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Judicial Service Commission meets to decide meeting

Chief justice Willy MutungaChief justice Willy MutungaMembers of the Judicial Service Commission led by Chief Justice Dr Willy Mutunga will today meet and decide whether they would honour summons by parliamentary legal committee.

The committee led by Mp Samuel Chepkonga has summoned the JSC on Thursday over its decision to suspend registrar Ms Gladys Shollei. Last week, Ms Shollei appeared before the committee and claimed some JSC members were behind her woes.

Referendum debate rages on

Cord leader Raila OdingaCord leader Raila OdingaDebate on whether to conduct a referendum to decide the amount of money to be allocated to county governments continues to dominate public debate with both Jubilee and CORD coalitions taking opposing sides.

While Raila Odinga led CORD says the referendum is necessary, Jubilee leaders led by Deputy President William Ruto says it is untimely and would be a waste of money as his government is ready to increase allocation to 40 per cent as promised in its manifesto.

 

ICC trial likely to affect government operations

ICC prosecutor Fatou BensoudaICC prosecutor Fatou BensoudaPresident Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) is likely to affect the way the government operates. Mr Ruto’s case starts next month while President Kenyatta will appear in court in November.

Legal experts warns that the cases will impact negatively on the Kenyan government should the cases run parallel with the two leaders expected to attend all the sessions. Mr Ruto had been allowed to attend only the key sessions but prosecutor Fatou Bensouda successfully appealed against the decision that was suspended.

Mps courting another showdown with salary team over pay

National Assembly speaker Justin MuturiNational Assembly speaker Justin MuturiFresh attempt by Mps to amend law that would exempt them from the list of public officers and hence fix their own salaries is likely to spark another round of confrontation with the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) and the civil society.

SRC chairperson Sarah Serem says the move would raise wage bill by Sh8 billion though she still maintains that the commission will still determine their salaries as long as it was drawn from the public coffers.

 

Judiciary chief registrar Gladys Shollei get reprieve

Judiciary chief registrar Gladys Shollei get reprieve

Ms Gladys SholleiMs Gladys SholleiEmbattled Judiciary Chief Registrar Gladys Shollei has obtained orders barring the Judiciary Service Commission (JSC) from probing her.  The JSC headed by Chief Justice Willy Mutunga had on Monday sent on 15 days compulsory leave to pave way for investigations into her conduct.

However, Ms Shollei hit back at JSC members accusing some of them for intimidation and gross interference with her work. Parliamentary legal committee also threw their weight behind Shollei and questioned the way the decision was implemented.

 

Dimension Data has finally taken over technology company AccessKenya.

Mr Jonathan Somen (right)Mr Jonathan Somen (right)South African technology company Dimension Data will officially take over AcessKenya Group September 6 this year. AccessKenya CEO Jonathan Somen however says it is business as usual as it has been for some months now, and that will continue into the future.

He says there would be no changes to staffing levels. “I believe that this opportunity will allow us collectively to take AccessKenya to the next level with the assistance of the expertise, resources and skills of the Dimension Data Group,” says Somen.

“I look forward to continuing to work with you all to move our business forward to greater heights in the future.”

Governors now divided over referendum

Senate speaker Ekwe EthuroSenate speaker Ekwe EthuroGovernors are now divided over the proposed referendum days after senators allied to the ruling coalition withdrew their support saying the process had been hijacked by Raila-led Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (Cord).

Among the governors still supporting the move aimed at increasing cash transfers to the counties from the current 15 to 40 per cent is Dr Evans Kidero (Nairobi) and Isaack Ruto (Bomet). Cord had earlier announced plans to use the referendum to change governance structure from the current presidential to parliamentary system.

President Uhuru Kenyatta fails to attend anniversary

Pesident Uhuru KenyattaPesident Uhuru KenyattaPresident Uhuru Kenyatta who is touring China on Thursday failed to attend the 35th anniversary of his father Mzee Jomo Kenyatta who was the founding father of the nation. Deputy president William Ruto and former first Lady Ngina Kenyatta led other dignitaries in marking the day.

President Kenya has led a strong Kenyan delegation to China where he has managed to secure over Sh400 billion to fund various projects including the proposed standard-gauge railway line from Mombasa to Malaba.

 

President Uhuru Kenyatta to visit China next week

President Uhuru Kenyatta (right)President Uhuru Kenyatta (right)President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to visit China next week in what observers say is an attempt to consolidate a relationship with the East adopted by retired President Mwai Kibaki.

