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Friday, May 31, 2013

Kenya, Rwanda race for middle-income status

The Thika Superhighway. One of the major drivers of economic growth for Kenya  is the ongoing investment in infrastructure. FILE
The Thika Superhighway. One of the major drivers of economic growth for Kenya is the ongoing investment in infrastructure. FILE 
By GEOFFREY IRUNGU

In Summary
  • Ernst & Young projects Kenya and Rwanda could reach middle-income status by 2025.
  • The projection is based on Kenya’s high foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows, infrastructure development and a diversified economy which has set a basis for rapid growth.

Kenya and Rwanda are the only East African countries expected to reach middle-income status by 2025, financial consulting firm Ernst & Young has predicted.
The E&Y projection is based on Kenya’s high foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows, infrastructure development and a diversified economy which has set a basis for rapid growth.
The report titled Africa Attractiveness Survey predicts that the economy is likely to grow by at least four per cent on average in the years to 2017, lifting most Kenyans out of poverty.
“As of today, 22 sub-Saharan Africa countries (45 per cent of the total), as well as five North African countries, have attained middle income status as defined by The World Bank and, if current growth rates are sustained, 13 more (Kenya included) more could reach middle income status by 2025,” says the report.
By World Bank definition, a middle-income country had a per capita income of at least $1,026 per person per year (an equivalent of Sh87,200) in 2011, but while this rises every year Kenya’s average rises more slowly because of population growth of about 2.5 per cent annually.
In 2011, Kenya’s income per capita was 77,000 (or $906) and in 2012 it was Sh84,200 (or $991). Last year, the World Bank said Kenya may achieve the middle income status by 2016 if it sustains an average GDP growth rate of 4.5 per cent.
The Ernst & Young report said Kenya would achieve the middle-income status despite its economy being the slowest growing in the eastern African region in the next five years.
Uganda’s economy will grow at 5.8 per cent, Tanzania’s at six per cent and Rwanda’s at 6.5 per cent. Only Burundi is expected to grow its economy at less than four per cent during the five-year period.
One of the major drivers of economic growth for Kenya and attractions for foreign investors is the ongoing investment in infrastructure. It is listed as the fifth in Africa in terms of infrastructure development with the top four countries being South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt and Algeria.
Kenya is listed as having invested $32.9 billion in 60 ongoing infrastructure projects against South Africa’s $129.9 billion in 134 projects and Nigeria’s $95.5 billion in 106 projects. Egypt has put in $60.2 billion in 82 projects while Algeria has $87.2 billion.
The survey report noted that the majority of the total infrastructure projects are related to power (37 per cent) and transport (41 per cent). In the power sector, Kenya has been investing in geothermal exploration and in exploitation and expects to bring into the national grid some 280MW by April next year.
It said there were over 800 active infrastructure projects across different sectors in Africa than in 2012, with a combined value in excess of $700 billion. Reforms in business facilitation and improved financial access have also contributed to expectations of higher economic growth, the report says.
In a recent interview, Ernst & Young Kenya office CEO Gitahi Gachahi said that access to finance for growth, especially for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) remained one of the most critical factors in maintaining and increasing the pace of economic growth.
“We keep talking about accessing finance. What we need is to facilitate SMEs to get affordable credit and you will see higher GDP growth,” said Mr Gachahi.

 

The report cited Kenya as among the leading in receiving foreign direct investments (FDI) in Africa in the past ten years. Kenya ranked eighth in terms of the rate of attracting FDI between 2003 and 2012. It ranks third after Ghana and Republic of Congo when taking the five-year period between 2007 and 2012 in terms of the rate of FDI attraction.
In the next 30 years or so, the report said that Kenya is likely to be among the countries that will follow the developmental path taken by Asian tigers, Mexico and Turkey.
“By the 2040s, we have no doubt that the likes of Nigeria, Ghana, Angola, Egypt, Kenya, Ethiopia and South Africa will be considered among the growth powerhouses of the global economy,” said the Ernst & Young survey report.
As a source of FDI to other parts of Africa, Kenya came eleventh globally. Five of the top ahead of Kenya were European countries, namely, the UK, Germany, Spain, Portugal and France. Other countries were the US, India, UAE and China.
The only other African country that was listed ahead of Kenya in terms of investing on the continent was South Africa.

Consolidated Bank in first search for CEO after decade

A Consolidated Bank branch in Nairobi. Photo/FILE
A Consolidated Bank branch in Nairobi. Photo/FILE 
By WANGUI MAINA
 
 
In Summary
  • The new executive will be charged with driving the bank’s expansion and privatisation plans.

The search for a new chief executive at Consolidated Bank is concluding, with the company already having shortlisted applicants for the position.
The successful candidate will replace the outgoing chief executive Ndegwa Wachira who leaves office in June.
Mr Wachira, who has served for three terms at the State-owned bank, announced his retirement early this year having seen the bank make a modest turnaround from loss-making in his decade-long tenure.
“We just finished the interviews, the whole process is going well and we got a good number of applicants both from local and international institutions,” said Mr Wachira in an exit interview with Business Daily.
He did not disclose how many people had been shortlisted or if any were from the bank.
The new executive will be charged with driving the bank’s expansion and privatisation plans. Mr Wachira leaves office with regrets that the bank has not been placed in private hands at a period when the industry registered its fastest growth in history.
Mr Wachira said the bureaucracy of getting the government to divest has slowed down the process he had hoped would have been completed before the end of his tenure.
Recently, the bank’s top executives held a meeting to discuss the privatisation plans.
“It will happen in the next two years. I’d targeted to do it before I left but it didn’t happen,” he said.
The Treasury has previously floated plans to privatise the lender either through an initial public offering (IPO) or sale to a strategic investor.
The board leaned towards listing on the Nairobi Securities Exchange as the preferred method of privatisation. In 2011, the bank cleared its accumulated losses clearing the way for a listing at the NSE.
Despite being profitable since 2007, the bank relied on ploughing back of profits to clear its accumulated losses which stood at Sh576 million six years ago. Last year, it reported a profit of Sh175.9 million.
To maintain its growth momentum, the bank needs capital injection but its ownership structure has seen it remain in a limbo for a period now.
The bank has resorted to the fixed-income market to raise capital in the absence of new cash injection. In June last year, it issued a bond where it raised Sh1.7 billion out of a targeted Sh2 billion. The money was raised to boost the bank’s lending capac

However, this does not seem to have cushioned it from reporting a dip in profit in the first quarter of this year.
The bank recorded an 89 per cent drop in net profit to Sh5.65 million in the first quarter of 2013.
Consolidated Bank was formed in 1989, at the tail-end of Kenya’s first-ever contagious bank failure. It merged nine insolvent indigenous banks in an effort by the government to salvage public deposits. However, some of the bank owners have contested the takeover saying they were not adequately compensated. It mainly finances small and medium-sized enterprises and has 17 branches.
Mr Wachira, who came to office after former President Mwai Kibaki came to power, leaves the bank after surviving attempts to remove him from the helm.
Mr Wachira, a holder of a Master’s degree in economics and business management and a diploma in finance and banking, joined Consolidated Bank in December 2003.
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Bank of Kigali Q1 profit rises 8.8pc

BRwanda's Bank of Kigali pretax profits rose 8.8 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter to $6.8 million and the bank expects the opening of an office in Kenya to help it tap more opportunities. File.
Rwanda's Bank of Kigali pretax profits rose 8.8 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter to $6.8 million and the bank expects the opening of an office in Kenya to help it tap more opportunities. File. 


Rwanda's Bank of Kigali pretax profits rose 8.8 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter to $6.8 million and the bank expects the opening of an office in Kenya to help it tap more opportunities.
The bank, which is the largest in the small African state by assets and has a 34 per cent market share, said its net interest income rose 48 per cent from a year ago to $11.6 million as loans expanded.
"With our entry into Kenya, we look to extend our broad product offering to corporate entities in East Africa as we seek to unlock further trade and investment opportunities in the region," Chief Executive Officer James Getara said in a statement.
The bank opened a representative office in Nairobi during the period under review, bucking the trend in the region, where Kenyan banks have been expanding around the region, at a time when lenders of other nations were not expanding into Kenya.
Rwanda, which has a population of just over 10 million, borders the bigger east African states of Uganda and Tanzania with Kenya just to the east.

