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Kenyan man loses KSh 209 million case against Safaricom over M-Pesa 1 Tap idea

A Kenyan man has lost a KSh 209 million case against telecommunications company Safaricom after claiming that the M-Pesa 1 Tap was his idea.

In his argument, Jonathan Murangiri Gikabu said he sold the idea to Safaricom in 2014.

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However, he was dealt a blow after High Court Justice Grace Nzioka dismissed the case, stating that Gikabu failed to prove that Safaricom seized the idea from him.

“It is not a matter of perception or morality. Of course, it may be unprofessional to do so or morally wrong. But from the legal point of view, the Plaintiff (Gikabu) bore the burden to prove the same,” Justice Nzioka said.

Gikabu said he shared the idea with Safaricom after working on it in September 2011.

Having spent KSh 9.4 million in the process, Gikabu said he hoped to make a profit of KSh 100 million from the innovation.

As a result, he wanted Safaricom to pay him KSh 100 million for the alleged breach bringing the total amount to KSh 209 million.

M-Pesa 1 tap was a faster way to pay for services using the platform without following all the procedures.

The service allowed one to use a card, phone sticker or wristband device connected to an M-Pesa account. It involved just tapping, entering the pin and paying instantly.

In a report earlier done on, the man who invented “Please call me” made headlines after rejecting KSh 354 million compensation from telecommunications company Vodacom, instead asking for KSh 75 billion.

According to reports, the 44-year-old who was an employee in the company shared the idea that allows phone users to send a free text asking to be phoned back in 2001 but never received any payment.

Makate then proceeded to court where he has been battling with the company for 20 years now.

In their defence, the telecommunications company said the messaging service had not generated any revenue for it since subscribers were not charged for the service.

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However, Makate in 2019, said since the service was launched, it had generated up to KSh 1.5 trillion for the company.

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