Thursday, April 25, 2013

Govt risks Sh9.6bn loss in disputed Kiwira sale

Chairman of the Public Organisations Accounts Committee (POAC), Mr Zitto Kab
Thursday, 19 January 2012  
By Florence Mugarula
The Citizen Reporter
Dar es Salaam. The government is likely to lose $6 million (Sh9.6 billion) after the ministry of Energy and Minerals approved the sale of part of Kiwira Coal Mine to Tanza Coal Tanzania Limited.The chairman of the Public Organisations Accounts Committee (POAC), Mr Zitto Kabwe, told The Citizen that part of Kiwira was sold behind closed doors with the blessings of the minister for Energy and Minerals, Mr William Ngeleja.
 But Mr Ngeleja said in a phone interview that the deal was signed in accordance with the law. “As a ministry, we issue licences based on laws and regulations,” he said. “We have all the information and reports on this issue and we will furnish the committee with the information.”

The government has fixed regulations to be followed in every transaction, the minister added, and it would be out of order for a minister to sanction a deal contrary to those rules.

But Mr Kabwe told The Citizen that it had been established that the State Mining Corporation (Stamico) took a loan of $6 million from the World Bank in 2004 to develop the Kiwira Coal Mine project. The government will reportedly be expected to pay off the loan without getting any benefits from the project.

The mine was fully owned by Stamico until June 2005, when the then minister for Energy and Minerals, Mr Daniel Yona, granted the licence to TanPower Resources, a firm in which he had shares.Mr Kabwe said the company owned 75 per cent of Kiwira and was granted another location called Kabulo, which is the richest coal zone in the mine. “TanPower Resources owned 75 per cent of Kiwira and 100  per cent of Kabulo area,” the Kigoma North MP added.

Such contracts were signed in unclear circumstances since there was conflict of interest on the part of the minister. “It is obvious that Minister Yona influenced the decision since he had shares in TanPower Resources Company limited,” said Mr Kabwe.

The current Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Transport, Mr Omar Chambo, was then the Commissioner of Minerals and, according to Mr Kabwe, he participated fully in approving the sale of the mine.  Only later did the committee discover that many mistakes had been made in granting the Kabulo area to a new company, he added. Moreover, legal and agreed principles were not followed.

The red flag has also been raised over the fact that the sale of Kiwira took place just before the 2005 General Election, when the focus was on the campaigns. Parliament directed the government to repossess Kiwira in 2009, but the mine remains in the hands of Tanpower Resources.

In April last year, the government started negotiations with TanPower to take back the mine but the company went on to sell part of the mine while the negotiations were still going on.

According to Mr Kabwe, Mr Ngeleja approved the sale of the Kabulo area knowing full well that the government was negotiating the return of Kiwira. “The Minister approved the sale while the government, through his ministry, was negotiating to repossess the mine,” said the POAC Chairman. “This was against the spirit of the government and it is a big scandal.”

The committee summoned the permanent secretary, Mr Eliakim Maswi, to explain on how the decision was reached when it was crystal clear that it was not in the interest of the country.

But the PS was unable to give a clear explanation on a deal that was defined as a big scandal and was ordered to produce all documents to do with the transfer of the mine from TanPower to Tan Coal Energy.
The committee has now ordered the government to repossess the Kiwira coal mine, revoke the minister’s decision and return the project to Stamico.

Amidst all these twists and turns, the government reportedly took responsibility for paying billions of shillings in loans taken by Kiwira under the government guarantee. Along with $6 million borrowed from the World Bank by Stamico, the government was also supposed to pay Sh32 billion to PSPF, CRDB and NSSF.

According to the Kigoma North MP, part of Kiwira coal mine has now been sold at a time when the government is looking forward to owning 100 per cent of the shares before embarking on a search for an investor who can run the business profitably.

Simanjiro MP Christopher ole Sendeka describes the sale as a disaster because it is likely to lead to a rise in the price of electricity given that various materials will have to be imported or bought from another firm.

What Mkulo will tackle in winding-up presentation

Sunday, 19 June 2011 

Finance and Economic Affairs Minister Mustafa Mkulo

By The Citizen Reporters
Dar and Dodoma. Finance and Economic Affairs minister Mustafa Mkulo faces the daunting task of clarifying on at least seven major issues when he responds to MPs’ views on the 2011/12 Budget.Mr Mkulo, who tabled the Sh13.5 trillion Budget on June 8, is tomorrow expected to wind up debate on the proposals.

Many MPs want a clear explanation of how the government plans to deal with the spiralling cost of living. MPs debated the Budget for a week during which many pointed at weaknesses in the plan, while others expressed doubt whether the government will be able to effectively implement the proposals.

Some parliamentarians criticised the decision to slash the health sector allocation, saying the Sh300 billion the government had set aside for healthcare was not enough to deal with the many problems the sector is facing. They warned that the decision might impact negatively on gains made in areas such as maternal and child mortality. Ms Agripina Buyogera (Kasulu Rural-NCCR-Mageuzi) queried why the government had allocated such a small sum to the ailing health sector.

MPs also faulted what they said was an inadequate allocation for the production of electricity.
The critical lawmakers, most of them from the Opposition, said they doubted whether the government was really committed to addressing chronic power problems.

In his alternative budget speech, the Shadow Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs, Mr Zitto Kabwe, noted, for instance, that development funds set aside for the Energy and Minerals ministry were enough to implement only two projects to produce 100MW and 60MW in Dar es Salaam and Mwanza, respectively.

Mr John Mnyika (Ubungo-Chadema) said the allocation was “peanuts” when the importance of the sector and acute power shortages were taken into consideration.Mr Mnyika argued that since the government intended to tap into more revenue sources, it should have allocated more funds to the energy sector to spur manufacturing.

“Power is important for the manufacturing sector, which is a major source of employment and production,” he said.
He asked the government to set aside funds for the construction of a gas pipeline from Mtwara to Tanga through Dar es Salaam to promote the use of natural gas in the country.

Mr Mkulo is also expected to respond to the contribution by Mr Godfrey Zambi (Mbozi West-CCM), who criticised the Budget for not considering the possibility of lending power tillers to farmers to increase agricultural production. He said the Budget had also not addressed the obstacles farmers face when applying for loans from financial institutions.“Most cannot access loans because they only possess traditional title deeds, which banks do not recognise as collateral,” Mr Zambi said.

Mr Kabwe said in his alternative budget speech that the government was undermining social security funds by not paying the hundreds of billions of shillings it owed them.He said the government owed the Public Sector Pension Fund (PSPF) alone about Sh700 billion, adding that it was also yet to sign a contract with the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) on the construction of the University of Dodoma.

The government has also been criticised for being vague on rising fuel prices, with some MPs challenging it to clearly state the levies it intends to abolish. Some said price reductions would be negligible even if the government scrapped some levies.
Mr Ahmed Shabiby (Gairo-CCM) said the various levies constituted only four per cent of retail prices.

He asked the government to speed up preparations for bulk fuel importation, saying this was the most effective way to control galloping prices.Some MPs also wondered why the government was reluctant to increase its revenues from the mining sector, saying it was supposed to earn much more than royalties alone.

Mr Mkulo might also state whether or not the government would re-introduce the gold reserve at the Bank of Tanzania (BoT) as the way of destabilisation the shilling.
Reported by Bernard Lugongo (Dar) and Florence Mugarula (Dodoma)

Retirees ask for pension increment

 Groom barefoot on wedding day to elude ‘bad omen’

By Robert Kiplagat
Retired civil servants want an increment in their pension citing the high cost of living.

The retirees through the Kenya Alliance of Retired Officers (Karo) said the Government has neglected them in terms of better pension and medical services.

They said they have been subjected to poverty despite having served the country for many years.

Addressing the retired officers during an AGM at Kabarnet, Karo officials led by its executive officer Peter Gichohi and assistant coordinator Jeremiah Munyi said the pension should be increased from the current Sh3,000 per month to Sh15,000.

Among the demands made by the retirees include free healthcare fund to enable them access quality services. “We have been ignored by the Government and the current pension of Sh3,000 a month is an insult due to the current high cost of living,” said Gichohi.

He said Karo wrote a memo to Finance Minister Njeru Githae demanding the increment among other grievances, but has received no response.

The officials also said the new Constitution did not consider retired officers, saying that pension policy should be implemented to cater for them. They also argued that the current five-year pension for spouses of deceased pensioners should be extended.

They also called for international humanitarian agencies such as United Nations to set a global day of retirees so that it can compare how different countries treat their senior citizens.

They also suggested that the pension policy be reviewed to enable husbands benefit from the pension of their deceased wives while threatening to hold demonstrations to compel the State to heed to their demands.

MPs criticise Uhuru's cabinet

Uhuru, Ruto unveil more Cabinet Secretary nominees

By Peter Opiyo

Nairobi, Kenya: A section of Members of the National Assembly have faulted the list of nominees to the posts of Cabinet Secretaries saying it is not regionally balanced and includes politicians of questionable character.

The legislators who included 12 lawmakers from the Maa community (Maasai and Samburu) and Deputy Minority leader in the National Assembly Jakoyo Midiwo, said the Assembly would reject the names unless President Uhuru Kenyatta revises it.

The legislators from the Maa community led by Kajiado Central member of the National Assembly Joseph Nkaissery and his Kilgoris counterpart Gideon Konchella said they would mobilise their colleagues to reject the names, saying their communities were given a raw deal.

Nkaissery said the list favours the President’s Kikuyu and Deputy President William Ruto’s Kalenjin communities, pointing out it is a poor show of managing a government formed after a divisive election.
They also took issue with the President nominating politicians Najib Balala and Charity Ngilu as Cabinet Secretaries. Both unsuccessfully contested the positions of Senators in Mombasa and Kitui Counties, respectively.

“The Community where the President comes from has four slots and that of the Deputy President has three slots. Where is the face of Kenya in this? They also told the country they will not bring politicians to the Cabinet yet they go bring the worst of politicians,” said Nkaissery.

Konchella questioned the caliber of the two politicians nominated by the President. They (President and Deputy President) also promised they won’t appoint politicians, but some of those appointed are the most corrupt, so it is like business as usual,” said Konchella.
Midiwo questioned the integrity of Ms Ngilu, the nominee for the post of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, saying she has got a pending case with the Ethics and Anticorruption Commission.
“I am disappointed that only a day after  the president 

and his deputy promised they will give us the cabinet good as the first four (nominated on Tuesday), but they have brought to us questionable politicians. We will get everything about them and we want the public to participate in their vetting,” Midiwo told journalists at Parliament’s Media Centre.

He termed the list of the nominees as unconstitutional as it does not meet the regional diversity of the country and asked Uhuru to revise the list if he is intent on carrying the country along with him.

“I don’t think the cabinet meets the constitutional requirement of regional balance, it is the wrong direction and shows insensitivity, they need to revise the list. If it is a cabinet of two regions then the president is not willing to unite the country. This can’t be a community affair it must be a national affair,” said Midiwo, the Gem member of the National Assembly.

“It is incumbent upon Uhuru to carry the country along, because the country is not peaceful, it is just calm,” he added.

Samburu East member of the National Assembly Raphael Letimalo and Konchella said it is necessary that the country’s 42 tribes are represented in the appointments of the Cabinet Secretaries and Principal Secretaries.

The names are now expected in the National Assembly for vetting before the President makes the formal appointments. Nkaissery, who is a member of the Parliamentary Committee on Appointments, said he would persuade other members to reject the list as is currently constituted. The Committee will vet the nominee  and

How corporate women can balance work and family

A mother cuddles her child after work.
Mutesi Jackline of Kimironko, is a typical 21st century woman, she owns and runs three hardware shops around Kigali, yet she has a family to attend to also.

“My life has become as stressful as hell, many times am torn between attending to children,   house chores, maintaining a strong relationship with my husband and extended family, and yet a demanding work schedule waits,” she reveals.

Family and business are two very important aspects in anybody’s life; therefore the ability to juggle the two may be a heaven sent attribute.

Phillip Rwigiro, a business consultant with Nziza consult notes: “Focusing on family should come first since the ability to keep everything going in a business largely depends on a solid foundation at home. Having a stable family also inspires one to work harder since they obviously have a feeling of purpose.”

Angelique Uwikizeye, a supermarket owner in Kabuga Town and mother of five, shares that it’s  important to build a team both at work and  home, since, one is  probably the coach of both teams, it may be necessary to plan and let  respective members get details early enough so they know their particular assignments and start working on them immediately.

“Before I leave home for work , I make sure that the maid and all my children know their particular daily chores. I also do the same with my partners before leaving work, so when I come back and find undone tasks, I know who to hold accountable,” she adds.

Keeping work at work and vice versa ,may  be a good alternative, for example, worrying about domestic problems while at the office may affect ones productivity, in a similar way, finishing reports or  responding to work related emails from home, may bite into the time one is  supposed  to spend with their  family.

“It’s always necessary to hire an assistant at the office who can  handle the little emergencies, enrolling your children in day care centre or recruiting a baby sitter may also come across as a clever move, as these enable one  strike a balance between the  two fields” notes Uwitonze kamariza, a counselor with Twese clinic in Kabeza.

Sharing the rewards of business success with the family is also a fine strategy to reinforce the work and family dynamic one has established. Whether it is a financial reward (extra allowance or purchasing something that has been wanted for a while) or emotional reward (spending more time doing fun stuff because the bills are getting paid) let the family share in the fruits of combined efforts. On getting rewarded

EALA approves One Stop Border Posts Bill

A busy Rwanda-Tanzania border post at Rusumo. The Bill seeks to ease clearances, among others. The New Times/ File.
The East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), which is sitting in Kigali, on Tuesday, passed the long-awaited One Stop Border Posts Bill, 2012, paving way for it to become a regional law if assented to by the EAC Heads of State.
By James Karuhanga

The Bill will provide the framework for establishing One Stop Border Posts (OSBPs) in the five-member bloc in order to facilitate trade and movement of people through the efficient movement of goods and people within the Community.

Under the arrangement, partner states shall implement one stop border processing arrangements by establishing and designating control zones at respective border posts.

It seeks to extend partner States’ national laws relating to border control officers of adjoining partner states permitting their free movement within the controlled zone(s) in the performance of their duties, without producing passports, but by simple and appropriate identity documents.

The Bill makes provision for the application of border control laws and provides for institutional arrangements in the co-ordination and monitoring of the one stop border posts.

However, it does not affect the rights of any adjoining partner state(s) to take temporary measures in the interest of defence, security, public safety and public order.

Common border posts designated in the EAC as OSBPs include the Taveta-Holili border and the Namanga border (Kenya-Tanzania), Busia and Malaba borders (Kenya – Uganda) and the Kanyaru-Akanyaru border (Burundi-Rwanda).  Others are the Mutukula (Tanzania-Uganda), Gasenyi-Nemba (Burundi-Rwanda) and Lungalunga-Horohoro (Kenya–Tanzania).

Debate on the Bill was preceded by the tabling of a report of the Committee on Communications, Trade and Investment (CTI) presented by its chairperson, MP Dan Kidega (Uganda).