Google now working on two Android smartphones


Photo/FILE A T-Mobile G1 Google phone running Android. Google Edition handsets by Taiwan-based HTC will be compatible with carriers AT&T and T-Mobile. 

Posted  Friday, May 31  2013 at  18:16
In Summary
  • Google Edition handsets by Taiwan-based HTC will be compatible with carriers AT&T and T-Mobile.

SAN FRANCISCO
Google revealed on Thursday that it has two new sophisticated Android smartphones in the works, one of which will have the unprecedented distinction of being made in the United States.
An HTC One smartphone customised to be “Google’s take on Android” will make its US debut on June 26 at a price of $599, the head of Android, Chrome and Google Apps said at an AllThingsD conference in California.
“It’s a great device,” Google executive Sundar Pichai said during an on-stage interview.
Google Edition handsets by Taiwan-based HTC will be compatible with carriers AT&T and T-Mobile.
Manufacturing site
Pichai made the disclosure a day after Motorola Mobility head Dennis Woodside said on the same stage that the company’s was preparing to release its first smartphone since being bought by Google.
The smartphone would be called Moto X and be made in a facility near Fort Worth, Texas, Woodside said.
“It is the first smartphone that is going to be built in the United States,” Woodside said, noting that the plant would employ about 2,000 people by August.
“We think that it is going to allow us to innovate and iterate that much faster.” Components for Motorola smartphones will come from Taiwan, South Korea and US.

Diamond Trust Bank now establishes unit for microfinance

Diamond Trust Bank Chairman Abdul Samji (right) and the Chief Executive Officer Nasim Devji  during the Bank’s Annual General Meeting held at KICC in Nairobi on May 31, 2013. PHOTO/SALATON NJAU
Diamond Trust Bank Chairman Abdul Samji (right) and the Chief Executive Officer Nasim Devji during the Bank’s Annual General Meeting held at KICC in Nairobi on May 31, 2013. PHOTO/SALATON NJAU   NATION
By NATION CORRESPONDENT
 
 
In Summary
  • The Micro Small and Medium Enterprises Act that was signed into law in December 2012 categorises micro enterprises as those businesses with an annual turnover of not more than Sh500,000 and that employ less than 10 people.

Mid-tier lender, Diamond Trust Bank, has established a unit targeting microfinance and individual borrowers.
The bank’s managing director Nasim Devji said many lenders have for long shied away from extending credit to very small enterprises (VSE) slowing growth in this sector that employs over 8.5 million Kenyans.
“This is one of the segments that has not received a lot of attention since a lot of banks tend to focus on the small and medium enterprises. Then there are the very small enterprises which are currently not well looked after,” Ms Devji said yesterday during the bank’s Annual General Meeting.
She said the microfinance unit has been set up within the bank to specifically begin courting the micro-businesses, with the long term target of supporting them to become small and medium enterprises that many commercial banks have zeroed in on.
The Micro Small and Medium Enterprises Act that was signed into law in December 2012 categorises micro enterprises as those businesses with an annual turnover of not more than Sh500,000 and that employ less than 10 people.
The law is now seen as a weapon to streamline this sector by requiring entrepreneurs to cultivate the culture of record-keeping and formalisation of their operations. It is expected this will open the way for a scramble of the sector by commercial banks that have for long considered them a high risk group.
“We believe this is a group that is often unable to access financial services. We want to be in a position to help them access financial services,” Ms Devji further said adding that the World Bank’s investment arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) will provide 50 per cent guarantee to credit extended to these businesses.

Business_News Two former bank directors to pay Sh1.5bn for breach of trust

MILIMANI LAW COURTS: Two former executive directors of Trust Bank Limited have been ordered to pay the bank over Sh1.5 billion for breach of trust. PHOTO/FILE
MILIMANI LAW COURTS: Two former executive directors of Trust Bank Limited have been ordered to pay the bank over Sh1.5 billion for breach of trust. PHOTO/FILE 
By PAUL OGEMBA 
In Summary
  • The judge said it was established at the time of winding up of the bank that its business was carried out with intent to defraud the creditors and for other fraudulent purposes and that the two former directors were parties to the scheme.
  • He said the directors misrepresented to the creditors and to the court that the withdrawals were made to offset a loan agreement between Trust Capital Services and Trust Bank Limited when they knew all along that the transactions were not sanctioned through a proper channel.

Two former executive directors of Trust Bank Limited have been ordered to pay the bank over Sh1.5 billion for breach of trust.
Justice Eric Ogola found Ajay Shah and Praful Shah guilty of misfeasance, failing to discharge their duties diligently, transparently and non-fraudulently leading to the bank’s closure in 1999.
“The incident happened at a time when banks just used to go under and depositors losing their life long savings without a soul on earth caring. The managers had a responsibility to the depositors and despite being their trustees, they failed to act responsibly and became liable,” said Ogola.
The judge also declared that Mr Ajay and Mr Praful while acting as executive directors of Trust Bank, now in liquidation, breached their “fiduciary duties” to the company by allowing Trust Capital Services Limited in which they had personal interest to withdraw from the bank Sh241.4 million in 1998 without proper security.
Fraudulent actions
The judge said it was established at the time of winding up of the bank that its business was carried out with intent to defraud the creditors and for other fraudulent purposes and that the two former directors were parties to the scheme.
According to the liquidator, Trust Bank lost the sum of Sh241,442,376 within a span of 7 days in September 1998 through an account not registered in the bank but which was being operated by Mr Ajay and Mr Praful.
“It is evident that money was withdrawn from the Bank through Trust Capital Services without sanction of the bank through an account which did not exist in its accounts. What worries most is how the massive withdrawals were done within a space of seven days,” said Ogola.
He ruled that the two directors owe an explanation to depositors of Trust Bank since they participated in the withdrawal and siphoning of millions of shillings when they were aware the bank was about to collapse.
“Despite admitting that Trust Capital Services owed the bank over Sh246.6 million, they have not provided any evidence to show that they have refunded a single coin which brings into question their loyalty and trust to the bank’s depositors,” ruled Ogola.
He said the directors misrepresented to the creditors and to the court that the withdrawals were made to offset a loan agreement between Trust Capital Services and Trust Bank Limited when they knew all along that the transactions were not sanctioned through a proper channel.
Law flouted
He ruled that the directors’ actions offended Section 11 of the Banking Act since they knowingly participated in carrying out their duties with clear intent to defraud customers of Trust Bank Limited.
“After considering all factors, I thus order that Mr Ajay and Mr Praful are liable to make good and pay Deposit Protection Fund Board as Liquidator of Trust Bank Limited Sh1,549,591,424 being the amount due in the account of Trust Capital Services as at February 2010,” ruled Ogola

Getting children active

Try to incorporate physical activity into your children’s daily lives so that it becomes a habit and something that they also do at weekends and in the holidays when they aren’t at school. Photo/FILE
Try to incorporate physical activity into your children’s daily lives so that it becomes a habit and something that they also do at weekends and in the holidays when they aren’t at school. Photo/FILE  NATION MEDIA GROUP
By Polly Kerr, Bupa Health Information Team
 
 
In Summary
  • The World Health Organisation recommends that children and young people aged five to 17 need to do at least 60 minutes (one hour) of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity every day.
  • Try to encourage children to be active as soon as possible after birth.
  • Exercise can be done at different intensities, although for children under five, the time they spend exercising is more important than the intensity.

The amount of activity that children do has important effects on their health.
Keeping physically active can reduce the risk of them developing many serious diseases in later life and help them maintain a healthy weight.
It’s also important to set a pattern of regular exercise in the early years, with the aim that this will be continued throughout life.
Why all the fuss?
We are always being told that physical activity is important for our health. You can’t open a newspaper or turn on the TV without hearing something about it.
However, do you know exactly why it’s important or why inactivity is a problem, especially for children? Regular physical activity can benefit your child by:
• reducing the risk of some chronic diseases in later life, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes
• helping to develop strong muscles and bones
• helping to maintain a healthy weight
• developing co-ordination and movement skills
• giving your child an opportunity to make friends
• reducing anxiety and stress
• boosting self-esteem and confidence
• encouraging your child to be active in later life
What counts?
Try to encourage children to be active as soon as possible after birth. Exercise can be done at different intensities, although for children under five, the time they spend exercising is more important than the intensity.
Moderate intensity activity means your child’s breathing and heart rate will increase and he or she will feel warm. Your child should still be able to talk without panting in between his or her words.
Vigorous intensity activity means that your child’s breathing will be much stronger and his or her heart rate will increase rapidly. Your child will find it difficult to hold a conversation.
 
