The Communications Authority of Kenya has announced that it will be seeking to shut down e-commerce firms operating in the country without valid licenses.

The authority’s new Director-General, Ezra Chiloba, stated that the move is aimed at restoring order in the e-commerce industry and getting rid of the rogue traders.

Chiloba noted that the crackdown will also target rogue courier service providers who have been operating in the shadows.

The move will mostly affect online stores that have amassed a huge following on social media platforms such as Instagram, WhatsApp, and Twitter.

However, CA says that the move is only aimed at weeding out fake shops that dupe Kenyans by selling substandard on non-existent products.

Chiloba stated that the CA is currently carrying out a market study in the postal and courier sub-sector in order to establish the service access gaps. He noted that this will inform remedies and initiatives towards boosting services for consumers.

The findings will enable the authority to take some interventions and address some of the noted challenges experienced by players and consumers of postal courier services,” Chiloba stated.

ICT Cabinet Secretary, Joe Mucheru, directed the CA to shut down firms that have not been licensed to offer e-commerce services.

The CS noted that a number of firms took advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic to start offering unlicensed courier services.

I am calling upon the CA to enhance its enforcement interventions across the country and ensure those firms operating without licences are weeded out of the market,” he noted.

This move by the government is seen as an attempt to give a lifeline to the struggling Postal Corporation of Kenya (PCK). On Thursday, October 7, PCK announced it had partnered with a local company to roll out drone delivery services countrywide.

PCK stated that it will start delivering medical supplies, e-commerce purchases, and essential cargo using drones. According to Dan Kagwe, the Postmaster-General, the move will help the courier and logistics services provider get back to the market.

We want to invest in the production of drones, it is not only our obligation as a government to invest in Kenyan technology, but we are also keen on clawing back our market position as the courier and logistics services provider of choice,” Dan Kagwe stated.

Kagwe noted that the partnership would make the delivery of essential medical supplies and other goods speedy and cost-effective, by getting rid of intermediaries.

Postal Corporation of Kenya currently has a partnership agreement with Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa).