churches should pay taxes

7 interesting things that made the news this week (10th Nov – 16th Nov)

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.

Nairobi County

Nairobi County is expecting to implement two far-reaching changes in the near future. First, the county leadership has determined that there is not enough constables to enforce by-laws. A January 2018 count revealed that there are under 100 such personnel. So, Nairobi will be spending sh.600 million to train and recruit 800 more constables by 2020.

Business operating costs could also go higher. MCAs passed a motion requiring public establishments, such as hotels, to designate nursing and breastfeeding areas. Doris Kanario, who tabled it, said this was driven by concern for struggles by mothers juggling between work and nursing. There were supporting sentiments from other women MCAs. One described the motion as “crucial.”

Churches get their way

The National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) finally got the President to bend to their will. Uhuru Kenyatta, addressing the Ministry of Education, directed that management and control of assets of formerly church-owned schools revert to form. He said, at a funeral service, “…and I’m saying it for the last time today. I want you to ensure that you resolve that sponsorship issue. And secondly, you have one week to restore all church-owned school land to the rightful owner.” The problem? The Government has been the custodian of the schools partly because of capacity to manage them. Such schools include famed Alliance and Kenya High Schools. Churches have been acting in a secondary supporting role.

MCA beaten up

Sorry, it’s not a yaay moment. Is it? Nelson Lotela, an MCA in Baringo, was roughed up by his colleagues, and had to be hospitalized. The issue was a standoff on who was to be elected into a new county public service board. Two factions formed, and neither of the KANU nominees got an advantage over the other. How did it descend into what it did? I don’t know. Majority Leader, Lawi Kipchumba gave a clue. “They locked the room before beating him. We had to break the door so that security officers could gain entry and rescue him.” Just another day in the office, folks.

Raila and Waiguru make peace
Raila and Waiguru

It took a two hour meeting but, yeah, it happened. They even held a low-key presser after. Raila Odinga, selling out, no I mean rethinking things, said, “A lot of facts have since emerged since I first made the revelations and we have agreed that we should let bygones be bygones.” Raila accused Waiguru of masterminding the National Youth Service (NYS) fund loot but will now “entrust” investigations to reveal the truth. Anne Waiguru, who went on to become governor, also indicated she will drop a defamation suit she filed. “The case is settled in the spirit of cohesion, oneness and reconciliation.”

Plastic ban contested, again

The National Environment Management Authority’s (NEMA) faulty move to ban plastic bags was called out again. This time, by food exporters who are asking to be showed alternatives. Interviewed by a leading daily, they raised specific complaints. One, “salt cannot be put in a bag without lining inside.” Two, “I can’t export crisps in manilla paper because they are not conducive, my customers are complaining that my items taste differently.” NEMA refuses to see the setback this ban brings to business or the option of dealing with waste management at disposal phase, describing the complaints as “hullabaloo.” There’s no such thing as green industrialization, let us be.

Boat crackdown

Enforcement of rules wasn’t just limited to Matatus. In Lamu, water is a primary mode of transport and boat operators were being put to task. No yellow line, but they require necessary registration and permits to run. Other traffic rules for them include issues of overloading, overspeeding and having safety gear like life jackets. Lamu County Commissioner, Joseph Kanyiri was clear. “The ongoing crackdown for vehicles…will also target all boat operators in Lamu.”

Divorce after 56 years of bliss

Not cool but it is what it is. A 74 year old woman in Murang’a is divorcing her husband of 56 years, accusing him of neglect. The two got married in 1962. Marcella Mukami has been confined to a wheelchair and has relied on her daughter to take care of her. The husband, Peter Kinyugo ditched her for the second wife. Marcella said, “Problems in my marriage started 6 years ago when Mr. Kinyugo would stay at my co-wife’s house for weeks without coming to my house, which is in the same compound.”

She is therefore pleading for the divorce, so she can get a share of property and take care of herself. Her pension is not enough given her condition. Hey, slaayyy queen!!!