Kenya smallholder tea farmers earn Sh63.6 billion from tea exports
CORD Coalition has gone to court to contest IEBC decision to bar lawyer Kethi Kilonzo from contesting the Makueni Senatorial seat on July 22. Former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka claimed that The National Alliance Party of President Uhuru Kenyatta removed Ms Kilonzo’s name from the IEBC register.
The party has denied the claims. Meanwhile IEBC has asked the Criminal Investigation Department to investigate the matter. The election body has also cleared four candidates for the by-election.
Kenya among the most corrupt countries in the world
Kenya is among the most corrupt countries in the world. The Transparency International ranks the country fourth in Africa behind Sierra Leone that is ranked top. The political class, police and judiciary remains the most corrupt department.
President Uhuru Kenyatta has declared war against corruption in the public sector though the government is yet to appoint a substantive chairman of the Kenya anti-corruption agency.
Top KNUT officials face contempt of court charges
Top KNUT officials risk going to jail for disobeying a court order to call off the on-going teachers’ strike. Chairman Wilson Session and acting secretary general were Tuesday ordered to call off the strike that has entered its third week within 24 hours.
KNUT lawyers had argued before the Industrial Court that it was impossible to execute the order considering that some KNUT executive members who form the committee that would call off the strike live far and wide.
The CORD Coalition led by former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and vice president Kalonzo Musyoka suffered a major blow Monday after an election dispute resolution committee barred Ms Kethi Kilonzo from contesting the Makunei Senatorial seat.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) tribunal ruled that Ms Kilonzo who had been cleared to run for the seat left vacant following her father’s death was not a registered voter, a mandatory requirement for anyone seeking to run for elected office.
President Uhuru Kenyatta meets Mps ahead of debate on VAT Bill
President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto met Mps allied to their Jubliee Coalition Monday to push for the enactment of the controversial VAT Bill. The Bill that seeks to reduce drastically the number of items that enjoy VAT exempt is expected to be debated this week.
Mps from the opposing CORD Coalition have vowed to shoot down the bill saying it would increase prices of basic commodities including foodstuffs. However, Jubilee Coalition enjoys a comfortable majority in the National Assembly.
Kenya lost Sh26 billion from tax incentives to multinational companies
An international Non-Governmental Organisation, ActionAid claims that Kenya lost Sh26 billion in unpaid taxes by investors in the export processing zones last year. This comes barely a day after the African Union claimed that multinational companies were repatriating billions of dollars from the continent through those tax incentives.
The claims are likely to spark a heated debate at a time when many countries in the continent have intensified campaigns to attract more foreign direct Investment (FDI) mainly in the extractive industries.
Government offer Sh17 billion to striking teachers
The government is offering Sh17 billion to the striking teachers but KNUT officials led by their chairman Wilson Sossion are yet to sign the deal and call off the strike. Sources however say the government has declined to negotiate on house and medical allowances.
Teachers are demanding house allowance at 50 per cent of the basic salary based on the 1997 pay deal entered with the government led by retired President Daniel Arap Moi. Sources say the government is wary that such an agreement would spark similar demand from other civil servants.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) will Monday rule whether Ms Kethi Kilonzo should contest the Makueni senatorial by-election scheduled for July 22. A commission nomination tribunal will deliver a ruling after two days of intense scrutiny on whether she was registered as a voter as required by law for anyone seeking elective post.
Also facing a similar situation is NARC candidate for the same seat Prof Phillip Kaloki who is facing a challenge from a voter that he was a Wiper party member by the time of nomination last month. The law requires one to be a member of the nominating party 45 days prior to the election day.
U.K miraa ban turning nasty
The proposed ban of miraa (khat) exports to the United Kingdom is turning nasty with a section of Meru leaders from where miraa is grown now demanding the government to retaliate by evicting British troops on training within Meru County.
The move seen by many as a desperate attempt to revise the ban imposed by the British government over health safety concerns is likely to worsen an already cold diplomatic relations between President Uhuru Kenya led government and the U.K over the ICC issue. U.K military has been training in Kenya for decades now.
