7 interesting things that made the news this week (3rd Nov – 9th 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.

Will privatization work?

More than 20 state-owned companies are set for privatization. This is after approval by the Privatization Commission, in a process that has been going on since 2005. There hasn’t been much implementation between that time and now. But this time the Government feels pressed to divert resources to other uses and privatization is seen as one avenue to ease pressure. State-owned companies to be touched by this total 26 and vary by sector of engagement. A few of those names for selling off include National Bank of Kenya and Kenya Meat Commission.

Is it good? Yes and no. Privatization will save Kenya money and keep Government away from cutting out the private sector. But privatization can lead to greater costs for all of us as public interest is relegated. Oh, and the job losses that come with.

Harambee Starlets

Of late, the Kenya women’s football team has enjoyed comparatively more success. The team has been preparing after a consecutive qualification to the Africa Women Cup of Nations. It looks like all their hard work will come to nothing, if a decision by the continent’s football administrative body is left to stand. Confederation of African Football (CAF) reversed a successful appeal by Kenya to be included in the tournament over Equatorial Guinea. The small country was found guilty of fielding an ineligible player. Kenya has decried timing of the ruling. The tournament kicks off, in a few days, on 17th November in Ghana. Football Kenya Federation (FKF) released a statement indicating it will take this issue up with the Court of Arbitration for Sports.

KDF to stay in Somalia

President, Uhuru Kenyatta confirmed that Kenya’s military engagement in Somalia will continue. He said, “To secure Kenya and our region, our forces will continue joint operations with the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom).” The President was speaking at the Recruits Training School in Eldoret. He was overseeing a passing-out parade.

Photo: KDF

Kenya has been on the mission since 2011. The African Union has been eyeing a 2020 exit so that Somalia’s army can finally take over, but Kenya prefers a delay to the date. Kenya is set to receive sh.8.5 billion refund, for the mission, from the UN.

Housing Fund plan

Okay, so you already know that formally salaried Kenyans will contribute 1.5% pay to the Housing Fund. Did you know the Government is expecting to squeeze sh.57 billion a year from 2.5 million such Kenyans? The contributions will act as security to negotiate a mortgage or for tenant purchase schemes. But access, for the purpose, will only be possible after 5 years of “uninterrupted contribution.” This will give time to complete the housing units and mobilize funds. You will be able to get your money back, plus interest earned, if you fail to obtain a house in 15 years. Also, God forbid, if you are incapacitated and unable to contribute.

There is also a plan to issue mortgage-backed securities to all of short term, medium term and long term investors in the capital market. This will be a secondary financing tool for the scheme.

Civil servants shuffle

You know what they say about card tricks? Anyway, 150 procurement and accounting officers in public service are being moved to new work stations. Everything will be done by 3rd December, 2018. Treasury secretary, Kamau Thugge noted this as a measure to fight corruption and, “destabilize and dismantle entrenched cartel in line ministries.” He was quoted by the Daily Nation. Let’s just hope anything good comes out of this.

Selling alcohol in the estates

Justice Chacha Mwota has set precedence. The judge agreed to a resident association’s objection to a bar operating close to their children. The judge passed judgement, “allowing bars and liquor selling businesses within residential areas will violate the residents’ right to live in dignity and a healthy environment, fundamental rights enshrined in the Bill of Rights.” Any bar or alcohol outlet within 300 metres radius of a learning institution does not deserve a permit.

Kabarak Trademark

The Kenyan Industrial Property Institute (KIPI) has granted trademark status for former President Moi’s application for the name “Kabarak.” The application covering 45 classes means that no good or service can be offered under the name Kabarak. At least not without permission from Mr. Moi. A jail term, fine or both will be the price for abusing his right.

You’re here, so get a quick introduction to everything about trademarks in Kenya. You may need to protect something, entrepreneur.

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