Failure to reverse mistaken M-Pesa transactions now punishable by law

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Failing to reverse an M-Pesa transaction done by mistake will see Kenyans being penalised upto Sh200,000 fine or be jailed for two years, or both. This is according to Computer and Cyber Crimes Act, 2018 which the Kenyan President, H.E Uhuru Kenyatta ratified on Wednesday 16th May, 2018.

Section 34 of the Act targets those who intentionally hide or hold electronic messages, electronic payments, credit and debit card details sent in error.

Section 36  states that a person who unlawfully destroys or aborts any electronic email or processes through which money or information is being conveyed commits an offence. The law also states that inducing any person in charge of electronic devices to deliver any electronic messages not specifically meant for someone is an offence.

Last year, a woman was jailed in Embu for six months for using Sh27,140 that was accidentally sent to her M-Pesa account.

Margaret Njeri was unable to pay the Sh40,000 fine for the offence and was taken to Embu prison to serve the sentence. Njeri was accused of stealing the money which Richard Mbui sent to her by mistake on December 7. Mbui asked her to return the money but she withdrew and used the cash then switched off her phone to avoid being traced.

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Kenyans are warned of the act and advised to avoid it so that they may avoid the fine or the jail term.

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