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Section of Kenyans complain after free WiFi is launched at Nairobi’s City, Muthurwa markets

By Winnie Mabel November 11th, 2022 2 min read

In efforts to digitalize most processes linked to service delivery, the Government of Kenya on November 9, 2022, launched free WiFi beginning at the City Market located in Nairobi’s Central Business District (CBD), intending to launch the next spot at Muthurwa Market, located on the edge of the CBD towards the east.

The free internet was launched by Information, Communication, and Technology Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo as he urged traders to capitalize on the initiative to improve their businesses but warned them against accessing adult content websites.

Following this launch, a section of Kenyans continues to be unhappy with the choice of locations the government had chosen to launch the project, saying educational institutions would have been a better location, to begin with.

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Nairobi News sampled some of the reactions to this initiative, as seen below:

“Take this to all primary and secondary schools then it will make sense…for now, this is just a cash cow being created to siphon public funds. Soon you will hear, ‘Sh 4 billion was used to pay for free WiFi,’ but when you ask where it is, you will be told ‘we are experiencing some technical challenges. Hot air,” complained Richard Mose.

“I cannot support that. It could be easier for them to intervene with service providers for affordable data bundles that everyone with smart phones can afford; and 5G network across the country. But that will all be in vain one day,” added Tyrus Blunt.

“It would have made more sense if it was put at Huduma Centers and areas where the public goes to get services like public hospitals, public schools, NTSA (now that things are done in TIMS), police posts, immigration…instead of referring people to cyber cafes. Now what’s there in city market?” asked Michael Ndeje Beuchi.

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“And when you go to a government institution, you can’t be attended to because the system is down. Why would the CS give a market that priority over government institutions as well as schools? Something is not right but time will give the true meaning of this,” added Dedan Kitili.

“But why (does the) Government spend a lot on petty things? Okay, internet is a good move but the cost of the events can fund more projects of the same standard,” complained Benji Philip.

“Go there at your own risk to browse. In Nairobi, there is no safe place to openly use your phone,” said Evance Ochieng.

“Free hot spot zone is a crime scene for cyber theft,” added John Onimbo.

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