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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Agoa textile exports lift Kenya, US trade 27.9pc

Politics and policy
A textile factory at an EPZ. Kenya plans to set up a fully serviced Textile City in the country as part of the ongoing efforts to revamp the ailing textile industry that has suffered from lack of enough raw material,  following the collapse of the cotton sector. PHOTO | FILE
A textile factory at an EPZ. Kenya plans to set up a fully serviced Textile City in the country as part of the ongoing efforts to revamp the ailing textile industry that has suffered from lack of enough raw material, following the collapse of the cotton sector. PHOTO | FILE 
By GERALD ANDAE, gandae@ke.nationmedia.com
In Summary
  • Agoa programme allows Kenya and other Sub-Saharan African countries to export identified goods at preferential terms to the US, exempting them from paying tax.
  • The rise in Agoa exports helped lift employment in Kenya’s export processing zones to 37,758 workers, up from 32,932 in 2013 and 24,114 in 2010.
  • The Agoa initiative is expected to end this year after the initial deadline of September 2012 was extended by the US law makers.

2014 as State moves to open up rural areas

A section of the Southern  Bypass off Mombasa Road. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA |
A section of the Southern Bypass off Mombasa Road. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA |   NATION MEDIA GROUP
By KIARIE NJOROGE, gkiarie@ke.nationmedia.com
In Summary
  • This pushed the total paved roads network to 13,000km last year, up from 11,230 in 2013 and 10,900km in 2010.
  • The growth comes as the country is looking to enter a period of more intense road development under the annuity programme that will see 10,000km paved in the next five years.
  • The growth in the length of paved roads corresponds to a huge jump in the resources allocated to the sector.

Nearly 1,800 kilometres of roads were paved last year as the government moved to open up rural areas.
The newly paved roads are equivalent to what Kenya has developed in the four years to 2013, underlining the quest by President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government to increase motor ways over the next five years.

Be a golf tourist across country this long Labour Day weekend

Home
A cat watches golfers during the Nyali Open Golf tournament at the Nyali Golf and Country Club. PHOTO | GIDEON MAUNDU 
By CHARLES GACHERU

This long Labour Day weekend offers golfers an excellent opportunity to play more. And with international tourism slowing down, it is time the golfing fraternity stepped in and toured various parts of the country, playing golf and appreciating the scenery.

Why EACC needs commissioners to realise its mandate

Opinion and Analysis
EACC headquarters in Nairobi. Photo | FILE
EACC headquarters in Nairobi. Photo | FILE 
By ANDREW K. TANUI
In Summary
  • There is need to amend the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act.

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s recent decision to suspend the chairman and vice chair of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) following a resolution of the National Assembly recommending their removal and the earlier resignation of the other commissioner raises the question as to whether the commission can operate without commissioners in office.

Kenya Power borrows Sh940 million from UBA

Corporate News
UBA branch in Community Area, Nairobi. PHOTO | FILE
UBA branch in Community Area, Nairobi. PHOTO | FILE 
By SIMON CIURI
In Summary
  • Kenya Power will use the funds to upgrade its power infrastructure in readiness to distribute the planned additional 5,000 megawatts (MW) expected to be generated by 2017.
  • This is the first time UBA, whose parent firm is based in Nigeria, has loaned nearly Sh1 billion to a parastatal in Kenya.

United Bank of Africa (UBA), has given Kenya Power $10 million (Sh940 million), marking one of its largest deals in the lucrative corporate lending market.

TransCentury bets big on Civicon deals for rebound

Money Markets
Civicon site engineer Gaddafi Odhiambo (left) and TransCentury CEO Gachao Kiuna at GZ Industries Aluminium Cans Factory. PHOTO | FILE
Civicon site engineer Gaddafi Odhiambo (left) and TransCentury CEO Gachao Kiuna at GZ Industries Aluminium Cans Factory. PHOTO | FILE 
By JOHN GACHIRI, jgachiri@ke.nationmedia.com
In Summary
  • Chief executive Gachao Kiuna told analysts at a conference call that the company will go for deals worth between $5 million (Sh473 million) and $50 million (Sh4.73 billion) through Civicon.
  • Analysts, however, point out the future revenues for Civicon are not assured since oil and gas exploration firms, who are major clients for its engineering subsidiary, are cutting back on their budgets as a response to falling oil prices.

TransCentury to double share capital at NSE

Corporate News
An NSE employee on the trading floor. PHOTO | FILE
An NSE employee monitors the electronic trading on board. PHOTO | FILE 
By MUGAMBI MUTEGI, pmutegi@ke.nationmedia.com
In Summary
  • TransCentury will on May 29 seek shareholders’ approval to increase its authorised shares to 1.2 billion from the current 600 million units.
  • This will create shares to be allotted to existing shareholders who will buy the extra stocks at a price yet to be determined.
  • The move is meant to raise money for a 2011 Eurobond maturing in March 2016.

Investment firm TransCentury is set to double its authorised share capital in preparation for a rights issue whose proceeds will be used to a repay $80 million (Sh7.5 billion) convertible Eurobond it issued in 2011.

Calls for caution as Treasury set for Sh2.17trn Budget

Money Markets
Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) CEO Kwame Owino speaks during the presentation of 2015/2016 Citizen's Alternative Budget at the Panafric Hotel in Nairobi on April 30, 2015. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU |
Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) CEO Kwame Owino speaks during the presentation of 2015/2016 Citizen's Alternative Budget at the Panafric Hotel in Nairobi on April 30, 2015. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU |   NATION MEDIA GROUP
By GEOFFREY IRUNGU, girungu@ke.nationmedia.com
In Summary
  • There is concern that though public debt is currently sustainable, it is growing at a rapid pace at a time the economy has slowed down.
  • The experts noted the increase in the county and national government expenditure by over Sh400 billion – or nearly a tenth of the GDP – in a single year was too big for a small economy. Total expenditure is expected to reach Sh1.74 trillion by the end of this financial year in June.
  • Kwame Owino, the chief executive of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), a policy think-tank says Kenya will be forced to turn to debt to finance the ever-rising expenditures.

Safaricom’s bid to limit users meets opposition

Corporate News
  Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore. The firm has given its Karibu postpaid users until May 26 to clear the unused units. PHOTO | FILE
Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore. The firm has given its Karibu postpaid users until May 26 to clear the unused units. PHOTO | FILE 
By MUGAMBI MUTEGI, pmutegi@ke.nationmedia.com
In Summary
  • News of Safaricom’s decision to limit use of bundles saw some users threaten to take the telecom operator to court for what they claimed is a violation of their rights.
  • The main bone of contention for the more than 150,000 subscribers is that Safaricom is limiting use of bundles they paid for and should be allowed to consume at their own pace.
  • Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore described the Karibu tariff as promotional, revealing that it has been loss-making since its launch.

Telecoms operator Safaricom’s attempt to have its post-paid tariff users use up their accumulated airtime, SMS credits and data in one month on Thursday met stiff opposition from consumers who complained that the move amounted to a breach of contract.

How four terrorists kept KDF special forces at bay for hours

Politics and policy
Interior secretary Joseph Nkaissery when he appeared before the House team in charge of security on April 30, 2015. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA
Interior secretary Joseph Nkaissery when he appeared before the House team in charge of security on April 30, 2015. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA 
By EDWIN MUTAI, emutai@ke.nationmedia.com
In Summary
  • Interior secretary Joseph Nkaiserry tells MPs Garissa attackers were not defeated until Recce arrival.
  • Mr Nkaissery revealed that the terrorists had secured strategic positions and engaged the Special Forces in a fierce exchange of gunfire for hours.

Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) Special Forces were kept at bay for hours by four terrorists who killed 147 people, among them 142 students of Garissa University College, Interior secretary Joseph Nkaissery told Parliament on Thursday.

