7 interesting things that made the news this week (25th Aug – 31st Aug)

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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.

Deputy Chief Justice in trouble

This plot would fit in an episode of a good drama TV series like ‘Billions’, if it wasn’t such a serious issue. Remember when the Executive said they would “revisit” the Presidential Election matter? Hopefully it has nothing to do with this. Deputy Chief Justice, Philomena Mwilu was this week arrested over a number of offences. She is accused of forgery, abuse of office and tax evasion. These are run-of-the-mill crimes by Kenyan standards, unfortunately. Her case is set for 9th October, 2018 where she will be counting on her army of 18 lawyers, to clear her name. Philomena Mwilu says the allegations are motivated by malice – a scheme to embarrass and oust her.

Parliament does good for Kenyans

At least this was their intent this week. Junet Mohamed said, “it is time we side with them.” Parliament moved to postpone the fuel tax to 2020. The 16% VAT on fuel was to take effect on 1st September, 2018. But the choice will make public revenue collection goals harder to realize. Our Parliament also chose to not pass the 1.5% house levy that was part of financing the Housing plan (one of the big 4 plans). They argued that Kenyans are already burdened by tax, as it is, and cost of living. That was not everything. Jude Njomo was convinced to drop his idea of compelling banks and other financial institutions in Kenya to set aside 10% of their loan portfolio for SMEs. We say let the market sort itself, government interference almost always leads to more problems. But that also means the Government should treat all players equitably.

 

UPDATE: The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) confirmed that the 16% VAT on fuel is in effect

Who is the fairest of them all?

Maybe Millennials in Kenya actually have it easier. Old people (born before 1980, haha) tell us that in their time Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs) forced them to kill public spending and left them worse off. We are alive to see Kenya being courted by USA, UK and China all at once. We hope that is what it is.

Theresa May Kenya

President, Uhuru Kenyatta was hosted by his American counterpart, Donald Trump. The respective First Ladies were also present. There was some noise about Mr. Kenyatta’s “slay queen” accent. The two Presidents praised the “solid” relationship between USA and Kenya. And committed to work on strengthening it. President Kenyatta said, “Most importantly, we are here looking to enhance our partnership in trade and investment.” Hot on the heels, Kenya received UK Prime Minister, Theresa May. She wanted to work on a relationship that has been described as “stagnant.” China overtook UK in investments into Kenya. Speaking of which, Uhuru Kenyatta will be meeting China’s leadership soon. Let’s hope all this puts ugali on our tables.

Bitcoin vibrant in Kenya

According to localbitcoins, Kenya is number 3 in trading Bitcoins in Africa. Kenya has traded sh.2.5 billion ($25 million) worth of Bitcoin. Is this a finger to the Central Bank? CBK has reiterated that it has no confidence in cryptocurrency. Cryptos are considered new age money or assets depending on who you ask. Anyway, in Africa, only Nigeria and South Africa respectively trade more Bitcoins than Kenya.

If you need a quick guide on Bitcoin read this.

Huduma Center

Huduma Center GPO had to contend with electricity disconnection this week, in its service delivery mandate. This was due to unpaid bills. An employee, quoted, eased fears of bigger problems by stating that the power cuts are only part of a “long-standing dispute,” which was affecting the whole building. Huduma Center is a one-stop-shop for a selection of Government services.

MEST class of 2019

On concluding a first pan-African pitch competition, MEST is celebrating its most diverse selection of entrepreneurs. This group of entrepreneurs form the 2019 cohort. They are drawn from 13 African countries: Cameroon, Ghana, Gambia, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Mali, South Africa, Sudan, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Kenya.

MEST 2019

Photo: MEST

MEST recruitment lead, Tobi Lafinhan said that all chosen deserved it and that the “diversity is not just about nationality, it is also seen in their backgrounds, passions and experiences.”

Kobi Kihara

Media personality, Kobi Kihara messed up big time. She was exposed for displaying a ”fake lifestyle” on social media. Kobi Kihara was attributing photos from elsewhere as her actual life experience. Yes, and she slept at night like a baby (haha, this is as much roasting as we’ll do – we’re good people).

Kobi Kihara Instagram

the absolute state of things

After a #KobiKiharaChallenge peaked, she couldn’t take it anymore and seemingly left social media. Her Instagram and Twitter accounts don’t exist anymore. Let’s be real people.

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