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Some examples of moderate intensity activities include:
• brisk walking
• active play – such as using playground equipment
• cycling or using a scooter
Some examples of vigorous intensity activities include:
• swimming
• dancing
• playing football
The World Health Organisation recommends that children and young people aged five to 17 need to do at least 60 minutes (one hour) of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity every day.
This may seem like a lot but it can be spread out during the day, provided it’s done in periods of at least 10 minutes, and can include physical education lessons and playing with friends after school.
Children should do activity that helps to strengthen their bones and muscles, such as dancing, jumping or aerobics, at least three times a week. This will also improve flexibility and co-ordination
It’s important that your child spends as little time as possible being inactive, such as watching TV or playing computer games.
Instead, encourage your child to do something that gets him or her moving around – it might be easier than you think, even just playing a computer game that involves some activity is better than sitting still in front of the screen.
Getting active
Although children are often active at school in some lessons or at lunchtime, it’s important that they keep this up at home.
Try to incorporate physical activity into your children’s daily lives so that it becomes a habit and something that they also do at weekends and in the holidays when they aren’t at school.
Some ways in which children can include physical activity in their weekly routine are described below.
• If it’s possible, encourage your child to walk or cycle to and from school.



• Joining a sports club or dance class is an opportunity for your child to exercise and make friends at the same time.
• Persuade your child to help out with household chores – you could offer a small reward as an incentive.
• Make exercise a family affair – go to the park, swimming pool or for a bike ride at the weekend. This is also a good opportunity for you to enjoy getting active together.
Keep on moving
As a parent, it’s important that you help to keep your child motivated to do exercise. This might be by varying activities, or by encouraging and praising your child as he or she improves.
However, one of the best ways to encourage your child to exercise is to set an example – be an active role model and organise activities that you can do together.
There are a number of things you can do to help your child get active. Some ideas are listed below.
• Suggest going to the park to play football or a game of rounders, cricket or frisbee.
• If possible, provide equipment for your child, such as a skipping rope, hula-hoop or football, so that he or she can play actively even on his or her own.
• Find out what sports and team activities are available near to where you live.
• Make exercise a treat by organising a day trip to an adventure play park or an ice skating rink, for example.
• When it’s safe to do so, teach your child to ride a bike or scooter.
Remember that you play an important role in helping your child to get active. It doesn’t need to cost anything and any activity counts towards the daily recommendation.
Make it enjoyable and fun for both you and your child.
Action points
• Children and young people aged five to 17 years old need to do at least 60 minutes (one hour) of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity every day.
• Encourage your child to do activity that helps to strengthen his or her bones and muscles, such as dancing, jumping or aerobics, three times a week.
• Limit the amount of time your child spends being inactive, such as watching TV and playing on the computer.

KWS hunts for poachers as three more rhinos killed

A file picture taken on December 9, 2010 shows the carcass of a Rhino shot dead by poachers. Photo\FILE
A file picture taken on December 9, 2010 shows the carcass of a Rhino shot dead by poachers. Photo\FILE  NATION MEDIA GROUP
By PETER MWAI pmwai@ke.nationmedia.com
Posted  Friday, May 31  2013 at  14:22
In Summary
The number of rhinos killed in Kenya in the last two weeks has now risen to seven.



The Kenya Wildlife Service has launched an operation to arrest poachers who killed three rhinos at a private ranch in Naivasha on Friday morning.
The number of rhinos killed in Kenya in the last two weeks has now risen to seven.
“Armed poachers infiltrated Oserian private sanctuary and killed the rhinos but Kenya Wildlife Service rangers on night patrol reacted swiftly and deterred them from taking away the rhino horns which they were in the process of removing,” a statement from KWS said.
The attack that led to the killing of two adult rhinos and a calf took place at 2 am.
KWS is urging the public to volunteer information to help security officials curb the poaching menace.
On Monday, the agency announced the launch of a “major operation” to pursue poachers who had killed four rhinos in a span of one week across the country. (READ: KWS in countrywide hunt for poachers)
The rhinos were killed in Lake Nakuru National Park, Solio Ranch (Nyeri), Ngulia Sanctuary (Tsavo West National Park), and Meru National Park. The poachers took off with the rhino horns.
“Security teams are following crucial leads and expect to catch up with the perpetrators of the heinous crime,” KWS said.
Since the beginning of the year, Kenya has lost 24 rhinos and 117 elephants to poachers. Out of these elephants, 37 were killed in protected areas while 80 were outside protected areas.
Last year, Kenya lost 384 elephants and 30 rhinos to poachers, a trend the agency described as worrying and unsustainable.

LSK seeks to resolve Mau Mau dispute

Wambugu wa Nyingi (L), Jane Muthoni Mara (2L), Paulo Nzili (2R) and Ndiku Mutua (R) pose for photographers outside the High Court in central London.
Wambugu wa Nyingi (L), Jane Muthoni Mara (2L), Paulo Nzili (2R) and Ndiku Mutua (R) pose for photographers outside the High Court in central London. Three elderly Kenyans began a court battle on July 16, 2012 to win damages from the British government for brutality they claim they suffered at the hands of British troops during the 1950s Mau Mau uprising. Photo/FILE  NATION MEDIA GROUP

In Summary
  • According to LSK chief executive Apollo Mboya, there have been professional accusations and counter accusations among lawyers and law firms involved in the case both locally and in the UK.
  • The war veterans moved to the High Court in Britain seeking compensation due to torture and other inhumane acts caused by officials and agents of the Colonial British Government.
  • Reports in a section of the mainstream media have indicated that the British Government is seeking an out of court settlement with the former war veterans.

The Law Society of Kenya has set a date to resolve disputes involving lawyers representing over 8,000 former Mau Mau fighters at a UK Court.
According to LSK chief executive Apollo Mboya, there have been professional accusations and counter accusations among lawyers and law firms involved in the case both locally and in the UK.
“We have resolved to hear and determine the professional dispute on June 1 in Nairobi towards faster dispensation of justice to the former freedom fighters,” Mr Mboya said.
The war veterans moved to the High Court in Britain seeking compensation due to torture and other inhumane acts caused by officials and agents of the Colonial British Government.
Reports in a section of the mainstream media have indicated that the British Government is seeking an out of court settlement with the former war veterans.
Mr Mboya said LSK had received a series of confidential letters that some people masquerading as lawyers were paid legal fees towards the case.
“We want to set the record straight and have called for a meeting of all involved parties to establish the lawyers on record for which case and clients,” Mr Mboya said.
He said that the meeting will seek to establish the status of any suit or settlement being pursued on behalf of the former freedom fighters and respective roles of the parties in the matter,” Mr Mboya said.
The LSK Secretary/CEO said that there are also allegations of legal malpractices and misrepresentations involving local and British based lawyers and law firms.
“There are also impostors who allegedly pocketed over Sh170 million as part of legal fees to represent the ex-Mau Mau fighters,” Mr Mboya said.
He said that LSK had also received formal complaints from the Kenya Human Rights Commission concerning unethical practices and misrepresentation to the former freedom fighters.
“We are also in possession of letters from the then Ministry of Immigration stating that some persons involved in the case flew in from the UK and worked even without work permits,” he said.
He added that some of the companies involved in the case were not registered in line with the law.

