Home Blog Page 3

Used car importers to pay Ksh.2000 pest inspection fee

Used car importers to pay Ksh.2000 pest inspection fee. [Image: Courtesy]
KENYA — Importers of used cars could soon start paying an inspection fee of Ksh.2000 per unit, following government’s move to stop importation of foreign pests.

The government has proposed the inspection fee of each minibus and van to be Ksh.3000 while that for bus, lorry or truck at Ksh.5000. Heavy commercial machinery have been estimated at a Ksh. 10,000 inspection fee.

Fees have varied from 2017 when the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (Kephis) first came up with a proposed charge of 5,000 for each motor vehicle.

The agency says imports of used vehicles and equipment continue to pose a major threat to the introduction of pests or diseases, prompting new regulations to be published.

According to Kephis Managing Director Theophilus Mutui, “The Crop Protection Rules (decontamination of used vehicles, machinery and equipment) 2021 have therefore been developed to provide a legal framework for mitigating the risks associated with this route.”

Importers of used cars have been invited for virtual meeting on Thursday to give their opinions on the move.

The dealers who are against the inspection fee have asked Kephis to first demonstrate the threat of the import used cars.

Should the regulations be passed, exporters of used vehicles and equipment will be forced to decontaminate them in their home markets before being shipped to Kenya.

“All used vehicles, machines, equipment, motor boats and yachts imported into or imported into Kenya and transported through Kenya, whether whole, disassembled or parts and related accessories, must undergo a phytosanitary decontamination before being shipped to Kenya.” Said the draft rules.

The pest inspection fee applies to other used equipment and associated parts as well.

Any container packing tires, wires, or disassembled equipment will charge an inspection fee of Sh3, 000, while the proposed fee for an aircraft, motorized boat, and yacht is Sh20, 000 each.

The agency is expected to collect over Ksh.200 million annually from the inspection fees collected.

Offenders of the proposed rules will face a fine of Ksh.2 million or jail time of up to two years or both.

AngloGold quarter earnings shoot, gold prices rise

AngloGold quarter earnings shoot, gold prices rise. [Image: Courtesy]
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — AngloGold Ashanti has posted a higher quarterly earnings in March 2021 propelled by higher gold prices.

The earnings have shot despite an incline in production due to the corona virus pandemic.

AngloGold said that its headline earnings for the quarter rose to 42% equivalent to $203 million compared with last year’s $143 million.

Gold prices have boosted the profits of miners with the company receiving an average gold price of $1,788 per ounce during the quarter.

The mining company said production declined by 7% equivalent to 588,000 ounces at a total cost of $999 per ounce, from 630 000 ounces at a total cash of $773 an ounce a year ago.

The coronavirus pandemic accounts for an estimated 4000 ounces of lost production and an estimated $29 an ounce of all-in sustaining costs, said the group, citing lower production at Brazilian operations and the Obuasi mine in Ghana.

Brazil is a high-risk region for AngloGold Ashanti as the spread of Covid-19 has negatively impacted operational efficiencies, while the elevated iron ore price has led to critical skills shortages, as the iron ore industry seeks to bolster its employee base,” said AngloGold.

The Company also attributed an increased employee turnover and scarcity of certain skills to iron ore prices and border closures in Australia.

“AngloGold Ashanti is working closely with its employees on retention of critical skills, as well as putting in place the necessary training and graduate programmes for succession planning,” said AngloGold.

KNH admits burying woman without notifying family

KNH admits burying woman without notifying family. [Image: Courtesy]
KENYA— A family is demanding for answers from Kenya National Hospital (KNH) after it discovered their kin, Sabenzia Kilong was burried without their consent.

In a statement issued by the hospital, KNH admitted that it burried the late Kilong without permission from the family.

KNH further admitted that the deceased was admitted at the hospital, claims which they had initially denied.

Kilong is said to have been burried at the Lang’ata cemetery.