Registrar cautions political parties over fuelling violence


THE Registrar of Political Parties, Justice Francis Mutungi, stresses a point during the opening of a two-day forum on strengthening multi-party democracy in the country which has been hosted by his office and supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Dar es Salaam. Left is UNDP Country Director, Mr Phillipe Poinsot. (Photo by Mohamed Mambo)
AS the country inches towards general election, Registrar of Political Parties, Francis Mutungi has urged all political parties to ensure that they refrain from enunciating confrontational remarks that will plunge the nation into violence.

Tanzanians urged to remain united


ZANZIBAR President, Dr Ali Mohamed Shein.
ZANZIBAR President, Dr Ali Mohamed Shein, condemned misguided individuals who use differences in religious, tribal, political ideologies and economic status to divide Tanzanians.
Dr Shein advised members of the public to ignore people bent on distorting the country’s unity for their own ends. He made the remarks at the inauguration of the Uhuru Torch Race at Maji Maji Stadium here. He stressed that such people should never be entertained if national unity is to be sustained.

Dar reduces donor dependency


The Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs, Ms Saada Mkuya Salum.
FINANCE Minister Saada Mkuya Salum unveiled projections for revenue collections and expenditures for the 2015/2016 fiscal year in which the government seeks to trim donor dependency from 14.8 to 8.4 per cent.
Presenting the highlights to parliamentarians in Dar es Salaam, the minister said the government expects to receive 1.888trl/- from donors next financial year down from 2.941trl/- pledged by development partners this year.

Falling shilling should be propped up

Written by EDITOR
THE Bank of Tanzania (BoT) was again this week forced to intervene against a rapidly depreciating shilling. The local currency hit an all-time low at over 2,000/- against the United States dollar.
The central bank’s intervention has successfully contributed towards stabilising the shilling but, as experts argue, such a measure is only temporary.

Dar flyover tender opened in Tokyo


THE Minister for Works, Dr John Magufuli.
 
Written by BILHAM KIMATI
THE tender for construction of a flyover at Tazara area in Dar es Salaam was opened in Tokyo, Japan and the agreement leading to the implementation of the project will be signed on June 3, this year.
Speaking in Dar es Salaam at the occasion to lay a foundation stone for the improvement of the famous 5.31 km Uhuru Road, the Minister for Works, Dr John Magufuli, said that in the next few months Dar es Salaam would look different in terms of modern transportation infrastructure to ease traffic jams.

Kenya Backpedals On Closure of Somali Refugee Camp


 
Photo: Kate Holt/IRIN
Somalia refugees in Dadaab camp (file photo).
Nairobi — Kenya appears to have softened its stance on the imminent closure of a camp hosting more than a third of a million Somali refugees, weeks after the deputy president announced it would happen within three months, as he reacted to the massacre at Garissa University.

Shilling on deathbed as it falls to 2,000 figure

Counting dollars. Due to reduced confidence in the shilling, some investors have developed a preference for dollars, further weakening the local currency, for this tends to create an unnecessarily high demand for the greenback.PHOTO| FILE 
In Summary
  • It is historical free fall in just four months
  • After three consecutive months of steady decline, the shilling depreciated to a record low of Sh2,015 to the dollar in some bureaux de change yesterday, sending shock waves among importers as the Bank of Tanzania remained tight-lipped

Dar es Salaam. It is now obvious that the shilling is in a serious crisis because at no time in the past decade have Tanzanians witnessed a free fall of this magnitude of their currency.
Yesterday, the shilling depreciated to a record low, reaching a maximum of Sh2015 against the dollar in some bureaus de change, sending shock waves to importers as Bank of Tanzania (BoT) remained tight-lipped.

