amount of traffic they get Mpesa is a national asset and cannot afford to be down