The report underscores the need for partner States to modernise the required infrastructural facilities and to enhance technological advancement to enable efficient and effective implementation of the Bill.

It was filed after gathering public views in the partner states from customs officials, clearing and forwarding agents and members of the business community.

“It’s true OSBPs has been operating on some border points on bilateral arrangements, so the law is critical in providing a regional legal framework,” a committee’s report says in part, urging the Council of Ministers to conduct awareness programmes on OSBPs to the public.

Legislators speak out  
MP Shy-Rose Sadrudin Bhanji (Tanzania) commended the Council of Ministers for initiating the Bill, which she said would reduce bureaucracies at the border posts.

“This is a major achievement and we want the capacities of the personnel at the borders to be built so as to enhance service delivery,” Bhanji said.

MP Kennedy Sebalu (Uganda) said it was necessary for the OSBPs initiative to be rolled out to all borders when finances permit so as to demystify free movement.

“Integration is people-centred and we must make the processes easy to implement the Common Market Protocol,” Sebalu said.

MP Joseph Kiangoi (Kenya) said the Bill will enable the region to open up for trade since EAC is a major economic bloc on the continent.

MP Frederic Ngenzebuhoro [Burundi] said the Bill’s implementation will be key in checking corruption.
The Chairperson of the Council of Ministers, Shem Bageine (Uganda), said the spirit of working together (EALA and the Council of Ministers) would be the hallmark of ensuring integration.

Bagaine said: “It is our desire and aspiration, for example, that during the implementation of the Act, the terms and conditions of staff working together to facilitate the OSBP are harmonised to retain staff of high calibre.”

The agencies currently operate independently thereby causing delays at the borders as traders have to pass through all of them to process documents.

Recent statistics show that it takes a trader importing goods from the EAC member countries an average of 30 minutes to process documents, at the Gatuna border.

Museveni rallies for unified Africa

President Kagame receives President Museveni following East African Legislative Assembly yesterday. The New Times / Village 

 By Eugène Kwibuka

Africans can work together to improve their political and economic clout through deep political integration and common markets, President Yoweri Museveni said yesterday.

The Ugandan leader was addressing a special sitting of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) in Kigali, in capacity as Chairperson of the East African Community (EAC) Summit.

In his State of the EAC Address, Museveni pointed out that lack of strong political organisation in Africa, corruption, and poor infrastructure have kept Africans divided, poor, and vulnerable to colonisation and other foreign attacks.

When Africa was still under European colonisation, he said, Asian countries like Japan and China were successfully resisting western occupation, but it took long for Africa to free itself from colonisation because it lacked deep political integration.

“Now that the continent has survived colonisation and is considered independent, Africans can deal with the remaining issues of poverty and conflicts by working together through integrated political entities and markets on their own land,”he said.

He dismissed some people’s beliefs, especially those who are custodians of the colonisation of Africa, that the continent is too divided to work together.

President Museveni told an audience of lawmakers, regional dignitaries and diplomats that it is time for Africans to unite for their strength and stop being helpless people who always seek support from international groups like the United Nations to keep their security or feed them.

“If you keep yourself weak, you do so at your own is not a good idea to conserve weakness,” President Museveni said with a sense of humour.
EAC should be exemplary

President Museveni said that East Africans cannot develop unless they end a culture of corruption, work together as a political federation and build larger markets for regional businesses

The President commended the EAC for doing a better job in matters of integration, noting that “without a big market, private business cannot develop”.

But he pointed out that a lot of bottlenecks remain in the process of unlocking the full potential of the bloc’s integration with poor energy infrastructure topping the list.

“There are a number of strategic bottlenecks which are hampering development in the region.  However, two main issues are with regards to the existence of small markets and inadequate infrastructure, especially the energy issue,” President Museveni said.

He pledged to prioritise infrastructure development projects such as regional railway networks and electricity projects during his tenure as the Chairperson of the EAC Summit.

The EALA plenary, which has been taking place in Kigali since April 12, will wrap up its business tomorrow.
The session held deliberations on regional trade policies such as the EAC Vehicle Control Bill and the One-Stop Border Posts Bill.

The Vehicle Control Bill would allow all partner states to have a harmonised load limit and modern weighbridge stations to protect roads and reduce the cost of transport in the region.

The One-Stop-Border Post Bill, which EALA MPs passed during this weekwill become an East African Community (EAC) Law if assented to by the five EAC Heads of State. It aims at providing the legal framework for the operation of border posts of partner states under one roof with a view to making them more efficient for Customs and Immigration checks.

The EALA members called for the swift implementation of the EAC Common Market Protocol, with Speaker Dr Margaret Nantongo Zziwa urging member states to urgently revise their domestic laws to conform to the Protocol.

“We are yet to see real dynamism on the part of the partner states to facilitate the implementation of the protocol but we remain hopeful that they will act,” she said at the special sitting yesterday.
The Common Market Protocol was signed three years ago by the EAC Heads of State and calls for  free movement of persons, labour, goods and services among others.

Tanzania to prosecute three officials over $41m aircraft leasing scandal

By JOINT REPORT The EastAfrican
In Summary
  • According to a new audit report on the 2007 contract, the government says it has fresh evidence to prosecute three former managers who committed the country to the deal.
  • The three are also facing charges over failure to keep tender records for the purchase of 26 worn-out motor vehicles worth $809.3 million from a company called Dalmouk Motors Ltd based in Dubai.

The Tanzania government is poised to prosecute three officials over a controversial aircraft-leasing contract that has left the country with a $41 million debt.

According to a new audit report on the 2007 contract in which Air Tanzania Company Ltd, the national carrier, leased an Airbus A320 from Wallis Trading Company, the government says it has fresh evidence to prosecute three former managers who committed the country to the deal.

The report by the Controller and Auditor General (CAG), which was done late last year but is yet to be made public, recommends the prosecution of David Mattaka, the former director general at Air Tanzania, William Haji, the former chief internal auditor and Elisaph Ikomba, who was the then acting chief accountant. The three left office last year.

The government, which had guaranteed Air Tanzania to take up the loan to purchase the aircraft, is seeking fresh negotiations with Wallis to write off the debt.

This will be the second time the government is seeking legal action against the officials involved in the deal. A similar recommendation was made by the CAG in his 2009/2010 financial year audit report but the government is said to have had inadequate evidence.

The three are also facing charges over failure to keep tender records for the purchase of 26 worn-out motor vehicles worth $809.3 million from a company called Dalmouk Motors Ltd based in Dubai.

The leased aircraft, which was delivered in 2008, was found defective because six months after its arrival, it had to undergo major maintenance in Mauritius in March, 2009 and thereafter in France in July 2009.
Ludovick Utouh, the Controller and Auditor General (CAG), says that there is no doubt that there was massive misappropriation and mismanagement of the leasing agreement of the aircraft.

Mr Utouh said that the National Audit Office has recommended disciplinary action be taken against officials who were involved in committing the government to the unfruitful deal, which resulted in the government being exposed to an accumulated debt of $41.4 million.

According to Mr Utouh, by October 2012, the outstanding debt had accumulated to $41.4 million from $39 million recorded in October 2011.

The report shows that in 2011, the Ministry of Finance told Wallis Trading that the payment schedule for the debt would be in 26 instalments from October 31, 2011 to November 26. On October 26, 2012, the ministry had already paid lease rent of $1.5 million as the first instalment.

“The government should negotiate this debt with Wallis Trading Company with the possibility of cancelling it on the grounds that the government received no value from the deal,” he said.

The report has also revealed that Air Tanzania has debts due to South African Airways and Citi Bank amounting to Tsh6.5 billion ($4,129,298.38) and Tsh2.3 billion ($1.46 million) respectively, which the government is servicing.