Our stand informed by Constitution, say commissions

The Salaries and Remuneration Commission chairman Sarah Serem (left) in conversation with the chairman of the Commission on Administrative Justice Otiende Amollo (centre) and Commission for Implementation of the Constitution chairman Charles Nyachae (right) at the Serena Hotel, Nairobi May 31, 2013. They said their stand on MPs' pay was informed by the Constitution. JENNIFER MUIRURI
The Salaries and Remuneration Commission chairman Sarah Serem (left) in conversation with the chairman of the Commission on Administrative Justice Otiende Amollo (centre) and Commission for Implementation of the Constitution chairman Charles Nyachae (right) at the Serena Hotel, Nairobi May 31, 2013. They said their stand on MPs' pay was informed by the Constitution. JENNIFER MUIRURI 
By LUCAS BARASA
 
 

Constitutional commissions have told MPs to stop arm-twisting them to give in to their demands by threatening to reduce their budgets and numbers.
In a meeting at Serena Hotel, Nairobi Friday, the heads of the commissions defended themselves from MPs' attacks saying their stand on various national issues was informed by the Constitution.
“Parliament should not use the budget process to arm-twist constitutional commissions,” Commission for Implementation of the Constitution chairman Charles Nyachae said.
The chairman of the Commission on Administrative Justice Otiende Amollo said: “The constitution requires all commissions to be given adequate budget for their operations.”
“If the allocations are slashed, the commissions will not deliver their mandate to Kenyans. We have constitution safeguards that protect allocations to commissions. The constitution is also very clear on how a commissioner could be removed from office,” Mr Amollo said.
He said it is MPs role to increase or reduce taxes.
Mr Nyachae said CIC commissioners have been “invited” to participate in a parliamentary committee on budget talks on Monday. The CIC budget is to be discussed in the meeting, Mr Nyachae said.
The Salaries and Remuneration Commission chairman Sarah Serem said the body is open for negotiations with various institutions including Parliament.
She said plans were underway for SRC to discuss with the Parliamentary Service Commission the MPs' salaries.
The SRC has come under intense criticism from MPs for reducing their salaries from Sh851,000 to Sh532,500 and legislators want the old pay reinstated.
The legislators will now have to wait until the court determines a petition lodged Thursday afternoon by the Law Society of Kenya (LSK).
The lawyers filed an application for a conservatory order and a petition, raising constitutional questions about Parliament’s mandate.
Justice David Majanja ruled that it was necessary to halt payment of the enhanced salaries due to the grave constitutional issues raised by the LSK.
They also said they would sack not fewer than 21 members of constitutional commissions and slash their budgets “to help the President and his government reduce the public wage bill and free up resources for development.
Additionally, they would make laws to give themselves power to cut the salaries of state officers by 57 per cent.
In a further measure to torpedo government resources, they threatened to revise Value Added Tax “to make life bearable for Kenyans.”

 
Parliamentarians appeared to be acting in anger after President Uhuru Kenyatta supported the Serem-led Commission for reducing MPs salaries.
On Friday, the commissions supported calls by President Kenyatta for MPs to respect the institutions.
The commissions heads regretted that nasty words were being used against them yet they were just fulfilling their constitutional mandates.

Govt keen on devolution - Uhuru

President Uhuru Kenyatta said the agenda of both County and National governments is to serve the people. PHOTO/FILE
President Uhuru Kenyatta said the agenda of both County and National governments is to serve the people. PHOTO/FILE  NATION MEDIA GROUP
By PPS
 
 
In Summary
  • The President noted the need for the two levels of government to work harmoniously for synergy and efficiency in service delivery.
  • According to the President Kenyatta, working closely with all governors in the implementation of the Jubilee manifesto is key and no level of government can succeed without the support of the other

President Uhuru Kenyatta has reiterated his pledge to fully support the implementation of the devolved system of government.
He said the process of streamlining the National Government to align it with the new Constitution is underway.
The President noted the need for the two levels of government to work harmoniously for synergy and efficiency in service delivery adding that that the agenda of both County and National governments is to serve the people.
President Kenyatta was speaking at State House Nairobi when he received a report of the Task Force that was established to look into the challenges facing the implementation of devolution.
“Let us not look at each other as competitors but as people and institutions who complement one another and who must work closely in order to succeed,” he said.
He emphasised the need for the immediate establishment of appropriate infrastructures, including the Summit and an effective Secretariat, to facilitate cooperation between the two levels of government.
According to the President Kenyatta, working closely with all governors in the implementation of the Jubilee manifesto is key and no level of government can succeed without the support of the other.
Speaking during the meeting, chairman of the Governors Council Isaac Ruto praised the President for his support to the devolution process.
Mr Ruto assured the President of the governors’ commitment to implementing their agenda at the county level and pledges made by the Jubilee coalition.
The Task Force, chaired by Mr Mohamed Abdikadir, comprises of six governors and officials from the ministries of the National Treasury, the Interior and Coordination of National Government as well as Devolution and Planning.
Also present during the meeting were Cabinet Secretary Devolution and Planning Anne Waiguru, Secretary to the Cabinet Francis Kimemia and PS Mutea Iringo.

Stanbic Bank top man announces own departure



The managing director of Stanbic Bank Tanzania, Mr Bashir Awale, addresses journalists at a past event. The seasoned banker has announced his departure from the bank. PHOTO | FILE 
By The Citizen Reporter  (email the author)

Posted  Tuesday, May 28  2013 at  23:05
In Summary
  • In the time that he has spent with Stanbic Tanzania he has been able to transform it from an ailing loss making entity to that of a profit making bank which is now in the list of the top four in the country.

Dar es Salaam. The managing director of Stanbic Bank Tanzania, Mr Bashir Awale, has announced his departure as he takes a new position in the bank next month.
Mr Awale, who has been working as the chief executive for the last 7 and half years, will be taking a new position as the Regional Investment Bank Executive for East Africa as well as Ethiopia and South Sudan. He ends his tenure at the bank on Friday, this year and will be taking his new position starting 1 July.
Mr Awale has had an illustrious career in the banking industry having structured deals from CitiBank before joining Stanbic where he is known for structuring various deals with companies such as Vodacom, Celtel (now known as Airtel), Tanesco and the latest landmark deals with the government of Tanzania.
In the time that he has spent with Stanbic Tanzania he has been able to transform it from an ailing loss making entity to that of a profit making bank which is now in the list of the top four in the country. He has also managed to streamline the workforce to that of young energetic and motivated team that has managed to transform the brand and reputation of the bank to an institution of excellence and innovation.
In his new role he is expected to use his knowledge and expertise within the East African region.
“It’s touching for me to leave the bank and the country which has been my home for nearly two decades, but I feel excited that my expertise will be used for impact in more countries. I will still be able to assist the bank and Tanzania as it will be one of the countries within my region even though I will be based in Nairobi,” Mr Awale said.

Big pay rise in private sector



Photo credit: NOAA Newswire 
By Samuel Kamndaya  (email the author)

Posted  Wednesday, May 29  2013 at  22:06
In Summary
  • We have also raised basic salaries for four new sub-sectors--construction, private schools, energy and communication.

Dar es Salaam/Dodoma. The government has announced a rise of between 25 per cent and 65 per cent in the minimum wage of workers in the private sector. The change takes effect from July, about five years after the first attempt to do so failed.
The Labour and Employment minister, Ms Gaudensia Kabaka, told the National Assembly yesterday that her ministry has successfully completed a research as well as consultations and minimum wages for employees in 12 sub-sectors of the private sector will be raised officially on July 1.
“My ministry has thoroughly researched and consulted with employers in the 12 sub-sectors within the private sector and arrived at a conclusion that basic salaries should be raised on July 1, 2013,” she said, moving a motion requesting the National Assembly to endorse a total of Sh14.959 billion for her ministry in the 2013/14 financial year.
The pay rise comes in the wake of consultations with the private sector, employers and workers’ unions. The minimum wage for a worker in the industry and trade sub-sector will go up by 25 per cent. In the hotel and home services sub-sector, it will rise by 55.2 per cent.
The statutory basic salary for workers in the private security sub-sector will go up by 46.4 per cent. Their counterparts in the mineral sub-sector will enjoy a 25.2 per cent boost to their basic salaries. Workers earning basic salaries in the fisheries and marine sub-sector will earn 21.2 per cent more while those in the health sub-sector will get the highest increase--a cool 65 per cent.
The statutory basic salary for workers in the transport sub-sector will go up by 49 per cent while the basic salary in the agriculture sub-sector will rise by 42.9 per cent.
“We have also raised basic salaries for four new sub-sectors--construction, private schools, energy and communication,” she said, noting that inflation and the need to protect investments were considered in upgrading the basic salaries.
The decision to raise statutory minimum wages for private sector employees comes after years of debate dating back to November 2007, when employers put up stiff resistance to an abrupt increase.
The Confederation of Tanzania Industries (CTI) said the 25 per cent award in the industries and trade sub-sector was “reasonable”. The organisation’s member had recommended that same figure to the wage board.
CTI Executive Director Christine Kilindu told The Citizen: “We are ready to pay the amount recommended in the budget speech but if there are any additional changes in the wage order (to be published later in the Government Gazette) against our proposal, we will hold further consultations.”
Representatives of employers and workers said they were consulted during the crafting of new wages but they would have to establish the details of the wage order before making any comments. The secretary general of the Trade Union Congress of Tanzania (Tucta), Mr Nicholas Mgaya said: “Let’s wait for the government wage order to get a clear picture.”
Tucta will carry out an evaluation of the wage order before deciding what to do, he added. The unionists also intend to meet President Jakaya Kikwete after the budget parliamentary session in June to discuss worker demands. “If there are any complaints, we will not hesitate to tell the President,” Mr Mgaya added.
  
