Photo: Safaricom Marathon

7 interesting things that made the news this week (23rd Feb – 1st Mar)

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.

Are Kenyans poor?

It looks like so. Around 75% of Kenyans have a bank account but less than 1% of these accounts hold more than sh.1 million. It’s 0.7% to be exact. This dire fact was revealed by CBK Governor, himself, Patrick Njoroge. It could be that wealth inequality is a serious concern and also that middle class Kenyans are awful at saving money. Kenya’s saving rates are below the African average after all.

The CBK Governor revealed this to the Parliamentary Committee on Finance and National Planning. They were going on about a law requiring transactions above sh.1 million to be declared.

Gender Bill

The Gender Bill, which is subject to MPs vote, failed to hit quorum for the 4th time. The Bill requires that the two-thirds gender rule be upheld in all elective and appointment positions in public service. This means 39 more MPs and 3 more Senators will be a thing. Of course, Kenyans have not warmed up to it over concerns about the public wage bill. Or you want more representatives?

Women Parliamentarians, on their part, now want Parliament dissolved for not meeting this constitutional requirement.

Liquid Telecom fish sensors

Liquid Telecom IoT

ICT firm, Liquid Telecom rolled out an Internet of Things (IoT) network that will greatly benefit fish farmers in Kenya. In this pilot phase, 10 sensors have been connected to monitor water temperature and pH values (acidity). The data is then sent to farmers through a mobile app called AquaRech. Fish farmers can draw information like feeding patterns from this.

Liquid Telecom IoT

Liquid Telecom has deployed it in the former Nyanza and Western provinces. They are targeting 5,000 fish farmers in 2019 before expanding countrywide. Liquid Telecom East Africa CEO, Adil El-Youssefi said, “AquaRech offers the hope of delivering thousands of tonnes a year in increased fish production, putting farmers back into a sector many have abandoned on the challenge of adapting feeds.”

Government wants to own Kenyan Airways

Face palm. Right now the Government owns 48.9% of Kenya Airways. But Esther Koimett says, “we can create a path that leads it to a 100 percent ownership by Government.” Esther is the Transport Principal Secretary. Why does Kenya want to go against it’s own privatization strategy? It’s so that they can compete against other state-owned airlines in Africa and beyond. But the Kenyan Government isn’t that good at managing things (just look at the country it runs, haha). Do we need to say more?

Drought in 2019!

Are we the only ones who think it’s embarrassing for a country with drought problems to have their president launching ferris wheels? Yeah, over 10 counties are at great risk of drought. This has been confirmed by a National Disaster Management Authority report. And they warn, “Preparations of sector response plans should start in the affected counties to facilitate early drought response.” Here are the counties named:

  1. Nyeri
  2. Mandera
  3. West Pokot
  4. Kilifi
  5. Laikipia
  6. Garissa
  7. Turkana
  8. Marsabit
  9. Samburu
  10. Tana River
  11. Isiolo
  12. Kitui
  13. Wajir

One indicator of the problem at hand is that households in these counties are covering greater distances in search of water. Ferris wheel? We hate it when Kenya pretends to be Morocco or something.

Fake money

Police nabbed 2 individuals with fake money, reportedly, amounting to sh.32 billion. They were stashed in metal boxes and came in different currencies – Kenyan Shilling, Euros, Pounds and Dollars. The two suspects are, man and woman, Joseph Munyao Kamandi and Nancy Muthoni Muchori. They will be held at Kilimani Police Station until March 12th, 2019. A Margistrate okayed it saying, “Police have sufficient grounds to detain the respondents for the period requested.”

Safaricom Marathon

This annual event will take place on 29th June in 2019. Safaricom Marathon takes place to help raise money for a number of social causes. Some of these include wildlife conservation, equipping schools and promoting sustainable use of water. In fact, 10,000 students are beneficiaries.

Safaricom Director of Consumer Business Unit, Charles Wanjohi gave a reason why they will continue to support Safaricom Marathon. “We have seen its impact (on) over 500,000 lives that are touched through the various initiatives.” You can register yourself or a kid for the children fun race on the official website. Admit it, you probably need a good run.