7 interesting things that made the news this week (17th Nov – 23rd Nov)

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Didn’t have time to catch up with all of the week’s news stories? Relax, follow Herbusiness summary and commentary of the most interesting things that made the news headlines in Kenya.

How much do you make?

The truth hurts. Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) found that 75% of formally employed Kenyans earn less than sh.50,000 a month. Close to 2 miilion earn less than sh.20,000 and close to 1 million Kenyans earn between sh.20,000 and sh.29,999. KNBS stats revealed that 749,344 Kenyans make between sh.30,000 and sh.49,999. These individuals spend most of their income on necessities. Then there are 601,507 who earn middle class tier salaries of between sh.50,000 and sh.99,999. Few Kenyans earn over sh.100,000 in formal employment, just over 76,000. This class includes professionals with several years of experience or post graduate qualifications. Teachers make up the most employees earning in this range.

Who is paying? First, formally employed Kenyans got a collective sh.1.8 trillion in 2017. The private sector paid sh.1.2 trillion of these – with local companies paying sh.438.5 billion. The Government beat them, paying sh.549.1 billion in salaries. As an entrepreneur, those stats really make you think.

KCPE overall performance summary

12,273 students scored over 400 marks, marking a third consecutive years of improvement. 400 marks is traditionally considered the you-passed-your-KCPE cutoff point. In total, 1.17% of students scored within this range. 21.7% of those who sat the exam in 2018 scored between 301 and 400 marks. Boys scored more in Mathematics, Science, Social Studies and Religious Studies. Girls were better at English, Kiswahili and Kenyan Sign Language.

READ: 4 WAYS TO ATTRACT MORE GIRLS INTO STEM

Education Cabinet Secretary, Amina Mohamed reassured that every student will get a form one slot. “We are ready to admit more learners under the Free Day Secondary Education program.” This is part of the Government’s 100% transition policy.

Meru County making moves
Meru and China

Photo: Meru Bulletin

Meru County is ready to work with Chinese investors to realize its potential. Governor, Kiraitu Murungi met with delegates from a Chinese Province to discuss things. Meru’s investment needs were identified as agribusiness and hospitality. Macadamia nuts processing was specified, considering Kenya recently gained export access to the second biggest market in the world. Kiraitu also said, “Meru National Park is a unique tourist attraction but we lack hotels.” The County leadership is open to giving free land and assisting in expediting of licenses for the investors.

You will soon identify fake doctors

The Kenyan Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board (KMPDB) is finishing up a platform that will enable Kenyans identify quacks. This will be through SMS and barcode. Health Cabinet Secretary, Sicily Kariuki will launch it next month. The development was revealed by KMPDB Chief Executive, Daniel Yumbwa. He had been summoned by Nairobi County Health committee to explain about the fact that 34% of clinics in Nairobi operate illegally. Yumbwa argued that the punishment for contravening licensing laws were lenient.

Matatu fallout

A number of matatu associations and saccos decided to withdraw from, the umbrella body, Matatu Owners Association (MOA). Representative of the groups, Calvin Nyaure said, “We have decided to denounce our membership to MOA because we feel it has failed to defend us against the harassment that matatu operators in Nairobi have undergone.” MOA was accused of being in bed with Government. And participating in a ploy to “swindle” Matatus. The disgruntled group didn’t have nice things to say about plans to replace Matatus with a BRT system.

Teachers made to wait for pension

18 years wasn’t enough, 52,000 retired teachers will wait a few more months for their case over their pension to be heard. This judgement was passed at the Nakuru High Court. The teachers are claiming sh.43 billion in salary and pension arrears. They also charged, Director of Pensions, Shem Nyakutu of frustrating their payment. The Teachers Service Commission (TSC), washing its hands off of, mentioned it deposited money with the pensions office for disbursement. But the pensions office hasn’t even met court orders to submit a report of status update on payment, nor has it disclosed amount received from Government to make payments.

Voluntary Colonialism

Would you be willing to have foreigners manage Kenya for some decades? Maybe have Europeans come back or the Chinese do their thing? This proposal is back in the news again, by a German Minister. Basically, us, Africans would lease land for 50 years to foreign bodies to “develop.” Do you want?

There are supporters. Strathmore Business School’s Carol Musyoka believes it’s okay as long as intent is “genuine.” The African Union (AU) is antagonistic and described it as “a lazy answer.” AU’s envoy on Infrastructure Development, Raila Odinga also had a thing to say – against the proposition. “I envision that our African growth model will drive an African miracle…driven by unity, political and economic intergration.”

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