 
The executive director of the Association of Tanzania Employers, Dr Aggrey Mlimuka, told The Citizen: “I have to see the government wage order that will be published in the Government Gazette soon, then we will check the proposal we made to the wage board.”
Ms Kabaka said yesterday that the decision to conduct a study on the right amount to be paid in minimum wages for employees in the private sector stems from the fact that they have been complaining about low wages and requested the government, through its sectoral wage boards, to upgrade the package.
Wage boards, which are responsible for maintaining agreements between registered trade unions and employer organisations, have reportedly carried out research and considered issues that matter to employers.
She added: “Issues like living expenses, productivity of employers, employers’ capacity and availability of employment opportunities have all been considered in line with the Labour Institutions Act 2004. Actual minimum wages will officially be announced in the Government Gazette.” Ms Kabaka’s statement did not go unchallenged, however, with Opposition Spokesperson for the ministry, Ms Cecilia Pareso (Special Seats - Chadema), questioning the rationale behind spending millions of shillings on a study to ascertain something that is “well known”.
It was unfair of the government, she added, to spend Sh60 million in the 2012/13 financial year to facilitate the study. Ms Pareso added that it was equally lacking in merit for the government to spend another Sh55 million in 2012/13 to facilitate meetings for the 12 sectoral wage boards. In the 2013/14 financial year, a total of Sh82.925 million is being sought for the same purposes.
 “This, ironically, means that we have spent a total of Sh197.925 million to undertake a study to establish something that is already known….Did we really need to conduct studies and facilitate board meetings to establish that people in the private sector need salary increments?” she asked

Clarify on pension funds: Opposition


Shadow Minister for Labour and Employment Cecilia Pareso yesterday challenged the government to clear the confusion surrounding the liquidity of pension funds. PHOTO | FILE 
By Samuel Kamndaya The Citizen Reporter  
 
In Summary
  • Shadow minister wants to know who is telling the truth following conflicting statements by President Kikwete and Controller and Auditor General Ludovick Utouh

Dodoma. A recent statement by President Jakaya Kikwete that no pension fund will go bankrupt sparked debate in Parliament yesterday, with the Opposition demanding to know the fate of pensioners’ money.
Debating the 2013/2014 budget estimates of the Ministry of Labour and Employment, the opposition spokesperson for the docket, Ms Cecilia Pareso, said the government was giving conflicting statements on the state of pension funds, and asked the responsible minister, Ms Gaudensia Kabaka, to clarify.
In April, Controller and Auditor General (CAG) Ludovick Utouh raised the red flag on the performance of the Public Service Pension Fund (PSPF), saying it suffered a loss of Sh6.5 trillion.
Briefing journalists on various audit reports, the CAG called upon the government to intervene and save PSPF from imminent collapse.
But President Kikwete allayed public fears on May Day, saying that pension funds were not cash strapped.
He said the government had made it possible for investments by pension funds to increase from Sh3.38 trillion in May 2012 to Sh4.24 trillion in May 2013.
The value of pension funds’ assets went up from Sh3.74 trillion to Sh4.73 trillion during the same period, he added.
The Opposition yesterday asked the government to clear the confusion.
“We want the minister to tell Tanzanians who is telling the truth.  Is it the President or the CAG?” Ms Pareso asked.
She said while the government had promised to start repaying part of the Sh6 trillion it owed PSPF with an initial payment of Sh50 billion in 2013/2014, this was not indicated in Ms Kabaka’s budget.
  1. She said various pension funds have erroneously given out loans worth Sh452 billion to the government for the construction of the University of Dodoma, saying such loans may disrupt financial flows in the funds’ cash accounts.

Attack on Kibanda ‘politically motivated’



Mr Kibanda 
By Katare Mbashiru The Citizen Reporter  
 
 
In Summary
  • Following the brutal attack, TEF formed a five-member team led by Mr Deodatus Balile to investigate circumstances which led to the attack and torture of Mr Kibanda.

Dar es Salaam. Tanzania Editors Forum (TEF) has linked the attack and torture of New Habari Corporation group managing editor Absalom Kibanda to politics and his profession.
The TEF report released yesterday in Tanga also states that some security officials were involved in the attack which left Mr Kibanda seriously injured. During the incident, some of the senior editor’s teeth were pulled out, fingernails plucked out, a finger cut and his left eye perched.
Mr Kibanda, who is also TEF chairman, was flown to South Africa for treatment where he remains hospitalised after he was subjected to torture by some unidentified persons on the night of March 6 at the gate to his house in Mbezi Juu on the outskirts of Dar es Salaam.
Following the brutal attack, TEF formed a five-member team led by Mr Deodatus Balile to investigate circumstances which led to the attack and torture of Mr Kibanda. The team was also to look into indicators of whether the incident was a coincidence or a premeditated one.
The other members of the team were Ms Pili Mtambalike, Ms Jane Mihanji, Mr Tumaini Mwailenge, and secretary of the Balile-led team, Mr Rashid Kejo.
The team concluded that Kibanda’s attack was engineered by security officials in a plot to spur political animosities between the main opposition party, Chadema and another major political party.
“Some of the interviewees alleged that Chadema has been given special training by foreign agents to collude with some unethical security personnel to engage in such acts as kidnap, attack and even kill  prominent people in the country including journalists,” reads part of the report.
This, the report argues, was aimed at planting seeds of discord in the country so that citizens would believe that the country has become ungovernable.
Upon being contacted, the Chadema secretary general, Dr Willibrod Slaa, said these were serious allegations and declined to make further comment saying he was yet to read the report.
“Let me first read the document and then I will be in a better position to give the party’s stand,” he told The Citizen in a telephone interview.
The probe team -- guided by five terms of reference -- further revealed a series of scenarios of police involvement a few days before Mr Kibanda’s attack and subsequent torture.
At some point, according to the report, M

But, in a swift reaction, Police spokesperson, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Advera Senso rubbished the report saying police had no time to waste on people’s emotions.
“Let’s wait for the responsible authorities tasked to investigate the matter. They are working independently and professionally. If we want to take this country to a better level, we must shun acting on emotions and speculations,” she said.
The report further says that a cliff of insecurity facing media professionals looms large as the country inches closer to the 2015 general election. 
It says that there are people who see journalists, who stand for objectivity and truth, as enemies who might spoil their intentions.
TEF recommends that this report be taken as a source of investigation by responsible authorities
r Kibanda and New Habari Corporation’s chief executive officer Hussein Bashe, were being closely monitored by police officers using a police vehicle with registration numbers PT180. The officers even intercepted the duo on the pretext of checking their vehicles between  Sinza Kijiweni, where New Habari offices are located, and Sinza Makaburini.


Government under fire over ‘standardised’ exam results


“Infact, politicians are not education experts, so the National Examinations Council of Tanzania should be left untouched to perform its duties” EZEKIEL OLUOCH, TANZANIA TEACHERS UNION SECRETARY-GENERAL 
By The Citizen Reporters 
In Summary
  • He added that reactive measures taken by the government in standardising the results were not expected to bring any miracles, mantaining that the problem would remain unsolved unless the education system is completely overhauled.

