Safaricom is 40% owned by Vodafone and 35% by Government of Kenya (GoK). The remaining 25 are floated at the bourse i.e owned by the ordinary shareholders like you and me, who earn both low taxed dividend and capital gain.
This coupled with massive local employment opportunities they offer at a handsome remuneration isn’t debatable.
This means Safaricom pays 35% of their profits to the exchequer on top of the 30% corporate tax, 5% withholding tax on capital gain and 15% of what is paid as dividends. Add this to their high salary PAYE deduction.
They are in fact the third largest tax payer after EABL and TSC. Add this to the battery of suppliers and agency business along their supply chain as well as their contribution towards grassroot financial inclusion. Remember we haven’t mentioned their massive spending on CSR.
Now the Airtel we are being referred to is owned 100% by Bharti Airtel, who outsource most of their operations from India including call centre. Their profit is therefore converted into dollars and exported to the last coin putting further strain on our currency.