Back to Africa Check

Kenya’s M-Pesa did not experience outages due to integration with tax agency’s system. Ignore rumours on social media

IN SHORT: Some posts on Facebook in Kenya claim that the reason for the downtime of the M-Pesa mobile money platform was its integration with the tax agency’s system. However, both the Kenya Revenue Authority and Safaricom have denied this.

“Government has shut down mpesa via Safaricom PLC to integrate it with Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) system. That’s why Mpesa is down,” reads a post on Facebook.

The Kenya Revenue Authority, or KRA, is the country’s tax agency. M-Pesa is a mobile money platform by Safaricom, Kenya’s largest telecoms company. 

On 9 January 2024, M-Pesa did experience an outage, followed by another on 23 January. This sparked concerns about the impact on the economy and the decline in service and communication from the company in the recent past.

In September 2023, Kenya’s treasury proposed giving the tax authority access to Kenyans’ real-time mobile money financial transactions in a bid to accelerate tax collection.

Similar posts alleging that M-Pesa was shut down to integrate it with the KRA system have also been shared here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

But has M-Pesa really been integrated with Kenya's tax collection system? We checked.


‘This is fake news’

On 9 January 2024, the KRA posted a screenshot of the post with the word “fake” written across it in red.

“Kindly be advised that this is fake news,” reads the post by the KRA on their official Facebook account.

In an interview, Safaricom also denied allegations that it had integrated M-Pesa with KRA systems.

Republish our content for free

Please complete this form to receive the HTML sharing code.

For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false

A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”, “altered”, “partly false” or “missing context”. This could have serious consequences. What do you do?

Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.

Publishers guide

Africa Check teams up with Facebook

Africa Check is a partner in Meta's third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.

The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.

You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.

Add new comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
limit: 600 characters

Want to keep reading our fact-checks?

We will never charge you for verified, reliable information. Help us keep it that way by supporting our work.

Become a newsletter subscriber

Support independent fact-checking in Africa.