Dar es Salaam. The new Form Four examination results released in Dar es Salaam yesterday have drawn mixed reactions from education stakeholders, with some terming the move by the government to nullify the previous results as “a whitewash”.
Interviewed by The Citizen, they said that the new results would not help students who were desperately affected after the announcement of the earlier results.
Senior lecturer with the University of Dar es Salaam, Dr Kitila Mkumbo, said that Tanzania should expect massive failures in the future because the government had not solved the issue properly.
He added that reactive measures taken by the government in standardising the results were not expected to bring any miracles, mantaining that the problem would remain unsolved unless the education system is completely overhauled.
Dr Mkumbo said public schools in the country lacked learning facilities, stressing that schools need adequate teachers, learning facilities, and high teachers’ morale. 
For his part, the headmaster of Loyola High School in Dar es Salaam, Fr Binamunga Makosa, said that there were no significant changes in the new results.
He added that the number of students who scored Division Zero was still big and that the nation’s education sector was still at a crossroads.
The secretary general of the Tanzania Teachers Union (TTU), Mr Ezekiah Oluoch, said that the earlier results were real on what candidates had scored, while those which were announced yesterday’s were politically driven.
“Infact, politicians are not education experts, so the National Examinations Council of Tanzania should be left untouched to perform its duties,” he said.
He said standardisation neither helped the students nor the country’s education sector. As a result, according to him, the country will continue producing a generation of students thinking from an agora of abject illiteracy.
“Standardisation doesn’t help...it generates poorly uneducated Tanzanians. This shows that the education sector has political influence because the results show that children learn nothing while at school, but politicians want to change the truth,” he claimed.
He added that even the increase in performance had changed nothing because half of the candidates had failed.

 Masozi Nyirenda, senior fund allocation officer at the Tanzania Education Authority (TEA) said that there was laxity in the government and that the new results would not add any value.
“The government painted a weird image by failing to solve the results’ malpractices internally. What we see now is politics and it is hard to believe if the results were not doctored to meet people’s expectations,’’ he said.
Reported by Katare Mbashiru, Elisha Magolanga and Fariji Msonsa

Failure rate down 10pc in new Form 4 results



Education and Vocation Training, Dr Shukuru Kawambwa 
 
In Summary
The number of students who scored division two is now 10,355 students as opposed to the earlier 6,453. The number of students who scored division two is now up by 1.22 per cent.

Dar es Salaam. The new 2011/12 Form 4 national examination results announced yesterday are better than those that were cancelled by about nine per cent. The previous ones, announced on February 18, were nullified following mass failure at over 60 per cent. 
The Minister forEducation and Vocation Training, Dr Shukuru Kawambwa, said yesterday that, after standardisation, the new results indicate that the number of students who scored division zero has dropped slightly.
In the new scheme of things, the number of students who scored between division one and four rose to 159,747--up from the earlier 126,847. This means the pass rate has now risen by 9.3 per cent.
Speaking at the ministry’s headquarters, Dr Kawambwa said the new results were compiled using the same method applied in the annulled results. “In both results, we used a system known as fixed grade ranges,” Dr Kawambwa said, “but in the new results I am about to announce. some standardisation was done.”
Going by the new results, 35,349 students scored between division one and division three--which is equivalent to 9.55 per cent. This means that the percentage of those who scored division one to three has risen by 3.63 per cent. The number of those who scored division one has risen to 3.242 students compared to 1,641 who scored the same division earlier. This is equivalent to 0.48 per cent of students who scored division one in the February results.
The number of students who scored division two is now 10,355 students as opposed to the earlier 6,453. The number of students who scored division two is now up by 1.22 per cent. Those who scored division three number 21,752 compared to 15,426 previously--and that grading level has gone up by 2.01 percent. Division Four holders stand at 124,260, up from 103,327--a rise of 18.07 percent. Conversely, the number of students who scored division zero dropped to 210,846 against 240,903 students earlier.
The difference between the number of students who scored division zero in the new results compared to the previous results is equivalent to 3.78 per cent of students who sat the exams.
The results released in February were cancelled in March after a public uproar over the 60 percent failure rate. The National Examinations Council of Tanzania (Necta) used a new examination grading system called Fixed Grades Ranges in the ill-fated exams, according to Dr Kawambwa, giving the impression that many students had failed.
In previous years, the system used was the Flexible Grade Ranges. “In yesterday’s results, the same Fixed Grade Ranges was used but Necta standardised the results,” Dr Kawambwa added.
In addition to cancelling the results, Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda formed a team to probe the reasons for the failure. The final report has yet to be released.
Dr Kawambwa said the panel appointed to standardise the results did its best and favoured no one. “We are after quality education and not favouritism,” he added. “Necta has never and will never favour any individual.”
According to Dr Charles Msonde of Necta, no students who sat the examination had their grades pulled down. After reviewing the previous results, he added, almost all who deserved it had their marks raised according to the recommendations of the review panel.


 Responding to questions from reporters, Dr Kawambwa assured the nation that the students will proceed to the next level according to plan. “Everything is under control,” he said. “There is no need to worry because the selection will be announced as soon as possible and the students will join their higher level studies in July.”

Wenye divisheni ziro 30,000 wapeta


 
Na Fredy Azzah, Boniface Meena 
Kwa ufupi
  • Ufaulu huo umewasaidia wanafunzi waliokuwa wamefeli kwa kupata daraja sifuri na kufanikiwa kupata daraja la nne.

Dar es Salaam. Wanafunzi 30,063 waliopata daraja sifuri katika matokeo yaliyopita, wameula baada ya kupandishwa hadi daraja la nne kutokana na ukokotoaji upya wa matokeo ya mtihani wa kidato cha nne yaliyofanywa na Baraza la Mitihani la Taifa (Nacte) na kutangazwa jana.
Marekebisho hayo yalifanyika baada ya kufutwa kwa matokeo ya awali yaliyotangazwa Februari 18, mwaka huu.
Kufutwa kwa matokeo hayo, ilikuwa ni utekelezaji wa sehemu ya mapendekezo ya Tume iliyoundwa na Waziri Mkuu Mizengo Pinda, baada ya wanafunzi 240,909 kupata daraja sifuri kwenye matokeo yaliyotangazwa mara ya kwanza.
Akitangaza matokeo hayo jana, Waziri wa Elimu na Mafunzo ya Ufundi, Dk Shukuru Kawambwa alisema sasa watakaokuwa na sifuri ni 210,846 sawa na asilimia 56.92 wakati wavulana wakiwa ni 104,259 na wasichana 106,587.
Hiyo ina maana kuwa sasa ufaulu umepanda na kuwa asilimia 43.08 badala ya ule wa kwanza ambao ulikuwa asilimia 34.5.
Dk Kawambwa alisema kutokana na ukokotoaji mpya wa matokeo ya sasa, idadi ya wanafunzi waliofaulu mtihani huo kwa daraja la kwanza mpaka la nne imeongezeka na kufikia wanafunzi 159,747 kutoka 126,847.
Wanafunzi waliopata daraja la kwanza ni 3,242 wavulana wakiwa ni 2,179 na wasichana 1,063 ikiwa ni asilimia 0.88 ya matokeo yote, daraja la pili ni 10,355 sawa na asilimia 2.8 wavulana wakiwa 7,267 na wasichana 3,088.
Waliopata daraja la tatu ni 21,752 sawa na asilimia 5.87 wavulana wakiwa 14,979 na wasichana 6,773, daraja la nne ni 124,260 sawa na asilimia 33.54 .
Tofauti na matokeo yaliyofutwa, ambayo watahiniwa waliopata daraja la kwanza walikuwa ni 1,641, wavulana wakiwa 1,073 na wasichana 568, daraja la pili ni 6,453, wavulana wakiwa 4,456 na wasichana 1997.
Waliopata daraja la tatu walikuwa 15,426, wavulana 10,813 na wasichana 4,613, waliopata daraja la nne 103,327, wavulana 64,344 na wasichana 38,983 huku waliopata sifuri wakiwa 240,903, wavulana 120,664 na wasichana 120,239.
Dk Kawambwa alieleza watahiniwa waliosajiliwa kufanya mtihani huo walikuwa ni 480,029 na waliofanya ni 458,139 sawa na asilimia 95.44.
Alisema kuwa watahiniwa wa shule waliosajiliwa kufanya mtihani huo walikuwa ni 411,225 na waliofanya ni 397,138 sawa na asilimia 96.57 huku wa kujitegemea wakiwa ni 68,804 na waliofanya ni 61,001.
Agizo la serikali
Dk Kawambwa alisema kuwa matokeo hayo yamefanyiwa kazi kwa kutumia mfumo wa `Fixed Grade Ranges’(ukokotoaji matokeo usiobadilika) badala ya ule wa zamani wa `Flexible Grade Ranges’ (ukokotoaji matokeo unaoweza kubadilika).
Mei 3, mwaka huu, Serikali kupitia kwa Waziri wa Nchi, Ofisi ya Waziri Mkuu, Sera, Uratibu na Bunge, William Lukuvi, alitangaza uamuzi wa Serikali wa kufuta matokeo hayo na kusema kuwa yatatayarishwa kwa mfumo wa zamani wa `Flexible Grade Ranges’.
Lukuvi alisema kuwa, mapendekezo hayo yalitolewa na Tume iliyoundwa na Waziri Mkuu kuchunguza na matokeo hayo na mapendekezo hayo yaliridhiwa na Baraza la Mawaziri.
Dk Kawambwa jana alisema kuwa, mfumo wa Fixed Grade Ranges ndiyo uliotumika na kuwa kuanzia sasa mitihani yote itakuwa ikitumia mfumo huo.
Alisema kuwa pendekezo la Serikali lilishindikana kutumika kwani isingewezekana kuchanganya mifumo miwili kwa wakati mmoja.
“Ni kweli kuwa Serikali iliagiza matokeo haya yachakatwe kwa mfumo wa 2011 ambao ulikuwa ni `Flexible Grade Ranges’, kitaalamu siyo sahihi kutumia mifumo miwili kwa wakati mmoja, kwa kuwa haya matokeo ya 2012 yalitumia mfumo wa `Fixed Grade Ranges’, isingewezekana kuubadili.
“Kwa hiyo tulishauriana serikalini tukakubali kufanya `standardisation’ (ukokotoaji) kwa mfumo wa `Fixed Grade Ranges’ kwani kama tungetumia mfumo wa zamani wa `Flexible Grade Ranges’ lazima yangetokea matatizo,” alisema.
Shule bora na za mwisho
Katika shule kumi bora, Shule ya Wasichana ya Sekondari ya Kifungilo iliyoko Tanga imetolewa katika kundi hilo kwenye matokeo mapya na nafasi yake kuchukuliwa na Shule ya Wasichana ya Feza ya Dar es Salaam.
Baada ya ukokotoaji mpya bado St.Francis Girls ya Mbeya imebeki kwenye nafasi ya kwanza ikifuatiwa Marian Boys ya Pwani, Feza Boys ya Dar es Salaam, Marian Girls ya Pwani, Canossa ya Dar es Salaam, Rosmini ya Tanga, Anwarite Girls ya Kilimanjaro, St. Mary’s Mazinde Juu ya Tanga na Jude Moshono ya Arusha.