President Kibaki turned to China and Japan early in his tenure in 2003 after the west scaled down its lending over corruption concerns. Relations between President Kenyatta and the western superpowers are frosty due to the impending trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC)

 

Companies start counting losses after fire at airport

Fire fightersFire fightersKenya Airways lost over Sh300 million after a fire gutted the arrival terminal at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) Wednesday morning. Airline CEO Mr Titus Naikuni says the losses are attributed to lost avenue after the government shut down the busy airport.

Besides airlines, banks, forex bureau as well as taxi operators lost business following the inferno whose cause is yet to be established. The government is expected to release preliminary investigations report Monday.

 

 

AGOA forum opens in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia amidst concerns

Textile factoryTextile factoryRepresentatives of African government that export goods to the United States under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) meet in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia seeking an extension of the initiative beyond 2015.

However, there are concerns that the U.S government might seek to amend the Act to demand similar market access to U.S exports to the African countries. The Act allows sub-Saharan African countries to export to the U.S over 6,000 different items duty and quota free.

Confusion as JKIA is shut down after fire incident

JKIAJKIAConfusion engulfed the aviation industry Wednesday after a fire gutted the arrival terminal at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) grounding all incoming and outgoing international flights.

Though President Uhuru Kenyatta who visited the site earlier in the day assured the country that services would resume immediately, only domestic flights were allowed. Incoming flights were redirected to Mombasa, Eldoret, Kisumu, Kampala and Dar-es-Salaam.

The incident is a big dent to Kenya’s image as a regional hub. It is also likely to affect tourist arrivals that throng the country in August to watch wildebeest migration within the world famous Mara game reserve

JKIA fire mystery

KQ CEO Titus NaikuniKQ CEO Titus NaikuniSpeculation is rife that the fire at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport could be the work of saboteurs. Though Transport and Infrastructure cabinet secretary Eng Micheal Kamau has asked Kenyans to stop speculation until investigations are complete, most Kenyans believe it was sabotage.

Earlier on Monday, flights were grounded after the Kenya Pipeline that provides fuel to the airport reported low pressure in their system. They were unable to fuel the crafts.

Last week, the Kenya Airport Authority forcibly evicted traders in the diplomatic duty free shops associated with businessman Kamlesh Pattni after his lease expired.

Kenyans mark 15 years of terrorist attack

US President Barack ObamaUS President Barack ObamaVictims, relatives and friends of the 1997 terrorist attack on the U.S embassy in Nairobi gathered at the site to mark the event that left over 200 people dead. The victims have been pursuing compensation from the U.S government to no avail.

On that fateful day on August 7, Al Qaeda terrorists attacked U.S embassies in Nairobi and Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania at the same time leaving a trail of death and destruction.

 

Relief as Mps amend VAT Bill to protect consumers

Parliament buildingParliament buildingMps passed the VAT Bill Tuesday with amendments that would ensure basic food commodities like bread, maize and wheat flour and medicines remain affordable.Though they are yet to receive their salaries and other allowances, the Mps endorsed the bill that will enable the government to collect Sh10 billion in taxes.

The law will also simplify the procedures and help the government reduce the burden of VAT refund that is currently in excess of Sh20 billion. The new law also impose stiff penalties on Kenya Revenue Authority staff who collude with tax payers to evade paying tax.

 

County government to get funds after Mps approved Sh210 billion

GovernorsGovernorsCountry governments will now receive money from the national government after Mps approved Sh210 billion allocated to the devolved units for the 2013/2014 financial year. The senate had last week passed the allocation bill but it had to be presented to the National Assembly for approval.

This comes at a time when county governors are waging a campaign to amend the law to increase allocation to the counties from the current 15 per cent of ordinary revenue to 40 per cent. A section of them have also faulted the national government for frustrating devolution.

 

 

Fire erupts at JKIA but no casualties were reported

Fire fightersFire fighters

Barely a week after the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) evicted traders in the duty-free shops in all the major airports, a fierce fire erupted at JKIA  Wednesday morning. Though the two may not be related, experts say the fire might be a case of sabotage by some forces angered by the move.

The government had had a long dispute with businessman Kamlesh Pattini who was running the shops. Mr Pattini had secured a coat order to stop KAA from evicting the tenants after the lease expired last month. However, KAA said they need the space to expand their services.

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