7 interesting things that made the news this week (13th Oct – 19th Oct)

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.

Development in the Counties

The Lake Region Economic Bloc (LREB) continues to pick up steam. Although, many still hold reservations. Kisumu County became the third to pass a bill ratifying entry into this development bloc. Kakamega and Kisii made similar moves earlier. This regional bloc will coordinate development of the lake region. 11 other counties are expected to follow. They are: Siaya, Nandi, Trans Nzoia, Kericho, Bomet, Bungoma, Vihiga, Busia, Migori, Nyamira and Homa Bay. The first step, for the group, will be establishment of a development bank. Each county is expected to contribute sh.200 million in seed capital.

BRT drama

Earlier in the week, Isuzu East Africa celebrated rolling out locally assembled buses designed for the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) system. The firm’s managing director, Rita Kavashe even gave a half plea about how “Kenya has the capacity to manufacture these buses.” The Government intent has always been to import the buses from South Africa. Following, Nairobi County dismissed Isuzu’s achievement by banning the buses over failing to meet all design specifications. Mohamed Dagane, Nairobi Transport Executive, revealed some that were not met, like the aisle width, door size and flat floors (no stairs). He said, “We have to be careful with what we allow on our roads.”

50 Genius Companies of 2018

Time Magazine published a first 50 Genius Companies list. It features companies compiled by Time’s journalists and editors then sorted by their Originality, Influence, Success and Ambition. 6 African companies made the cut among names like SpaceX. Of these, 2 were Kenyan (or Kenyan-based) companies:

Time's 50 Genius Companies

BRCK is a hardware, software company that has released acclaimed products like portable educational kits. The other, ONA, is a social enterprise that offers data solutions.

No money for farmers

Miraa farmers, in Kenya, have been struggling to secure new markets ever since they were locked out of some lucrative ones. UK and Netherlands banned this Miraa trade over health concerns. A Miraa Task Force has been working out solutions. A sh.1 billion fund is available for that, but none of it will be given directly to farmers. Head of the task force, Hello Harsana confirmed this. “We don’t have money to give out to individuals…but we will undertake programmes according to the needs of the farmers and improve the crop.” Farmers will be assisted to reclaim their crops from exploitative middlemen, though.

MCAs insist on travel

The National Government issued a guideline on how trips should be undertaken – like, having a statement of benefit. MCAs have given their defiant response, through Eric Wamumbi. He is the Secretary-General of the County Assemblies Forum. He said, “County assemblies are not answerable to the Ministry of Devolution. We will not comply with the guidelines issued.” Mr. Wanumbi defended MCAs stance by reminding Kenyans that Counties did not exceed travel expenditure ceiling. 

 Kenyan woman honoured

A Kenyan woman living in the UK received a Women Leadership award. Yvonne Owuor was recognized for her commitment to, positive, community-impact projects. She spoke with Brits in Kenya prior and said, ““I am currently involved with Food Bank, Work Tree, World Vision, Community Action MK and Habitat for Humanity and always try to give back my time so as to make a difference.”

Yvonne works as a major projects advisor.

Husband snatcher

Women in a village of Murang’a County ganged up against a woman who was allegedly snatching their husbands. Bar tender, 28 year-old Nancy Wairimu was lucky the women’s husband’s were around to prevent things from getting even more dramatic. One woman was quoted, by the Daily Nation, echoing sentiments of the group.

“It’s our husbands who brag how beautiful the woman is, but we want her to show us what she does to attract our men or she goes back to where she came from. She has contributed to our men neglecting their marital responsibilities.”

The men’s retort was that Nancy “smells good” and is also “grateful.” The lady in the middle of it all maintained that she is innocent.