Photo: Monument Immigration

7 interesting things that made the news this week (1st Dec – 7th Dec)

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.

A different Government

Coast region Governors, Hassan Joho and Amason Kingi proposed a different form of Government. The two were in attendance at the Building Bridges Initiative, Advisory Taskforce meeting in Mombasa. They wish to see Government run by a Prime Minister and two Deputies, while retaining a President and a Deputy as heads of state. That’s not all. They want the provinces to come back as full-on regional Governments. The County kingpins would report to that level. What do you think?

Joho’s view is that the revenue sharing arrangement between counties and the national Government is ineffectual. The former gets only 15% of the cut. He said,  “I propose that we have another tier government with 12 units, give this government 30 percent, let the counties retain the 15 percent and the national government 55 percent of the allocations. This is in line with the Bomas draft but with the county government retained.” Ok, I think Federal Government is a good idea – instead of breaking Kenya apart.

Presumptive Tax

This tax, a product of the Finance Act 2018, will take effect on 1st January, 2019. It is harsh – as all taxes are. But it is an attempt by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) to nab small businesses that do not pay their fair share of taxes. Small businesses will be required to pay 15% of their county business permit or license fee as tax. Otherwise renewal of authority to operate will not be granted.


KRA expects to raise an extra sh.60 billion from this. The tax body will be conducting a countrywide sensitization campaign, this month, to clarify to folks what the Presumptive Tax means.

America fishing for citizens

A Private Equity firm, Atlantic American Partners is giving Kenyans the chance to acquire U.S. citizenship. This is through the U.S. immigrant investor program. Essentially, you can buy an American passport for sh.50 million ($500k). The U.S. issues 10,000 of these every year to attract investment in the country. The aforementioned Private Equity firm says 100 Kenyans have shown interest. Through the firm, a Kenyan would pay an additional sh.2 million ($20k) legal fees and sh.4.6 million ($46k) to have them manage the investment for you. A representative of Atlantic American Partners confirmed that they’ll be around for 3 weeks, if you want to do this. Free public education of “high quality” was mentioned as a reason a poor-country citizen would be interested in this program. But if everyone runs, who’ll build here? The problem is also us, not the wildlife. We just carry it with us.

Kakamega County

Kakamega County General Teaching and Referral Hospital borrowed well from Nairobi’s matatu ban. The hospital implemented a weak solution to a problem. Apparently, because security, people seeking services were being turned away for not carrying a national ID card – except emergency cases. Needless to say, many Kenyans were inconvenienced including those who had come from far. The hospital was defensive. Medical Superintendent, Victor Zimbulu said, “We are trying to discourage people showing up at the hospital without any identification documents and later end up engaging in suspect activities. We have established that there are cases of individuals who sneak into wards and are served food meant for patients.”

Pwani Innovation Week concludes

This event was announced in April 2018, a good excuse to be at the coast from early December. It brought interested parties together, from the 3rd to the 7th of December, to chart the way to developing an innovation ecosystem at the coast – a region of 6 Counties. Different events were organized including; workshops, hackathons, panel discussions, and presentations.

Pwani Innovation Week

Mombasa Governor, Hassan Joho graced the event made possible by several entities, including Swahilipot Hub. Did you miss it? You can catch video recordings of what went down on the official Facebook page ‘Pwani Innovation Week’ as well as the hashtag, on Twitter, #PwaniInnovationWeek.

Maize Price stays

The Government offer price, to farmers, of sh.2,300 for a 90 Kilo bag of maize will remain. Farmers have been insistent on raising it back to sh.3,200. But Agriculture Chief Administrative Secretary, Andrew Tumur told the National Assembly Committee on Agriculture that the price is locked in. It is set by the Strategic Food Reserve and they, through a think tank, found that the cost to produce a 90 Kilo bag of maize in Kenya is sh.1,539. Farmers insist that it’s higher than this. Time to develop our value chain, don’t you think?

Eliud Kipchoge

Remember him? He broke the Marathon record in September. World Athletics governing body IAAF crowned him the male athlete of the year. The awards gala was held in Monaco.

A Colombian jumper, Caterina Ibarguen was named female athlete of 2018.