Shule za Ungulu Morogoro, Mkumba na Tongoni za Tanga na Ndame ya Unguja zimetoka katika kundi hilo la shule za mwisho
Shule za mwisho katika matokeo haya zimeongozwa na Mibuyuni ya Lindi, Namndimkongo ya Pwani, Chitekete ya Mtwara, Kikale ya Pwani, Zirai ya Tanga, Matanda ya Lindi, Kwamndolwa Tanga, Chuno ya Mtwara, Maendeleo ya Pwani na Maendeleo ya Dar es Salaam.

We will remain fair and accurate

Monitor Publications Ltd friends and employees led by Dembe FM’s Robinah Mbabazi, also known as Bina Baby
Monitor Publications Ltd friends and employees led by Dembe FM’s Robinah Mbabazi, also known as Bina Baby (L), celebrate after the police vacated the company’s head offices in Namuwongo, a Kampala suburb, yesterday. photo by faiswal kasirye. 

In Summary
We will avoid presenting acts of violence, armed robberies, banditry and terrorist activities in a manner that glorifies such anti-social conduct.



We are delighted to be back. This has been a difficult eleven days, for staff, for their families and for the thousands of people throughout Uganda, distributors, vendors and many others, who depend on the Daily and Weekend Monitor, KFM and Dembe FM for their livelihoods.
The reopening of Monitor Publications was negotiated with the government, and in the end resulted from a meeting of minds on the place of journalism in a fledgling democracy. That role is elaborately defined in our Editorial Policy Guidelines and Objectives, which set standards that are as rigorous and comprehensive as you will find in the world’s most developed media markets.
Some of our friends and readers in Uganda and abroad might see our return today as a victory over the government. And indeed some, might think the government backed down as some officials had spoken of closing the paper “indefinitely”.
That would be wrong. This is a victory for common sense. There is a long way to go, and much work to be done, but the manner of our closure, and re-opening, shows both the risks that remain, and the progress that is being made.
A free press is essential if a country hopes to grow peacefully.It is not a luxury. It holds the powerful and wealthy to account. It investigates. It defends the weak, but it also allows the government to mobilise the population for good causes.
It is contentious that our reporters were taken to court after we published a report about a letter written by General David Sejusa, also known as Tinyefuza, the Coordinator of Intelligence Services, where the general made a number of serious allegations about plots within government and the military. We did not endorse, or in any way support him; we simply reported what he, a senior military figure, had said.
We believe we were right to do so, but the government disagreed. But at least it took a step forward because it used the courts. Even when police took over our office, and shut us down, they did so after they had sought a search warrant. The detectives charged with locating the general’s letter were polite. They did not destroy equipment.
There are important and complex issues at stake. What is the role of the media in a developing country? A newspaper in a country in transition, emerging from a violent past, is different from a newspaper in London or New York. We want to be successful but we are not here to sell newspapers at any cost. We must campaign for better schools, healthcare, transport and much else. We must fight corruption, the curse of many developing countries. We must also always remember that this is a young and fragile democracy. Every day we must calculate the impact of what we write, in ways that our colleagues in other, richer parts of the world do not have to do. It is a heavy responsibility.
Much has been said over the past days about mounting threats to the media in Uganda. The statistics, such as attacks on journalists, do not lie yet are only one element of a complicated equation.
In the age of 24 hour, seven day-a-week information, of satellite television, the Internet and social media closing a newspaper does not prevent the transmission of news. It is rare for Uganda to make headlines around the world. Usually the country is only mentioned in stories about gorillas, child sacrifice and disease. The closure of the Monitor, our radio stations and Red Pepper, the boisterous tabloid, has been reported around the world. It is the credit of everyone, even our critics in government, that it has been settled by negotiation, not violence.
We remain committed to fair, balanced journalism. We will make mistakes, because we are human. But we will always try to learn from them and to be better next day.
Among key principles from our Editorial Policy & Guidelines that govern us, some are worth repeating here.
• Freedoms of speech and of the press are basic elements of any democracy or an emerging democracy.
• As a social institution, the press discharges crucial duties by carrying information, debates, analytical and critical comments on society.
• The press protects the freedom of speech and of the media and it should not yield to any pressure from anybody or any institution.
• It is the duty of the press to publish information that should be in the public domain, on what goes on in society and to uncover and disclose matters that ought to be subjected to public debate.
• It is the duty of the press to protect individuals against injustices or neglect committed by public authorities and institutions, private concerns and others.
1. Veracity and accuracy in reporting are an integral part of editorial policy and editors will only publish that which they believe to be true, fair and accurate.
2. All editorial content will be selected for its inherent news value and not to appease, augment or respond to political, commercial or any other interests.
3. We stand for racial, ethnic, religious and communal harmony and political/party tolerance as well as other forms of pluralism.
4. We support the principles of democracy as they are most widely understood, that is, good governance, transparency and accountability, regular, free and fair elections as well as social equity.
5. We support and promote public debate on matters of national importance with a view to bringing about behavioural and policy change for the common good.
We will avoid presenting acts of violence, armed robberies, banditry and terrorist activities in a manner that glorifies such anti-social conduct. We will not encourage or glorify social evils, warlike activities, ethnic, racial or religious hostilities.
We hope that as soon as possible, the government will also reopen The Red Pepper, carrying forward the commitment to diversity of expression that informed the reopening of The Monitor and its radio stations.

