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Here is why you will be paying more for mobile phones and SIM cards in Kenya


If you are planning to buy a new mobile, you will be paying more compared to where the prices were a few months back. 

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The price hike is due to the new taxes as per the Finance Act 2022. The act imposed a 10% excise duty on the importation of cellular phones. It also imposed a Ksh 50 excise duty on every imported SIM card. 

“Excise duty on importation of cellular phones shall be at 10 percent of the excisable value,” reads the Act which was signed into law back in June. With that, players in the industry including Safaricom have confirmed that the price hikes will have to be implemented with the burden passed to the end users. 

With that in mind, you should not be surprised to see price changes when you buy your new smartphone. You should also expect to pay more if you want to replace or register your SIM card afresh. 

In a statement, Safaricom said, “Effective 15th July 2022 we will be reviewing our SIM card pricing to Sh50 plus Sh50 airtime first top up to include the excise tax.” You are obviously aware that we are in August and this means that two weeks have passed since the price changes came into effect. 

“Phone prices will be adjusted to include the 10 percent excise tax and 25 percent import duty as existing stock levels are replaced with new stock on which the new taxes apply.”

A 10% price hike will definitely cause a dent in our wallets given the current economic times that have seen prices of most items go up. How this will affect the industry as a whole is still unknown and we will have to wait a few months to know the full impact. 

Some have argued that introducing the excise duty will force some individuals to use other avenues to bring devices into the country and the end user will be exposed to counterfeit and substandard items that may be more affordable. 

Read: Best Xiaomi Smartphones to buy in Kenya

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Editor at TechArena. I cover all things technology and review new gadgets as I get them. You can reach me on email:
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