The government said it has started rectifying some of the problems resulting from private public partnership transactions including the one entered into by Air Tanzania.

“Measures implemented include terminating contracts with the companies which failed to observe terms and conditions including the contract between South African Airways and ATCL,” says the report.

It says that, during the 2013/2014 financial year, the government intends to conduct a review of existing projects to measure and determine the magnitude of risk that Tanzania is exposed to on private public partnership projects to rectify some of the risks.

All private public partnerships that are likely to cause contingent liabilities will need to be approved by both the Ministry of Finance and parliament before their contracts are signed.

By Mike Mande and Joseph Mwamunyange

Kenya, Tanzania in joint wildlife aerial census

Elephants graze at the Amboseli National Park, Kenya, May 13, 2012. In the background is a spectacular view of Mount Kilimanjaro.    (Xinhua/Ding Haitao)
Elephants graze at the Amboseli National Park, Kenya, May 13, 2012. In the background is a spectacular view of Mount Kilimanjaro. (Xinhua/Ding Haitao)  
By (Xinhua)

The Kenyan and Tanzanian governments are jointly conducting a five-day cross-border aerial wildlife census in the Amboseli-Kilimanjaro/Magadi-Natron landscape.

The exercise seeks to establish the status of wildlife within the cross-border landscape which includes the elephant, wildebeest, zebra and other large mammal populations following the last total aerial count conducted in 2010 by the same team.

Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) Assistant Director Southern Conservation Area, Anne Kahihia, who spoke at the census opening ceremony on Wednesday, said it was about the only one where there is real integration between the two countries.

"This integration consisting of common planning, methodology used, joint reports and teams operating from a shared base," Kahihia said.

The exercise, which has been funded by both KWS and African Wildlife Fund (AWF) to the tune of 104,000 U.S. dollars, aims to safeguard the vast ecosystem that is threatened by human influence that includes pastoral activities, crop farming and proliferation of charcoal burning.

The wildlife agency has been carrying out regular aerial census every three years in the Amboseli Ecosystem, the last being carried out in 2007.

This year's census is particularly crucial given that the park's ecosystem was hard hit by the climate change as well as poaching which led to massive deaths of zebra, elephants, and buffaloes and wildebeest.

The census will also include observations on habitat degradation, water distribution, livestock numbers, human settlement patterns and illegal activities, including logging.

The 2010 census covered an area of 24,108 square km, including 8,797 square km of the Amboseli ecosystem and 5,513 square km of the Namanga-Magadi areas in south-western Kenya together with 3, 014 square km of the West Kilimanjaro and 7,047 square km of the Natron areas in North Tanzania.

During the last survey, 25 wild mammalian and two avian species were counted. Zebra with a population of about 13,740 individuals was the most numerous wild species in the entire survey area followed by Grant's gazelle (8,362), common wildebeest (7,240), Maasai giraffe (4,164), Eland (1,992), Maasai ostrich (1,461) and the African elephant (1,420) among other species.

From the last survey report, the elephant population has been relatively stable, with 1,087 individuals counted in the year 2000; 1,090 in 2002 and 967 in 2007 compared to the year 2010 population of 1,266.
There was a dramatic decline in the number of large herbivore species between the years 2007 and 2010.

The number of wildebeest declined by about 83 per cent from 18,538 to 3,098, and that of zebra declined by about 71 per cent from 15,328 to 4,432 in the Amboseli area.

According to Dr. Erastus Kanga, the KWS Head of Ecosystems and Landscapes Conservation, there have been tremendous developments in the entire Amboseli ecosystem over the last four decades.

"This is due to fluctuating weather patterns, compounded by anthropogenic activities that have resulted to environmental degradation, and loss and contraction of corridors and dispersal areas, hence causing sporadic changes in wildlife populations," he said. (Xinhua)

China's Huawei says US not 'key' market

The entrance of the Huawei office in central China's Hubei province on October 2012. Chinese telecoms giant Huawei says it would no longer focus on the US market for its core business.

The entrance of the Huawei office in central China's Hubei province on October 2012. Chinese telecoms giant Huawei says it would no longer focus on the US market for its core business.  AFP
Chinese telecoms giant Huawei says it would no longer focus on the US market for its core business, months after Washington effectively closed the door on it by labelling it a security threat.

The US Congress last year warned telecom equipment supplied by Huawei and another Chinese company, ZTE, could be used for spying and called for their exclusion from government contracts and acquisitions.

Huawei has denied those claims and accused the US government of protectionism, while seeking to improve transparency by releasing annual reports despite not being a listed company, but to no effect.

"Considering the situation our company currently faces in the US, it would be very difficult for the US market to become a primary revenue source or a key growth area for our carrier network business in the

foreseeable future," Huawei said in a statement.

The carrier network sector, in which it provides telecom companies with equipment and services to run their telecoms operations, is Huawei's main business.

A news report quoted Huawei's executive vice-president Eric Xu as telling analysts in a meeting at its headquarters in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen on Tuesday that the firm had shifted away from the US over the past year.

"We are not interested in the US market any more," he was quoted as saying by the Financial Times.
A Huawei spokesman could not confirm the report.

But the statement, provided to AFP late Wednesday, said Xu's comment applied to its carrier network business, which derived growth mainly from developed markets outside the United States.

"In spite of this challenge, our US employees remain committed to providing quality services for our customers," it said.

Another Huawei executive said this month that the company still hoped to solve the "problems" it has in the United States.

"I believe one day we could potentially solve the challenges and problems in the US," said chief executive officer Guo Ping.

Huawei, which was founded by former Chinese army engineer Ren Zhengfei, was also barred from tendering for Australia's national broadband network last year on security grounds.

Uhuru assures Kenyans on economy growth

Nairobi commuters stranded after the Syokimau train stalled following an engine failure on April 25, 2013. PHOTO / Nzisa Muli 
Nairobi commuters stranded after the Syokimau train stalled following an engine failure on April 25, 2013. PHOTO / Nzisa Mu

In Summary
  • According to President Uhuru, every child is entitled to high quality education as is every citizen to affordable healthcare.
  • President Uhuru further assured Kenyans that the government will strengthen and modernise the agricultural sector which he said remains the main source of livelihood for a majority of citizens.
  • Earlier in the day, President Uhuru unveiled 12 more nominees to the Cabinet with Felix Kosgey appointed as Cabinet Secretary in the ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has said the government is focused on growing the Kenyan economy.

He reiterated his commitment to creating a society that is at peace where every citizen has access to food and shelter adding that his vision for Kenya is that of a united country.

According to President Uhuru, every child is entitled to high quality education as is every citizen to affordable healthcare.

“We will achieve this kind of society by growing our economy. This is what my administration has pledged to do, to grow our economy by double digits,” he said.

He was speaking on Thursday in Diani, Kwale County when he officially opened the 88th Rotary District Conference.

President Uhuru further assured Kenyans that the government will strengthen and modernise the agricultural sector which he said remains the main source of livelihood for a majority of citizens.

Earlier in the day, President Uhuru unveiled 12 more nominees to the Cabinet with Felix Kosgey appointed as Cabinet Secretary in the ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries. (READ: Uhuru unveils new Cabinet)

He said: “The aim will be to eliminate hunger, increase farmers’ incomes through value addition and create more jobs through the processing of agricultural products.”

President Uhuru said small and micro enterprise sector that employs majority of citizens especially women and youth will be strengthened, to ensure that women have access to affordable loans for starting or expanding their businesses.