Madagascar PM, President fall out as island's political crisis deepens



By RIVONALA RAZAFISON in Antananarivo | 

Madagascar prime minister Jean-Omer Beriziky. RIVONALA RAZAFISON | NATION MEDIA GROUP 
Madagascar Prime Minister Jean-Omer Beriziky is under pressure to resign as political troubles precipitated by a 2009 coup on the Indian Ocean island deepened.
A July election expected to end the country's crisis is uncertain, and now supporters of current leader Andry Rajoelina have demanded Mr Beriziky leave over what they say is insubordination, even as the premier said he did not recognise the President's authority.
At a meeting between the Cabinet and the Parliament on Thursday, members of the Transitional Congress allied to Mr Rajoelina asked the consensual premier to resign, accusing him of repetitive infringements and rebellion against the President.
Mr Beriziky was also accused of allowing foreigners to freely interfere in the country’s internal affairs and of failing to perform his duties in government effectively.
His latest perceived infraction was his absence from the Ministers Council chaired by President Rajoelina at the state palace of Iavoloha on Wednesday, where he is said to have conducted another Cabinet meeting with some ministers at the state palace of Mahazoarivo.
'Internal crisis'
This has resulted in what the President termed as "institutional crisis" according to a statement from his Press Service.
In reaction, Mr Beriziky has said he would not attend any ministers council led by Mr Rajoelina as long as the President is a candidate in the presidential election in the election initially scheduled for July 24.
According to him, Mr Rajoelina has disregarded laws which provide that he resign at least 60 days before the election date.
Mr Rajoelina, 38, has so far refused to resign.
"If the President declared he is no longer a contestant for the next political race, I’m ready to return to the Ministers Councils," Mr Beriziky said.
"I have respected my own engagements towards the internationally-brokered roadmap [agreed in 2011] which remains my boss until further notice," he added.
External factors
The prime minister said he would only leave if mandated to do so by an institution with the authority.
"I’m ready to quit office if this is for the good of the nation," he told reporters at the end of the meeting at the Transitional Congress headquarters that is looking to resolve the crisis.
The consensual premier was appointed in 2011 during the implementation of a roadmap signed by various Malagasy stakeholders.
Even the President is unable to remove him until the end of the transition period, according to the roadmap which became Malagasy law last year.
On Wednesday, the country's interim government paved the way the postponement of the elections after a court found that external factors had derailed the poll preparations.
The suspension of election funding by major donors and the international rejection of three controversial presidential candidates, including Mr Rajoelina and former First Lady Lalao Ravalomana, would be ready by that date.

AU at 50: Land issues plague Africa as states lease out community land to foreigners

Land grab in Africa
According to the Oxfam report, Our Land, Our Lives which was released last year, an area equivalent to the size of Kenya has been sold off in Africa to international investors over the past decade in order to facilitate the growing of bio fuel and other commercial crops.  GRAPHIC| NATION MEDIA GROUP
This week the African Union celebrates its 50th anniversary. How far has the continent come in those fifty years?
For one thing, the land that Africans fought to reclaim from foreign colonisers is being once again taken away from them, this time not by force but through purchase — their leaders are literally selling it from under their feet.
This is perhaps the most urgent continent-wide issue the African Union needs to address.
More than 60 per cent of the African population lives in rural areas and depends on land for its survival. However, reports show that in 2010, up to 123.5 million acres of African land — double the size of Britain — had been grabbed from peasants with the help of their governments.
According to Human Rights Watch, as many as 70,000 people in western Gambela region in Ethiopia have been relocated, against their will, to new villages that “lack adequate food, farmland, healthcare and educational facilities.”
Eviction
Quoting one of the victims, the BBC in one of its reports said the Ethiopian government told them an investor was coming who would develop the land alongside the locals.
“They didn’t say the land would be taken away from us entirely,” the victim said.
The investor, Bangalore-based Karuturi Global Ltd, will lease a total of 311,000 hectares in Ethiopia.
In Ethiopia, all land is owned by the state and is leased out to private individuals and companies. In some places, communities often have pre-existing communal claims on the land, which are not acknowledged by the state.
In Tanzania, the government plans to evict Maasai communities from their 4,000 square kilometre ancestral land.
The eviction is reportedly to protect wildlife, which the government says is a major source of income from hunting and safaris and is under threat from overgrazing by Maasai cattle.
According to CNN, under the plan, most of the conservation corridor will still be accessible for grazing but no one will be allowed to live there. The other 1,500 square kilometres will be a “game controlled area,” where hunting is permitted with controlled access.
Maasai leaders claim they will be evicted from their own land and will lose about 40 per cent of their grazing land.
The land is located in the lush hills of Loliondo, northern Tanzania.
'Death sentence'
During colonial times, the area was a hunting ground for European royalty. Today, it is Emirati royals and other wealthy visitors who are being granted the rights to hunt, fanning a controversy that has simmered for two decades.
The hills are where the Maasai take their cattle to graze during the dry season. To restrict their access, the Maasai say, is “a death sentence.”
For rural Maasai, cattle provide milk, meat, and blood, and can even be used as currency. The survival of the cattle is the community’s survival.
Oxfam International reports that Asian and Middle East companies have bought 560 million acres of farmland, mostly in Africa and often at bargain prices, with some reportedly at less than $1 a hectare.
Quoted by the BBC recently, former UN secretary general Kofi Annan said tax avoidance, secret mining deals and financial transfers are depriving Africa of the benefits of its resources boom.
Firms that shift profits to lower tax jurisdictions cost Africa $38bn, twice as much as the continent receives from highly tied money from donors.
“It is like taking food off the tables of the poor,” said Mr Annan.
According to financial results released in mid-May, six companies with large British ownership will take home $238 million of the total $451 million declared in dividends and fees due to shareholders.
Yet the world is awash with stories of “Africa rising,” condoned by the AU, while the profits are made at the expense of Africans who benefits very little.

Kenyan woman joins Class One at 78


Ms Mariana Ololo, 78, is welcomed by class teacher Beatrice Akinyi (left) upon her admission to Class One at Obambo Primary School in western Kenya's Siaya County. JACOB OWITI | NATION MEDIA GROUP   NATION MEDIA GROUP
She is in Standard One against many odds: At 78 years, she is frail, and within a week, she has already skipped school for two days due to an illness. To make matters worse, she smokes.
Obambo Primary School in western Kenya's Siaya County admitted the “pupil” this term. Mrs Mariana Ong’ango Ololo, now the 87th pupil in the class, has left tongues wagging among residents of Yenga Village in Obambo Sub-Location.
When Nation visited the school two weeks ago, Mrs Ololo was yet to be admitted, two days after she made her unannounced entry to the school on May 14.
She had arrived clad in a full school uniform, her head shaved clean and with a bag on her back. Her 56-year-old son George Ololo, who is an alumnus of the school, was accompanying her as the guardian.
Mrs Ololo, however, could not join class just yet. The school headteacher advised her not to get into class before teachers held a meeting to discuss how to deal with her.
“It is a unique case. We have to lay down a strategy of handling such an elderly pupil,” said Mr Joseph Mulo, the school head.
She was later admitted to class and attended lessons from Monday, May 20, through Thursday. She could not make it to school on Friday as she had fallen ill. Her illness persisted through the weekend, meaning that she couldn’t make it to class Tuesday.
Mrs Ololo’s is a story of swimming against the tide.
A mother of eight and a widow since 2002, she is one of the few women in her matrimonial home who have an unwavering interest in politics — the biggest reason behind her decision to join school
For a long time, Mrs Ololo has been drumming up support for various aspirants in the area.
“She is a great mobiliser. Whenever she throws her weight behind a particular candidate, she is unstoppable,” said her son, George,
Master’s degree
Former Alego-Usonga MP Edwin Yinda and former area councillor Adero Kayenga have previously benefitted from Mrs Ololo’s campaign skills.
“She usually tells us how much she admires English; that she is always moved when she hears people conversing in English,” said her son.
She also told the Nation that she is always at a loss whenever foreign guests pay her a visit.
“I normally feel I have not spoken my heart out whenever I speak to visitors that come with my sons. I wish I could speak to them directly,” she said.
But what made her not to look back on her dream of going to school was the recent change of guard at State House.
“Uhuru Kenyatta is not an old man, but took over as fourth President because he has got an education. That is a clear indicator that a person cannot rank highly in society without an education,” she said.
Her son added that she had a sense of fascination with the “digital” era that the Jubilee government had promised to usher in.
While most of her peers would be at home during their sunset days, Mrs Ololo is determined to stay in class till the day her dreams come true.
“It wasn’t easy letting her go to school. At first we thought it was a joke, but she insisted. We asked her how she would survive in class, for she is a smoker. She promised to let go of tobacco as long as she was in class. So we had no option but to fulfil her wish,” explained her son George.
Mrs Ololo has something of pride in her five sons: All of them were educated up to Form Four.
“My husband Andrew Ololo worked hard and educated all our sons. Considering his meagre earnings, what he did was exemplary,” Mrs Ololo said.
One of her sons is a graphic designer based in Belgium while another is pursuing his master’s degree in South Africa.