Donors urge JK to ‘act wisely’ on cybercrime

President Jakaya Kikwete 
By Katare Mbashiru,The Citizen Reporter
In Summary
  • The European Union and development partners add their voice to the Cybercrimes Act debate and urges President Jakaya Kikwete to listen to those who are opposed to the new law and decline to sign it.
  • The EU call comes barely a day after Ikulu communications chief said the President would soon sign the Cybercrime Bill into law

Dar es Salaam.  The European Union yesterday joined the Cybercrimes Act debate and urged President Jakaya Kikwete to listen to those who are opposed to the new law and decline to sign it.
Speaking with The Citizen yesterday, EU Delegation Head Filiberto Sebregondi and Development Partners Chairperson Sinika Antila told the President to make “wise decisions”. They did not go into details.

No end in sight for Dart project

Section of the Dar es Salaam Rapid Transit project infrastructure after completion at Manzese Tip Top in the city. The multi-million dollar project is marred with various challenges including vandalism which is threatening its timely completion. PHOTO | EMMANUEL HERMAN      
By Henry Mwangonde, The Citizen Correspondent
In Summary
If that is to happen, they are required to work day and night despite all the challenges surrounding the multi-million dollar project. 

Dar es Salaam. One big question now hangs in the minds of authorities managing the Dar es Salaam Rapid Transit (Dart) project -- will they be able to complete it in time to allow President Jakaya Kikwete to launch it before he leaves office come end of October?

JK presides over Mbita’s send-off

President Jakaya Kikwete pays his last respects to Brig Gen Hashim Mbita at Lugalo Military Barracks in Dar es Salaam before his burial at Kisutu Cemetery in the city yesterday. Second left is First Lady Salma Kikwete.  PHOTO|VENANCE NESTORY 
By Bernard Lugongo, The Citizen Reporter
In Summary
A sombre mood engulfed Lugalo Military Barracks where the national send-off for Mbita was held before his burial at Kisutu Cemetery in the city.

Govt moves to save free-falling shilling

MPs Lorensia Bukwimba (left) and John Chiligati read their budget review speech handouts as they follow Finance minister Saada Mkuya’s presentation in Dar es Salaam yesterday. PHOTO|ANTONY SIAME      
By Veneranda Sumila, The Citizen Reporter
In Summary
Finance Minister Saada Mkuya Salum said yesterday that the Bank of Tanzania (BoT) has intervened in the foreign exchange market by issuing US dollars to commercial banks as a way of increasing the amount of the vehicle currency in circulation.

Donor dependence to be slashed to 8.4pc


“It’s important to target being independent in budget funding to avoid risks in implementing projects. Donor funds come with conditions and sometimes they are not reliable, a trend that disrupts our plans,” Ms Saada Mkuya Salum, Finance Minister      
By Alawi Masare, The Citizen Reporter
In Summary
Finance Minister Saada Mkuya Salum said yesterday that the government wants to strengthen revenue from domestic sources to avoid risks associated with condition-bound foreign aid.

Budget rises to Sh22.5tr

Finance Minister Saada Mkuya  
By Veneranda Sumila, The Citizen Reporter
In Summary
The amount, presented to Members of Parliament in the city, is Sh2.68 trillion more than the Sh19.8 trillion 2014/2015 budget that was approved in June last year.

What 60pc local content means for Kenyan music




Members of Elani Bryan Chweya (left) Maureen
Members of Elani Bryan Chweya (left) Maureen Kunga and Wambui Ngugi during the Nokia exclusive party at tree house on April 4, 2014. PHOTO| CHARLES KAMAU 
By GEORGE OMONDI
More by this Author
There have been stories doing the rounds on social media about a Kenya Music Policy draft Bill stipulating that  radio stations  “play 60  per cent  local music”. It led to a heated debate among Kenyans, with some saying that if the 60 per cent rule becomes law, it would be tantamount to forcing people to listen to Kenyan music.