Other measures that he said will be employed to achieve the development agenda include ensuring equitable distribution of resources through the devolved government system, investment in the ICT sector and nurturing a new digital generation that is globally competitive.

President Uhuru said his government will improve the provision of water, including irrigation in the arid and semi-arid parts of the country, to further enhance food security.

“This will also address conflicts that occur as communities compete over scarce resources,” he said.

He added that the government would strengthen ties with regional partners to expand the country’s markets, create jobs and boost growth.

In this regard, he urged all stakeholders to play their role effectively and make Kenya a better country.

“Even as the government takes these steps, let us all remember that the creation of a prosperous country at peace with itself is not the responsibility of the government alone.

“Civil society, business people and citizens also have their part to play,” he said.

He commended the Rotaract team for setting standards for Kenyans in embracing the idea of taking personal responsibility for change.

“I applaud you as you continue to serve with humility and diligence in order to create a more peaceful world.


Kenya Shell lays off 24 executives to cut costs

Mr Polycarp Igathe. He is targeting a lean management team. Photo/Diana Ngila
Mr Polycarp Igathe. He is targeting a lean management team. Photo/Diana Ngila 
In Summary
  • The reorganisation is the culmination of a major strategy aimed at a lean executive team and lower executive pay.
  • The oil dealer failed to reveal the names and titles of the 24 executives whose last working day is end of this month.  
  • The company had a total of 211 employees as of October last year.

Oil marketer Vivo Energy Kenya, formerly Shell, has executed an ambitious restructuring plan that has led to laying off 24 executives.

The reorganisation is the culmination of a major strategy and business review plan that Vivo’s managing director Polycarp Igathe initiated, aimed at a lean executive team and lower executive pay.

The changes are Mr Igathe’s first show of hand since he took the oil dealer’s top seat in February from consumer goods manufacturer Haco Tiger Brands where was the regional head.

The oil dealer failed to reveal the names and titles of the 24 executives whose last working day is end of this month.

Mr Igathe attributed the layoffs to the “harsh operating environment in the oil industry.”

“We regret to release 24 outstanding executives,” Mr Igathe said in a statement Wednesday. “We have no doubt they will bounce into bigger opportunities despite present outcomes within the oil industry,” he added.
The company did not clarify which departments are headed by the outgoing executives who will be paid benefits for termination. It had a total of 211 employees as of October last year.

Vivo’s market share dropped marginally to 17.1 per cent last year compared to 17.8 per cent in 2011, maintaining its position as the third largest oil marketer in local volume sales.

This ranks it behind KenolKobil with a 20.8 per cent share and market leader Total with 21.4 per cent.
The oil industry has been grappling with inefficiencies at the Kenya Petroleum Refineries Ltd and Kenya Pipeline Company Ltd that has frequently disrupted supply of products.

Vivo, Kenol, and Total are locked in a battle for supremacy in the local oil market where sales volumes has become a critical driver of profitability in the age of price controls.

Vivo was born after oil trader Vitol and private equity firm Helios Investment Partners acquired the majority of Shell’s shareholding in their business in Kenya.
Vivo’s parent firm has announced a major investment in its African subsidiaries in what is set to further raise its rivalry with firms like French giant Total Outre-mer which owns Total Kenya.

Vivo Energy is set to invest $200 million in Africa’s fuel sector and plans, within months, to enter three new countries, its chairman Paul Greenslade told Reuters at the recent FT Global Commodities Summit in Switzerland. Vivo is still dwarfed on the continent by France’s Total but the new investment could narrow the gap.

“We’ve got big capital investment plans. We plan to invest $200 million over the next few years. We’re opening 50 new stations a year,” Mr Greenslade said.

Vivo Energy Kenya has 114 retail sites, products storage capacity of 81,800 cubic metres and 750 metric tonnes of LPG storage in the Nairobi and Mombasa depots, a lubricants blending plant in Mombasa and LPG filling plants in both Nairobi and Mombasa.

Vivo does not publish its results but the performance of its peers listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange signal the lean times among the oil majors.

KenolKobil posted a Sh6.2 billion net loss last year — the biggest among firms listed at the NSE. The loss reversed the Sh3.2 billion net profit it posted in 2011 as high operating expenses, lower sales and forex losses took toll on its earnings.

Mixed reactions over Ngilu, Balala nomination

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga (Right) with Naivasha ODM chairman Peter ole Osono (center) and Joseph Nkaiseri at Naivasha's Great Rift Lodge on April 15, 2013. PHOTO / BILLY MUTAI

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga (Right) with Naivasha ODM chairman Peter ole Osono (center) and Joseph Nkaiseri (second left) at Naivasha's Great Rift Lodge on April 15, 2013. PHOTO / BILLY MUTAI 
In Summary
  • Bishop Beneah Salala of the Anglican Church of Kenya (Mumias) said the move portrayed President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto as untrustworthy leaders.
  • ACK Mombasa Diocese Bishop Julius Kalu reiterated his counterpart's position and urged the president to “stop appointing politicians” and stick to the promise that only professionals would be appointed.
Church leaders have criticised the nomination of former Cabinet ministers Najib Balala and Charity Ngilu to the Cabinet.

Bishop Beneah Salala of the Anglican Church of Kenya (Mumias) said the move portrayed President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto as untrustworthy leaders.

“They told Kenyans that their Cabinet will feature only professionals whose mandate will be to deliver services to Kenyans in their respective dockets clearly delinked from politics but their action leaves a lot to be desired,” he said.

He added that the nomination of Mr Davis Chirchir, a former official of Ruto’s United Republican party, further tainted the leadership credentials of both leaders.

“We expected development agenda to be delinked from politics and instead the President and his deputy have done exactly what their predecessors did in the past.”

Bishop Salala said the nomination should have been based on integrity, regional balance and gender.

He said: “Whereas the gender aspect has been addressed in the new look cabinet, regional balance and integrity principles were overlooked.”

ACK Mombasa Diocese Bishop Julius Kalu reiterated his counterpart's position and urged the president to “stop appointing politicians” and stick to the promise that only professionals would be appointed.

“I hope Najib Balala and Charity Ngilu are the last politicians to make it to Cabinet. We want professionals to run these positions,” he said Bishop Kalu.

However, Bishop Kalu said not all was lost because the Coastal region could still benefit from Mr Balala’s appointment.

“We have a lot of minerals in the region although the sector has a myriad challenges,” he said.

Pensions fund faces collapse


By Peter Nyanje
The Citizen Reporter

Dodoma. The Public Service Pensions Fund (PSPF) is in such a fix that it will have to close down if the government does not intervene, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) was told yesterday.

Reports from the Controller and Auditor General (CAG), the ministry of Finance and the PSPF management indicate that the fund is in trouble because the government has failed to honour its obligations.The fund’s problems started soon after it was established way back in 1999.

Presentations made before the committee showed that the situation has progressively deteriorated since. An evaluation done in 2010 indicated that the funding level had dropped to only 10 per cent. The recommended minimum rate is 40 per cent.

PSPF acting Director General Adam Mayingu told the committee that the government’s failure to pay up will ultimately result in collapse of the fund. This shutdown could take place in as little as three years’ time.

Committee members were concerned about the possible repercussions of the collapse but the regulator, Social Security Regulatory Authority (SSRA) and the deputy minister for Finance was quick to assure them that the government would do everything within its powers to ensure that the fund remained solvent.

According to Mr Mayingu, the government’s debt to the fund has accumulated to Sh6.4 trillion, crippling the fund to the extent that it can no longer honour mature payouts.

