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Why man wants new Safaricom advert banned

A promotion dubbed Shangwe Mashinani by mobile phone service provider Safaricom, has come under scrutiny, with claims that it is promoting ethnic divisions in the country.

A concerned Kenyan, Mr Peter Solomon Gichira, has filed a petition before the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC), claiming that the ongoing lottery, Shangwe Mashinani, carries television and radio adverts that, to a very great extent, balkanises Kenyans by implying that certain regions of the country belong to given groups only.

“These advertisements have ended up denying some minority groups within the said regions full enjoyment of their right to belong as protected by the Constitution and the National Cohesion and Integration Act,” said the petitioner.

He added that the utterances “kila mtu atashindia kwao” (everyone will win in his/her region) had excluded Kenyans from other parts of the country living in these regions.

Mr Gichira wants the NCIC, led by former National Assembly Speaker Francis Kaparo, to order the withdrawal of the adverts “in the spirit of peace, reconciliation and healing in the country”.