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Vodafone slams proposals to split Safaricom’s payments business

Changes to Kenyan law could force Safaricom to split off its successful mobile money business, M-Pesa. Vodafone, which owns 40% of the operator, has slammed the proposal, with Michael Joseph, who heads Mobile Money for the company, saying it would amount to “punishing success”. Joseph founded M-Pesa while he was CEO of Safaricom, and the simple, SMS-based payments system has had a significant impact in Kenya, and other markets where Vodafone has launched it subsequently. Joseph said the Kenyan proposals would increase the cost of making cash transfers in Kenya, and put companies off making investments in the country. He said in an interview with local journalists: “The whole idea that you want to split a company up because it…

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