He added: “The fund is paying more benefits than the contributions it is receiving. The fund is now using some of its assets to finance the gap. This augments the statement made in the actuarial evaluation report of 2010, which stated that the fund’s assets will be depleted in three to six years from 2010.” The meeting was called by the PAC chairman, Mr Zitto Kabwe (Kigoma North-Chadema), following reports that the Fund was facing serious liquidity problems.

Briefing his colleagues, Mr Kabwe noted that the welfare of many public servants was at stake should PSPF collapse. “That is why the Speaker has allowed this meeting, involving all stakeholders, to take place,” he said. “She has also allowed the media to take part to ensure that they get the correct information from the people concerned.”

According to Mr Mayingu, PSPF’s misery started in 1999, when the fund was established to replace the old system under which public servants received pensions without making contributions.

The government was supposed to make available Sh250 billion to the newly-established Fund to meet the needs of public officials who were still in service but had not made contributions. The government did not pay up, though, and the debt had accumulated to Sh933.4 billion by 2003.

Come 2007, the fund’s financial position had deteriorated even more because the government had not paid its pre-1999 dues. Mr Mayingu added: “According to the second actuarial report, the pre-1999 liabilities reached Sh3.3 trillion. The Board of Trustees presented the results in respect of these valuations to the government for action to rescue the fund.”

The same report was tabled before the defunct Public Organisation Accounts Committee (POAC), which asked the CAG and SSRA to verify the staggering amount.

In 2010, SSRA and Bank of Tanzania conducted a third review which showed further deterioration of PSPF financial position. The Fund had only received 10 percent of its requirements compared to 43.9 per cent in 2007.

According to Mr Mayingu, the outstanding sums have compounded the Fund’s financial distress as the liabilities have grown at a higher rate than that of the contributions.

“If this trend is not checked with immediate effect, PSPF will in the near future resort to government to meet the liabilities to its members,” Mr Mayingu said. “The government has to finance the liabilities as established in the actuarial reports.”

In order to save the Fund from immediate collapse, there should be an immediate injection of funds from the government or the transfer of other liquid assets.SSRA Director-General Irene Isaka said that the

government should in the short term think of conducting parametric reforms in order to augment revenue collection. And in the long term, the government should consider raising the contributions to 25 per cent of a member’s salary.

Deputy Finance Minister Janeth Mbene apologised to the committee for the government’s failure to meet the obligations, which set off the crisis. “But it should be understood that government’s failure to pay the debts results from the fact that our financial position is not very good...from now on, we are committing ourselves to ensuring that this does not happen again.”

The Committee gave the government a week to ensure that Sh50 billion it had budgeted for payment of the PSPF debt in 2013/14 is remitted. Briefing reporters after the closed-door meeting, Mr Kabwe said the committee had also given the government, PSPF and SSRA time to come up with a financial plan to raise the funding level to the required 40 per cent in the near future. “We have agreed in principle that from the next financial year government should put payment of the PSPF debt on its priority list,” he said.

Experts tip region on energy saving

The workshop is aimed at changing the mindset of many Rwandans on energy consumption in buildings. The New Times/ Timothy Kisambira.

East African countries have been urged to act fast in adopting energy conservation measures and renewable energy in buildings.

The appeal was made, yesterday, during an ongoing workshop in Kigali organised to discuss and adopt energy efficiency measures that can be integrated into building policies all over East Africa.

The workshop, which closes tomorrow, is organised by the UN-Habitat in collaboration with the Rwandan government with support from the World Bank. 

It is partly in response to reports by the Green Building Council in Africa, indicating that the buildings alone consumes 54 per cent of energy supply on the continent, and this energy is used only in cooking, lighting, cooling, heating, communication.

The participants were drawn from  five East Africa partner states of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Ugand  as well as West Africa, Asia, North America, Europe and Arab states.

According to a UN-Habitat representative, Dr. Vincent Kitio, there is an urgent need to adopt energy efficiency measures into building policies in the region.

“This will reduce energy demand in buildings and will ultimately reduce electricity bills. The workshop also aims at promoting resource efficiency such as efficient use of water resources, optimal use of land, better use of locally available materials, energy conservation and adoption of renewable energy technologies in building through innovative solutions,” Kitio said.

According to Kitio, due to population growth, rapid urbanisation, economic growth and climate change, this region is facing an energy crisis because of the dependence on energy imports, high demand for energy and inadequate supply and production of energy.

“As part of the integration process for East Africa, we are looking forward to harmonising the building codes of all the countries and this will help conserve energy in the region,” explained Prudence Sebahizi, the national coordinator of East African Civil Society integration process.

A recent study by the Rwanda Housing Authority shows there is need to construct 30,000 dwelling residential units per year.

The mission of the Rwandan energy sector is to create conditions for the provision of safe, reliable, efficient, cost-effective and environmentally appropriate energy services to households and to all economic sectors on a sustainable basis.

Ripoti ya CAG imeivua nguo Serikali

Kwa ufupi
Kama tulivyosema hapo juu, Serikali haionekani kufurahia utaratibu uliowekwa kwa shinikizo la wafadhili la kuweka wazi  ripoti hizi za CAG. Ndiyo maana imeushinikiza Uongozi wa Bunge kufuta utaratibu uliokuwapo wa Bunge kujadili ripoti hizo moja kwa moja na kuiwajibisha Serikali.

Moja ya mafanikio ambayo yametokana na ripoti za kila mwaka za Mdhibiti na Mkaguzi Mkuu wa Hesabu za Serikali (CAG), ni wananchi kutambua kwamba mhujumu mkuu wa uchumi wa nchi yetu siyo mwingine bali ni Serikali. Pamoja na Serikali kubuni mbinu mbalimbali ili wananchi wasizijadili kwa undani na kuweza kutambua chanzo cha kukwama kwa uchumi wa nchi yao, vyombo vya habari vimehakikisha mambo muhimu yaliyo katika ripoti hizo yanawafikia wananchi.

Hivyo, miezi miwili au mitatu hivi ijayo vyombo vya habari makini vitaendeleza utamaduni huo wa uwajibikaji kwa wananchi kwa kuhakikisha wananchi wanafahamu mambo muhimu yaliyomo katika Ripoti ya CAG kwa mwaka wa fedha uliopita. Ripoti hiyo iliwekwa wazi na CAG, Ludovick Utouh alipokutana na waandishi wa habari mjini Dodoma juzi, ambapo ilianika ubadhirifu mkubwa wa fedha za umma na udhaifu katika usimamizi wa mikataba na ukusanyaji kodi.

Kama ilivyokuwa huko nyuma, ambapo ripoti hizo ziliwawezesha wananchi kupata mwamko wa jinsi Serikali na taasisi zake zinavyodumaza uchumi kwa vitendo vya ubadhirifu na ufujaji wa fedha za umma, Ripoti ya CAG iliyozinduliwa katikati ya wiki itawapa tena fursa ya kushuhudia kujirudia kwa vitendo hivyo ndani ya Serikali na taasisi zake.

Kama tulivyosema hapo juu, Serikali haionekani kufurahia utaratibu uliowekwa kwa shinikizo la wafadhili la kuweka wazi  ripoti hizi za CAG. Ndiyo maana imeushinikiza Uongozi wa Bunge kufuta utaratibu uliokuwapo wa Bunge kujadili ripoti hizo moja kwa moja na kuiwajibisha Serikali.

Jambo ambalo wananchi watajifunza baada ya kujua kilichomo katika Ripoti ya CAG iliyozinduliwa katikati ya wiki ni ukweli kwamba kimsingi Serikali haijakubali kubadilika na kufuata njia nyoofu ya uadilifu na uwajibikaji.

Bado watumishi wake katika ngazi za juu wanafuja fedha mithili ya mabaharia walevi na imekataa katakata kuzingatia ushauri ambao CAG alikuwa akitoa kupitia ripoti zake za kila mwaka.