Popularity rating for Supreme Court and Mps drop
Research by two research firms has revealed that popularity rating of the Supreme Court and members of parliament has dropped significantly. The ruling by Supreme Court in April that upheld the election of President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto is the major reason. Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga had challenged the election.
Clamour by Mps for enhanced pay that sparked massive protests from the civil society groups and journalists’ eviction from the media centre at parliament building have dented their image.
The East African Community (EAC) partner states will be the first beneficiaries of Trade Africa initiative announced by U.S. President Barack Obama during the rent trip to Africa.
The new programme aims a facilitating trade by focusing on moving goods across borders faster and cheaper. It will see the countries covered modernize customs, move to single more efficient border crossings, reduce bottlenecks, reduce the roadblocks that stump the flow of goods to market.
“We’re focused on specific goals. So moving goods faster between ports like Dar es Salaam and Mombasa to Burundi and Rwanda in the interior; or reducing the wait times that truckers endure at the border; increasing East African exports to the United States under AGOA by 40 percent and not simply increasing trade within East Africa -- doubling it,” said Obama.
“That’s our aim. Those are the goals we're setting for ourselves under Trade Africa and here in East Africa. And we intend to be -- we intend this to be the foundation for similar progress regionally that we can do across the continent in years to come.”
Lawyer Keth Kilonzo on the spot over nomination
seat left vacant following the death of her father Mutula Kilonzo hangs in the balance after three voters challenged her registration as a voter. The law dictates that one must be a registered voter in order to contest any elective seat.Lawyer Keth Kilonzo nomination to vie for Makueni Senatorial
The voters who include former Kibwezi Mp Agnes Ndetei had moved to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission nomination dispute resettlement committee to challenge her registration.
Gang kills 15 as insecurity hit several parts of the country
A marauding gang killed 15 people in Mwingi Country as insecurity continue to pose challenges to the government. This is the latest attack on innocent villages after similar attacks happened in Tans Nzoia County.
The Northern counties of Wajir and Mandera have witnessed inter-clan clashes that have left over 90 people dead in the last one year. Efforts by local leaders to reconcile the warring clans are yet to bear fruits.
The National Assembly wants the proposed Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) between Kenya and the European Union (EU) scrutinised to ensure it caters for the short and long term interests of the country.
Kenya and her partners in the East African Community (EAC) must sign the pact by October 2014 or lose the generous market access offered by the EU for agricultural-based exports including flowers.
However, the other four partners in EAC will not lose the preferences because they are classified as poor countries and therefore enjoy quota and duty free market access to the EU under ‘Everything-but-Arms’ initiative accorded to all poor countries exporting to the world’s largest trade block.
President Uhuru Kenyatta pleads with striking teachers
President Uhuru Kenyatta Thursday pleaded with the striking teachers to resume duty and give dialogue a chance. This came barely a day after KNUT officials walked out of the talks called by Labour secretary Kazungu Kambi after the government said it would not engage in pay deal unless they first called off the strike.
By the time, Attorney General Prof Githu Mungai was instituting contempt of court charges against the union leaders. The Teachers Service Commission also wants the striking teachers fined Sh10, 000 for participating in the strike that the industrial court has declared illegal.
Police to quiz former cabinet minister Raphael Tuju over murder
The wife Ruth Akinyi was quizzed and recorded a statement Thursday.Police have summoned former foreign affairs minister Raphael Tuju over the murder of a man alleged to have had a love affair with his estranged wife.
The police are expected to charge Akinyi’s nephew Mr Cosmas Okoth who was the last person seen with the deceased Tony Ogunda on Monday.
CORD Mps vow to shoot down VAT bill despite changes
Mps aligned to the opposition Coalition for Reform and Democracy (CORD) have vowed to shoot down a VAT amendment Bill that seek to simplify the existing VAT Act and enable the government to collect additional Sh10 billion.
Mps from the ruling Jubilee coalition has resolved to move amendment to the bill to ensure maize flour and bread continue to be zero-rated. The bill intends to re-introduce a 16 per cent VAT on most foodstuffs.