The family has said that they visited KNH several times to look for their loved (manually and in records) but the hospital denied having admitted her.

According to them Kilong, a hawker in the city stopped communicating with them in December. Since then, they have been looking for her at city hospitals and morgues including KNH.

KNH later recanted their statement following investigations from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) who traced Kilong’s phone to the hospital.

The family said that after tracing the phone, the DCI wrote to KNH to inquire of her whereabouts.

KNH CEO Dr Evans Kamuri on Sunday, 9 said Ms Kilong was admitted there but under a different name.

“We would like to clarify that the deceased was admitted to the hospital under Sabenzia Kilong and not Spencier Kilong.” Dr. Kamuri said, adding that the hospital could not trace Sabenzia’s next of kin at the time she was admitted and during her treatment.

The hospital said that the body was unclaimed for four months and was released for burial on April 27, 2021.

“The Public Health Act Cap 242 allows hospitals to dispose unclaimed bodies after 10 days. However, KNH extends the waiting period by 11 days making it a total of 21 days.”

“While we remain open and invite any further information, at present all indications are that the hospital followed all due procedure in admission, hospital care, farewell admission and finally burial of this patient.” it added.

Following this revelation, the family has expressed its disbelief and shock.

“We, the Kilong family have received a media response from the Kenyatta National Hospital concerning the sickness, death and burial of our late daughter/sister Sabenzia Chepkesis Kilong commonly known as Spe, Sape, or Spencier with shock and disbelief,” said Brian Kilong who is a family member.

KNH has extended its condolences to the family adding that it will corporate with authorities on the matter.

Bahati pens appreciation message after meeting with Diamond in South Africa

Bahati pens appreciation message after meeting with Diamond in South Africa. [Image: Courtesy]
KENYA — Popular Kenyan singer Kevin Bahati has today taken to Instagram to show his appreciation to WCB founder Diamond Platinumz.

In a message penned down to Diamond, the Kenyan singer expressed his gratitude towards the WCB president thanking him for his guidance.

“Yesterday Night in Joburg South Africa With Africa’s Number #1 Musician @DiamondPlatnumz 🌍 Bro Thank You for Always Giving Me a Listening Ear and Guidance; I Never Take it for Granted!

Your Words & Advice Yesterday🙌 I Know that Will Make My Upcoming Álbum One of the Best I have Ever Done! I’m Humbled 🙏 Thank You for Always Being The Realest Big Brother 🥂🦁🔝🔥❤🌍” Bahati wrote.

Bahati is in South Africa to represent Kenya at the 2021 #AfricaDayConcert that will be hosted by Actor Idris Elba.

Yesterday Bahati shared a post stating that he will be the only Kenyan artist to perform at the concert.

“ANOTHER WIN 🔥🔥🔥 Your Boy Bahati is International Now The Only Kenyan Artist Performing at #AfricaDayConcert 2021 Happening in South Africa Brought to you by @MtvbaseAfrica and @Youtube Hosted by @IdrisElba  I am Humbled to Be Representing My Country 🇰🇪🇰🇪🇰🇪 JO’BURG SEE YOU TOMORROW !!!”

The virtual concert which is sponsored by MTV and YouTube will feature African stars from across the continent.

It will be streamed live to a global audience on YouTube and broadcast on MTV channels.

The event is aimed at celebrating Africa Day and raising funds to support families affected by Covid-19 pandemic.

Six killed in Somalia suicide bombing

Six killed in Somalia suicide bombing after a suicide bomber blew up himself in Waberi district. [Image: Courtesy]
MOGADISHU, Somalia — At least six people including two senior police officers have been killed and six others injured during a suicide bombing that took place in Mogadishu on Sunday evening.

According to police, the incident happened when a suicide bomber blew up himself at a police station in Waberi district, Mogadishu.

The two officers who died have been identified as Ahmed Bashane, the Waberi district police commander and Abdi Basid, the deputy commander of Waliyow Adde police divisions.