Kwa mfano, CAG amegundua kwamba Serikali imepuuza kabisa ushauri wake wa kuitaka ipunguze misamaha ya kodi isiyo ya lazima. Ripoti ya sasa inasema misamaha hiyo bada

Ni ushahidi kwamba baadhi ya viongozi serikalini wanafaidika na misamaha hiyo. Ebu fikiria mantiki ya Serikali kusamehe makampuni ya madini Sh140 bilioni au sababu za kusamehe kampuni na watu binafsi kodi ya Sh304 bilioni.

CAG alipendekeza wabunge wasiwe wajumbe wa bodi za mashirika ya umma, lakini idadi yao katika mashirika hayo ndiyo kwanza inazidi kuongezeka. Wakiwa katika bodi hizo hawawezi kuyasimamia mashirika yake ipasavyo kwa sababu ya wao  kuwa na masilahi binafsi. Kwa mfano, Ripoti ya sasa ya CAG imegundua kwamba Mfuko wa Pensheni kwa Watumishi wa Serikali Kuu (PSPF) umepata hasara ya Sh6.487 trilioni.

Kwa mshangao wa CAG, Uongozi wa Bunge pengine kwa shinikizo la Serikali umevunja Kamati ya Hesabu za Mashirika ya Umma (POAC) na kuunganisha shughuli zake na Kamati ya Hesabu za Serikali Kuu (PAC).
CAG ameonya, na tunafikiri yuko sahihi kwamba PAC itazidiwa na haitaweza kumudu majukumu ya kusimamia mashirika ya umma zaidi ya 300, wizara zote na taasisi zake.

PSPF yaidai Serikali

Naibu Waziri wa Fedha, Janeth Mbene 
Na  Midraji Ibrahim, Mwananchi  (email the author)
Kwa ufupi

Kaimu Mkurugenzi Mkuu wa PSPF, Adam Mayingu alisema awali watumishi wa Serikali walikuwa wanalipwa mafao bila kuchangia, lakini mwaka 1999 iliamriwa kuanzishwa mfuko huo na Serikali kuamuru kuwaingiza watumishi ambao walikuwa hawachangii.

Dodoma. Kamati ya Bunge ya Hesabu za Serikali, imetoa wiki moja kwa Serikali iwe imelipa Sh50 bilioni kati ya Sh716 bilioni inazodaiwa na Mfuko wa Pensheni wa Watumishi wa Serikali (PSPF) na ieleze jinsi itakavyolipa sehemu ya deni iliyosalia.

Pia, ndani ya muda huo, Serikali, Wizara ya Fedha na Mamlaka ya Kudhibiti Mifuko ya Jamii (SSRA), zinatakiwa kukaa pamoja kujadiliana jinsi mkopo wa Sh14 bilioni zilizotolewa kwa Chuo Kikuu cha Dodoma (Udom) zitakavyolipwa.

Kikao cha Kamati ya Hesabu za Serikali kilichoketi hapa jana kilifikia uamuzi kuwa Serikali inatakiwa kubeba madeni yote inayodaiwa PSPF kwa sababu hilo ni jukumu lake kwa mujibu wa sheria.

Uamuzi huo ulitolewa kamati hiyo jana baada ya kukutana na pande zote zinazohusika na kwamba, ndani ya wiki moja Serikali inatakiwa kupeleka taarifa kwenye kamati hiyo kueleza hatua iliyofikiwa. Katika maelezo yake, Serikali inatakiwa pia kuainisha jinsi watakavyoandaa mfumo wa ulipaji madeni yote ya mfuko huo yanayofikia Sh6.4 trilioni.

Kaimu Mkurugenzi Mkuu wa PSPF, Adam Mayingu alisema awali watumishi wa Serikali walikuwa wanalipwa mafao bila kuchangia, lakini mwaka 1999 iliamriwa kuanzishwa mfuko huo na Serikali kuamuru kuwaingiza watumishi ambao walikuwa hawachangii.

Mayingu alisema wakati mfuko unaanzishwa, wataalamu walishauri Serikali kuweka Sh250 bilioni kwa ajili ya malipo ya watumishi waliohamishwa kutoka kwenye mfumo wa zamani, lakini haikufanya hivyo na kusababisha deni hilo kukua na ilipofika mwaka 2003 deni hilo lilikuwa limefikia Sh933.4 bilioni.

Alisema tathmini ya pili ilifanywa mwaka 2006, ambayo ilibainisha Serikali ilikuwa inadaiwa Sh716 bilioni lakini tathmini hiyo ilitiliwa shaka na mwaka 2007 Mkaguzi na Mdhibiti Mkuu wa Serikali (CAG), alitakiwa kufanya ukaguzi maalumu na alibainisha kuwa deni halisi lilikuwa limefikia Sh3.3 trilioni.

Hata hivyo, Serikali ilikuwa imekubali kulipa Sh71 bilioni kila mwaka kwa muda wa miaka 10, lakini ililipa Sh30 bilioni tu na kuacha kulipa na kusababisha deni kuendelea kukua.

Mayingu alisema tathmini ya tatu ilifanyika mwaka 2010, na kuonyesha deni hilo linafikia Sh6.4 trilioni, huku uwezo wa mfuko kulipa mafao ukishuka hadi asilimia 10 chini ya kiwango cha asilimia 40 kinachoruhusiwa kwa mfuko wa pensheni. Hatua hiyo inaashiria kufilisiwa kwa mfuko.

Kauli ya Serikali
Naibu Waziri wa Fedha, Janeth Mbene aliomba radhi kwa Serikali kushindwa kutimiza ahadi yake na kuahidi kusimamia ulipaji wa deni hilo ingawa alisema si rahisi Serikali kulipa deni hilo kwa mkupuo kwani ikifanya hivyo itaathiri baadhi ya shughuli, huku akiomba mwaka huu ilipe Sh50 bilioni.

“Jambo hili ni nyeti na limefika sehemu ambayo lazima lishughulikiwe, hivyo naomba mniamini nitasimamia fedha hizi zilipwe,” alisema Mbene.

Hata hivyo, Mkurugenzi wa SSRA, Irene Isaka aliwatoa hofu wanachama wa mfuko huo kuwa hakuna atakayekosa mafao yake kwa sababu kisheria Serikali ndiyo mdhamini wa mifuko ya jamii.

Mwenyekiti wa Kamati ya Bunge ya Hesabu za Serikali (PAC), Zitto Kabwe alisema bado Serikali inapiga blahblah na haijawa na dhamira ya kulipa deni hilo. Alisema watumishi wote wa Serikali ni wanachama wa mfuko huo, lakini hakuna uzito wa kulipa madai hayo.

Kenyatta atangaza majina 12 ya Mawaziri

Rais wa Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta (kushoto) akiwa na Makamu wa Rais William Ruto wakati wa kutangaza majina  ya Mawziri wapya 
Kwa ufupi
Orodha ya leo imefanya idadi ya Mawaziri hao walioteuliwa kufikia Mawaziri 16 huku wananchi  wakiendelea kusubiri nafasi mbili kwani awali Rais Kenyatta aliutangazi umma kuwa  baraza lake la mawaziri litakuwa na watu 18 tu.

Rais wa Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta akishirikiana na Makamu wa Rais William Ruto leo ametangaza kwa mara ya pili majina 12 ya Mawaziri watakaounda Baraza jipya.

Orodha ya leo imefanya idadi ya Mawaziri hao walioteuliwa kufikia Mawaziri 16 huku wananchi  wakiendelea kusubiri nafasi mbili kwani awali Rais Kenyatta aliutangazi umma kuwa  baraza lake la mawaziri litakuwa na watu 18 tu.

