7 interesting things that made the news this week (22st Sept – 28th Sept)

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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.

Affordable housing plan

Kenya was in attendance at the 73rd UN General Assembly. As well, our country got a vote of confidence on the Affordable housing plan from a UN body, tasked with project implementation. Another blow to the pessimism peddlers. The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) will be in a partnership with Kenya to finance construction of 100,000 affordable houses. President Uhuru Kenyatta commented on this development.

“Our Affordable Housing Program seeks to implement interventions that will ensure that developers can produce housing units at scale, homebuyers can access affordable financing facilities that allow them to buy homes, and that the enabling environment facilitates innovation, embraces technology, and commercial arrangements that can bring down the cost of construction.”

Bloggers Association of Kenya

The Bloggers Association of Kenya (BAKE) is challenging sections of the Finance Act 2018. BAKE isn’t removing the taxes, sorry. BAKE is moving against Government attempt to introduce sections of the Computer Misuse and Cyber Crimes Act “through the backdoor.” The organization did challenge sections of that Act in court. In a statement BAKE said, “This move compels us to seek an amendment to the current case we are pursuing against the Cybercrimes to include these new provisions.” The sections regard authority to access, disclose info in or manipulate computerized tax systems.

Banks doing well

This is not news. Banks always do well. They get first claim on the thing we are all looking for – money. What is interesting is analysis on banks closing in on pre-interest rate cap profits. The 8 main banks, accounting for 90% of industry income, have seen their earnings rise to sh.151 billion – up by 8.7%, in the latest financial results. This was mainly achieved by cost cutting in the form of layoffs and branch closure. The banks were able to lower costs by sh.700 million. CBK Governor, Patrick Njoroge urged the banks to “show leadership” in emphasizing public welfare too. He was speaking at the Research Conference by the Kenya Bankers Association.

Bar licensing halted

Nairobi City County’s Alcoholic Drinks Control and Licensing Board chair, Kennedy Odhiambo confirmed that issuance of bar license is frozen. The County wants to review existing ones first. The reading is not pretty. Out of 12,500 licenses approved by the previous Government, only 4,593 have been renewed for 2017/2018 financial year. The economy can’t be that bad guys. The county is predicting that several alcohol outlets are cheating Nairobi off revenue – by operating unlicensed premises (it’s the leaders who are bad, guys).

Utawala

Remember the song, by Juliani, with the same title urging Kenyans to step up. The humor, residents of Utawala decided to stage a protest against County leadership and unscrupulous business people. The residents complain about the effects of dusty roads and sand trucks making everything worse. The trucks use Utawala to avoid the weighbridge at Mlolongo. One protester was quoted, “We have tried to talk to the area MCA but haven’t seen any solutions. We are suffering.” This protest also raised questions about air pollution in Kenya. The country has laws but lacks data to fight against flouting.

High profile visit to Kenya

US first lady, Melania Trump will include Kenya in her first “solo trip.” She announced this herself. “October 1 will Mark the first day of my solo visit to four beautiful and very different countries in Africa: Ghana, Malawi, Kenya and Egypt.”

Melania Trump

She will be on a campaign to promote child welfare and education.

Good deeds

Another American lady has been on a campaign to Kenya. Isabella Rowan, a librarian from Florida, raised money to donate 33,000 books for public libraries in the country. She made a 3-week stay in Kenya to meet some beneficiaries of the books. This mission was completed in collaboration with Project Humanity and African Library Project. Isabella Rowan is on a second campaign to buy 1,000 books for Kendu Bay Community Library by mid 2019. She has set up an Amazon Wishlist for those willing and able to purchase books for the cause.

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