According to a witness, Bashane died at the scene while Agey succumbed to injuries after being evacuated for medical treatment.

“We can confirm that the suicide bomb attack killed six people including two senior police officers, three soldiers and a neighbor and injured six others this evening so far.” Said Police spokesperson Sadik Aden Ali

Reports allege that the explosion was caused by a suicide bomber who was targeting the regional governor Ali Wardheere who was inside a café.

The governor survived the attack but two of his security guards have been reportedly wounded.

Independent sources said the death toll is likely to rise since the blast was huge and many civilians were around the vicinity.

The attack took place despite a heightened security to ensure safety of residents who are in the holy month of Ramadan.

President Salva Kiir dissolves parliament

President Salva Kiir dissolves parliament. [Image: Courtesy]
JUBA, South Sudan — South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir has dissolved parliament following a 2018 peace deal between him and Vice President Riek Machar.

The peace deal which was signed in 2018 determines that a quarter of the MPs would come from Machar’s party which is the opposition.

The dissolution now paves way for the appointment of legislators from the opposition party.

The new assembly will have 550 lawmakers, with a majority of 332 from President Kiir’s governing SPLM party.

The members of parliament will not be elected but nominated by the different parties.

The move to dissolve parliament comes after US special envoy to South Sudan Donald Booth paid a visit to Juba.

“Of particular concern to the United States is the slow implementation of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan, ongoing violence, and deteriorating economic and humanitarian conditions.” The US state department said in a statement.

Activists and civil society groups have welcomed the move saying it was long overdue.

“It is a welcome development and we hope that the dissolution (will not) also open the way to a lengthy process towards reconstituting the parliament.

“The civil society is getting frustrated and no longer believes that even if the parliament is reconstituted it will be a very viable parliament.” Said Jame David Kolock, chairman of the South Sudan Civil Society Forum.

In February 2020, Kiir and Machar formed a coalition government after almost a year of delays.

The rival leaders had missed deadlines twice in the past year to form a transitional government.

South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in July 2011 following a 2005 agreement that put an end to Africa’s longest-running civil war.

In 2013, violence erupted after Kiir sacked vice president Riek Machar. The two rivals are from different ethnic groups.

Equity and co-operative banks among top lenders owing the State millions

Equity and co-operative banks among top lenders owing the State millions. [Image: Courtesy]
NAIROBI, Kenya — The National Treasury has disclosed a report listing Equity Bank Kenya and Co-operative bank among five financial institutions which owe the state more than Ksh.1billion in outstanding loans.

The two banks are among 56 firms which held Ksh.867 billion in outstanding loans from the national government as at the end of June 2020.

According to documents tabled in parliament, Treasury said that Equity bank had an outstanding loan of Ksh.493.47 million out of the Ksh.654.3 million loan it received from the government.

Co-operative bank on the other hand owes the state Ksh.287.42 million out of Ksh.417.86 million it received.

Treasury said that the two biggest lenders together with three micro-financiers including Faulu Kenya, Rafiki Micro-Finance and Kenya Women Finance Trust owe the State around Ksh.1.3 billion.

Kenya Women Finance Trust tops the micro-finance debt list with an outstanding debt of Ksh.100.56 million out of Ksh.241.33 million while Faulu Kenya owes the government Ksh.98.15 million out of the Ksh.241.33 million it borrowed.

Counterpart Rafiki Micro-finance has arrears amounting to approximately Ksh.46.4 million out of Ksh111.35 million it received.

The above listed are among parastatals and other state-controlled organisations which have paid a small percentage of 4.4% which equates to Ksh.40.05 billion out of the Ksh.907.06 billion they owe the government.

Some of the state-controlled firms with outstanding loans include; Kenya Railway Corporation, Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) and the country’s major power distributor Kenya Power.