Miongoni mwa mawaziri walioteuliwa leo na wizara zao zikiwa kwenye mabano ni Najib Balala( Madini ), Charity Ngilu (Ardhi, Nyumba na Maendeleo ya mijini ), Adan Mohamed ambaye kabla ya uteuzi huo alikuwa ni Mkurugenzi Mtendaji wa Benki ya Baclays Afrika (Viwanda na Maendeleo ya Biashara).

Wengine ni Anne Waiguru(Maendeleo ya wananchi na Mipango), Felix Tarus Kosgey(Kilimo, Mifugo na Uvuvi), Judy Wahungu(Maji na Maliasili), Hassan Wario(Michezo na Utamaduni), Jacob Kaimenyi (Elimu) Francis Kimemia (Katibu wa Baraza la Mawaziri) na Lawrence Lenayapa (Mnadhimu wa Ikulu).
Kwa habari zaidi ungana nasi baadaye

Kenya's bond auction attracts $675.21m

The Central Bank of Kenya. Kenya's bond auction Wednesday attracted bids worth Ksh56.5 billion ($675.21 million), more than double what the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) was seeking. Photo/FILE
The Central Bank of Kenya. Kenya's bond auction Wednesday attracted bids worth Ksh56.5 billion ($675.21 million), more than double what the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) was seeking. Photo/FILE  Nation Media Group
By David Mugwe, The EastAfrican
Kenya's Treasury bond auction Wednesday attracted bids worth Ksh56.5 billion ($675.21 million), more than double what the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) was seeking.

The banking regulator was seeking Ksh25 billion ($298.3 million) through the sale of five and 15-year treasury bonds indicating the debt issue was oversubscribed by more than two times.

The five year bonds are paying interest at 12.892 per cent every six months while and did not offer any discount but the 15 year bonds are paying interest at 12 per cent on the face value every half year and an investor will pay Ksh89,516 ($1,068) for every Ksh100,000 ($1,194).

Investors put in bids worth Ksh33.8 billion ($403.7 million) for the five year bonds and bids worth Ksh22.7 billion ($271.4 million) for the 15 year bonds and the banking regulator accepted a higher percentage of the latter and a higher value of the shorter tenured bonds.

According to the results, CBK took in bids worth Ksh35.8 billion ($427.4 million) of which Ksh20.1 billion ($240.6 million) of the bids were for the five year bond while Ksh15.6 billion ($186.7 million) of the bids were for the 15 year bonds.

The 182-day and 364-day treasury bills also on offer seeking Ksh8 billion ($95.4 million) attracted bids worth Ksh12.5 billion ($149.3 million), the latter being oversubscribed and the former undersubscribed and the interest paid also trended downward for both short-term papers.

Poor sanitation costs Tanzania 301bn/- yearly

World Bank

By Dickson Ng`hily

The World Bank-supported Water and Sanitation Programme (WSP) shows that Tanzania’s economy loses 301bn/- (approximately US$206m) every year due to poor sanitation.

A World Bank statement made available to this paper at the weekend, said: “We have to fix sanitation if we want to end extreme poverty by 2030 and boost the incomes of the poorest 40 percent.”

“The magnitude of the sanitation problem distresses me deeply, because I have always known through my background in health that this is an absolutely critical intervention,” the statement quoted World Bank president Jim Yong Kim as saying.

The impact of inadequate sanitation lies at the core of so many barriers to prosperity faced by poor people – health, education, environment, wealth, equity and dignity, the statement said.

It revealed that each day, thousands of children die due to diarrhea disease and those who survive, often miss school due to illness.

Having no access to sanitation renders women and girls particularly vulnerable, as they risk personal security seeking private locations, or drop out of school at puberty as there are no sanitation facilities, the statement said.

The WSP shows that poor sanitation also leads to costs valued in the hundreds of billions of dollars every year by damaging health, environment and tourism.

The WB is the largest multilateral financier of water and sanitation development committing US$4bn to water supply and sanitation.

The money is expected to help nine million people access improved water supply and sanitation services.

“We commit to supporting the effort to end open defecation by 2025 and to move countries up the ladder of better sanitation infrastructure and services,” the statement said.

“We can achieve this goal and transform the lives of billions of people over the next several years. It will take real commitment and action from the Heads of State of our client countries, as well as collaboration with all of our partners in civil society and the private sector,” explained the statement.

To achieve this goal, the WB would take a global leadership role to advocate that countries make the required investments to meet their sanitation targets and eliminate open defecation, which affects the poorest 40 percent in these countries and work with domestic and global private sector and other partners to scale up efforts to meet demand from households and communities for sanitation products and services, moving from open defecation to improved latrines to improved waste management.

The WB would also work closely with countries where open defecation is most prevalent to ensure that the bank’s lending and evidence-based knowledge is supporting improved sanitation service delivery, such as through effective monitoring and use of data.

The announcement coincides with World Bank-IMF Spring meetings side event on investing in sanitation and on the heels of a call by UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson last month to end open defecation by 2025.
"I am determined to mobilise major players, on behalf of the UN Secretary-General, to boost sanitation efforts and end open defecation by 2025,” Eliasson is quoted to have said.

“I applaud the World Bank's commitment in this area, and look forward to working closely with the World Bank as part of the partnership between our organizations.”
The Bretton Woods institution has less than 1,000 days of action before the 2015 target date for the Millennium Development Goals.

“While we have made great improvements towards all the Goals, sanitation is the target where we have made least progress, and we urgently need to scale up investment. This is an issue of fundamental human dignity, and the health of people and the environment,” the statement said.
The statement quoted WB Vice President of Sustainable Development Rachel Kyte as saying: “Poor sanitation is often ignored because people don’t like to talk about it, much less act on it.”

“We cannot ignore this any longer. Environmental conditions from poor sanitation are already in jeopardy around the world. Increasing volatility from extreme weather conditions will make this even worse. We know how to do it. It’s time to act.”

The World Bank, the statement explained, is exploring ways of scaling up access to sanitation through new kinds of partners, such as software developers, to learn how new technology-enabled mobile phone applications can address sanitation sector needs.
It is reported that one out of every three people in the world have no toilet, thus go to the bathroom in rivers or fields, unknowingly spreading germs that cause diarrhea disease - the second leading cause of death in children under five.

Muhas to hold first international scientific conference next month

Muhas Vice Chancellor, Prof Ephata Kaaya

By Gadiosa Lamtey

The Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (Muhas) will hold its first three day international scientific conference beginning May 2, with the aim of exchanging research findings among various researchers in Tanzania and from around the world.

Muhas Vice Chancellor Prof Ephata Kaaya revealed this in Dar es Salaam yesterday; saying the most important thing will be to inform the Tanzanian community about the findings from the current and past health researches that have been conducted by the university and other researchers.

According to him, during the conference which will be attended by 300 participants from across the world, various researchers will present a total of 144 scientific research papers whereas the findings will be translated into policy and practice.
Prof Kaaya said the findings will also be linked with addressing health related Millennium Development Goals, emerging major health challenges and crises on health human resources.

“The main purpose of the conference will be to share, inform, learn and exchange research findings among various researchers from Tanzania and around the world so that people can learn from them,” he said.

He said presentations will range from; malaria management and control, health care financing, child and reproductive health, HIV vaccine trials, surveillance, ART therapy and its challenges, cancer screening and management.

Other are behavioural change communication and its challenges, disease and surveillance of drug resistance, health systems research including human resources for health challenges and quality of care, environmental degradation and conservation, nutritional disorders and enhancing professional medical practice.