Media houses on the spot over gambling pay bill numbers

Members of Parliament have demanded full disclosure of identities behind 57 pay bill numbers used in various media houses in Kenya to promote betting and gambling.

The National Assembly Information, Communication and Innovation Committee Wednesday clashed with the Communications Authority (CA) after the regulator said it has no details of the pay bill numbers.

The regulator through Christopher Olweru told MPs that pay bill numbers are just like bank accounts, hence they can only get the details through the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK). Mr Olweru who was representing the Director General told the William Kisang chaired committee that despite being the telecommunications regulator, they can only request mobile operator Safaricom and the CBK to provide them with the details of the pay bill numbers. However, the committee said as the regulator, the Communications Authority should have all the details and provide them when needed.

“As the regulator, you have the powers to write to Safaricom and CBK not to request but to demand the details of the pay bill numbers and it should be provided within an hour,”-  Mr Kisang’ said.

The committee gave the CA until Tuesday next week to provide faces behind the pay bill numbers that still promote gambling through the media houses despite a crackdown by the Betting Control and Licensing Board.

“Go back, put your house in order; prepare a detailed report and come back to us on Tuesday,” Mr Kisang’ said.

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