Fight of the Century: Showbiz meets sports


WBC/WBA welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. (left) and WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao pose with a WBC championship belt as Pacquiao's trainer Freddie Roach looks on during a news conference at the KA Theatre at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 29, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The two will face each other in a unification bout on May 2, 2015 in Las Vegas. PHOTO | ETHAN MILLER |
WBC/WBA welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. (left) and WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao pose with a WBC championship belt as Pacquiao's trainer Freddie Roach looks on during a news conference at the KA Theatre at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 29, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The two will face each other in a unification bout on May 2, 2015 in Las Vegas. PHOTO | ETHAN MILLER |   AFP
By Boni Nyaga
More by this Author
The long-awaited Floyd “Money” Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao match will take place at the MGM Grand Casino in Las Vegas on May 2 at 6am local time. Touted as the fight of the century, the media hype surrounding this fight is astounding.

Three brave sickle cell warriors talk about living with the condition


Marie Ojiambo is the epitome of beauty and
Marie Ojiambo is the epitome of beauty and brains. She was crowned Miss Kenya USA in 2013 and The People’s Princess Miss Africa USA two years ago and is also a doctor. PHOTO| COURTESY NEXT LVL 
By PAULINE ONGAJI
More by this Author
Marie Ojiambo is the epitome of beauty and brains. She was crowned Miss Kenya USA in 2013 and The People’s Princess Miss Africa USA two years ago and is also a doctor. She is currently pursuing her masters in Industrial pharmacy at the St. John's University in US.

World failing in fight against antibiotic resistance: WHO


A sample of drugs prescribed for a patient. The
A sample of drugs prescribed for a patient. The world is doing far too little to combat the misuse of antibiotics which is fuelling drug resistance and allowing long-treatable diseases to become killers, the World Health Organization said Wednesday. PHOTO | FILE| NATION MEDIA GROUP 
By AFP
More by this Author
The world is doing far too little to combat the misuse of antibiotics which is fuelling drug resistance and allowing long-treatable diseases to become killers, the World Health Organization said Wednesday.

Address insecurity to halt economic decline

In Summary
WANTED: (L-R) Issa Abdala Kauni, Hussein Said Omar, aka Babli, Abulkadir Abubakar Abdulkadir and Ahmed Said Omar, aka Dogo. PHOTOS | COURTESY
WANTED: (L-R) Issa Abdala Kauni, Hussein Said Omar, aka Babli, Abulkadir Abubakar Abdulkadir and Ahmed Said Omar, aka Dogo. PHOTOS | COURTESY 
By EDITORIAL
More by this Author
Terrorism and other cases of insecurity have weighed heavily on the economy, wiping out gains made in previous years.

Blogs & Opinion

How to create avenues for passive income








A businessman traveller relaxes in airport lounge. There no greater feeling than that of living in abundance. Where the work of our hands has turned in such great result that we are not afraid of even an economic slowdown. PHOTO | FILE
A businessman traveller relaxes in airport lounge. There no greater feeling than that of living in abundance. Where the work of our hands has turned in such great result that we are not afraid of even an economic slowdown. PHOTO | FILE 
By MUTHONI NGATIA
More by this Author
We all have different appetites for success. Different people define success differently.
What is your definition of success? Owning a fleet of top German machines or SUVs?

Woes aside, Britam stock is a long-term buy







An international arrest warrant against Mr Rawat was issued as Britam began its nose dive at the Nairobi Securities Exchange. The counter fell by 8.99 per cent on Wednesday to trade at Sh20.25 per share from Tuesday’s closing price of Sh22.25. PHOTO | FILE
An international arrest warrant against Mr Rawat was issued as Britam began its nose dive at the Nairobi Securities Exchange. The counter fell by 8.99 per cent on Wednesday to trade at Sh20.25 per share from Tuesday’s closing price of Sh22.25. PHOTO | FILE 
By SIMON MBURU
More by this Author
Britam: Last week, Britam’s performance at the bourse worsened when the listed insurer hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons.
This followed revelations that one of its director and shareholder, Mr Dawood Rawat, may be involved in a Ponzi scheme, which may have reaped Sh63 billion from unsuspecting investors in Mauritius.