Equity bank is the country’s biggest lender by deposits accounts while co-operative Bank is the country’s largest bank by assets.

Metrobus strike to leave 30 000 commuters stranded Monday morning

Metrobus strike to leave 30 000 commuters stranded Monday morning. [Image: Courtesy]
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — Metrobus drivers in Johannesburg South Africa are set to go on a strike today morning following a deadlock on salary negotiations.

The Democratic and Allied Workers’ Union of South Africa (Demawusa) members will stage a protest at Gandhi Square in Johannesburg from 10:00 on Monday.

“Despite efforts by Metrobus management, the industrial action by Metrobus employees under the banner of the Democratic and Allied Workers’ Union of South Africa (DEMAWUSA) has not stopped.

“Management has met with the Union and stated its position, which is in accordance with the principles of orderly collective bargaining as cut lined in labour relations Legislation.” Read part of a notice issued by Metrobus.

Demawusa and Metrobus failed to reach an agreement on salary negotiations after the employer (Metrobus) said it is unable to meet the demand for a salary increase.

The union has demanded for an 18 % salary increase while raising concerns over salary disparities and unfair dismissals.

They have vowed not to back down until their demands are met.

It is estimated that at least 30 000 commuters who use the service daily are likely to be stranded. The service covers 300 scheduled routes including 128 school routes in Johannesburg.

Ghanaian MPs cited in the Name and Shame Trend on Twitter

Ghanaian MPs cited in the Name and Shame Trend on Twitter

ACCRA, Ghana— twitter users in Ghana including celebrities and social media influencers have started a new trend on twitter dubbed #nameandshame just after the Accra High court issued a restraining order on #FixThe Country demonstration.

Social media influencer Kayla is the leader of the #Nameandshame trend. He said that since the High Court has stopped the demonstration which was to take place on May 9, Ghanaians will take the demonstrations online.

He wrote, “Today was beautiful. The court said No demonstration And I’ll go with that. That does not mean we still can’t complain. Online demonstrations go on. We will do everything online. #Nameand Shame.”

The trend has already seen some members of parliament included in the list of political leaders who have not embarked on any development projects in their various constituencies.

They include, Majority leader Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, Gender Minister and MP for Dome-Kwabenya, Sarah Adwoa Sarfo, MP for Nsawam, Frank Annor Dompreh, among others.

This move comes after Ghanaians have complained of the current hard economic times in the country.

Nyeri tycoon accused of plotting son’s murder is dead

Nyeri tycoon accused of plotting son’s murder is dead. [Image: Courtesy]
NYERI, Kenya —Nyeri tycoon Stephen Wang’ondu who is accused of orchestrating the murder of his son, has passed on.

The businessman is said to have died on Friday at a private hospital where he was admitted.

News of his death was confirmed by his son Mworia Wang’ondu and lawyer Mahugu Mbarire.

The family has refused to disclose the cause of his death.

Stephen, alongside four other people had been charged with the murder of his son Daniel Mwangi who was found dead at his home in January 1, 2021.

The four include, James Mahinda, Eddy Kariuki, Raphael Wachira and Geoffery Warutumo,

Last week, the five suspects were granted a Ksh.1 million bond by the High Court in Nyeri despite protest by the prosecution.

The murder plot

Detectives in conjunction with the central regional criminal investigation officers revealed that Stephen was the mastermind behind his son’s killing.

A statement from DCI indicated that in December 2020, Stephen hired his driver James Mahinda to kill Daniel over a family feud.

Mahinda is said to have been paid a facilitation fee estimated at Ksh.20,000 to hire a team of assailants for the murder.

“Mahinda the proceeded to Embu on December 31 where he picked his accomplices, briefing them on their target, his residence, movements.” Read the statement in part.

The assailants are said to have purchased their murder weapon at a local shop in Mweiga , Nyeri and would later kill Daniel.

Until his death, Stephen denied the accusations and maintained he was innocent.