We’re betting big on taxi culture to grow start-up 19








The user interface where customers use to get in touch with Maramoja Transport taxis. PHOTO | FILE
The user interface where customers use to get in touch with Maramoja Transport taxis. PHOTO | FILE 
By YVONE KAWIRA
More by this Author
When Jason Eisen toured Nairobi in 2010 and then again in 2013, he faced a common problem — transport woes within Kenya’s capital.

Tax on beer hit my firm, I’m scouting for new markets




Ruth Ireri (centre) with award sponsors from Netherlands. The teacher-turned-social entrepreneur, who Shalem Investments together with her husband. PHOTO | COURTESY
Ruth Ireri (centre) with award sponsors from the Netherlands. The teacher-turned-social entrepreneur, who Shalem Investments together with her husband. PHOTO | COURTESY 
By YVONE KAWIRA
More by this Author
Shalem Investments, a Meru-based entity that brings together 7,000 sorghum farmers bore the brunt. The group had found a ready market for the crop at the East African Breweries Limited (EABL).

ICT sector continues on upward trajectory to emerge second



From left- Ministry of Devolution and Planning Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru, Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) director general Zachary Mwangi, Planning Principal Secretary Peter Mangiti and KNBS chairman Terry Ryan during the release of the 2015 Economic Survey Report at KICC in Nairobi on April 29, 2015. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU
From left- Ministry of Devolution and Planning Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru, Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) director general Zachary Mwangi, Planning Principal Secretary Peter Mangiti and KNBS chairman Terry Ryan during the release of the 2015 Economic Survey Report at KICC in Nairobi on April 29, 2015. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU 
By LILIAN OCHIENG'
More by this Author
ICT sector has defied the country’s overall slow growth, expanding 13.4 per cent with an output of Sh262.3 billion on the economy. 
The 2015 economic survey, published by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, classifies the sector as a top performer.

How much do loans via your phone cost you?


Lenders are offering varying interest rates for loans borrowed through mobile phone platforms. These services are registering a phenomenal growth. PHOTO | FILE
Lenders are offering varying interest rates for loans borrowed through mobile phone platforms. These services are registering a phenomenal growth. PHOTO | FILE 
By YVONE KAWIRA
More by this Author
Are you a little short on cash? Well, all you need is your handset and a good credit history.
With the introduction of mobile banking, Kenya’s banking industry is transforming and one can borrow as little as Sh50 via a mobile phone to pay bus fare.

Winning policy lessons from the Great Elephant Debate

In Summary
By KWAME OWINO
More by this Author
On April 25, 2015, I joined up with two friends to debate elephant conservation policy at an event hosted by the Brookhouse School in Nairobi.
Our side that argued that elephant conservation policy in Kenya was wrong-headed and reform is required today. This debate was the culmination of intense publicity under the catchphrase#Tweet4Elephants.

Appointments put the much-publicised reforms at State corporations in doubt







President Uhuru Kenyatta. The President has succumbed to populism and short-term calculations. FILE PHOTO | SALTON NJAU | NATION MEDIA GROUP
President Uhuru Kenyatta. The President has succumbed to populism and short-term calculations. FILE PHOTO | SALTON NJAU | NATION MEDIA GROUP 
By JAINDI KISERO
More by this Author
Just the other day, we celebrated the launch of what has been christened the “Mwongozo code of leadership. This was at a State House ceremony presided over by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

One dead in Sudan student clashes: ministry


Supporters of Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir
Supporters of Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir (portrait) celebrate his re-election for another five years in office, on April 27, 2015, in Khartoum. AFP PHOTO | ASHRAF SHAZLY 
By AFP
More by this Author
KHARTOUM
A man died after being injured in clashes between two groups of university students in the Sudanese capital Khartoum on Wednesday, the interior ministry said in a statement.