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Swahili Village closed indefinitely following fire damage

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In the early morning hours of Monday, May 7, 2018, there was a fire outbreak in the Kitchen of Swahili Village Bar and Grill. The fire was put out shortly after and there were no injuries. Due to the damage to the interior of the restaurant, Swahili Village bar and grill located at 10800 Rhode Island Avenue, Beltsville, Maryland will be closed until further notice.

Swahili Village Fire

Following the incident, Mr Kevin Onyona, the restaurant proprietor wrote on Social media:  “We hope to be up and running in the next two to three months. This is due to some substantial damages that will need to be repaired. Please continue to check on our social media pages for updates and news regarding the re-opening”.

Swahili Village Fire

Swahili Village has been providing a much-needed fine dining experience of Kenyan cuisine in Beltsville. Beltsville, Maryland is a hub of major industry pioneers and government agencies like  NASA, U.S. Department of Agriculture among others. Swahili Village’s clientele has grown to include a broad spectrum of ethnic cuisine enthusiasts from the African diplomatic missions, African diaspora and the general public with bookings for birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, and graduations celebrated in the mahogany wood finished interior with an elegant ambiance. This year Swahili Village is celebrating its nine-year anniversary since its inception in 2009.  The new Swahili Village location, now in its second year, has been highly rated and positively reviewed on Yelp, Foursquare, Yellow Pages and a multitude of foodie sites.

 

The Swahili Village team is looking forward to once again serving our customers and offering you the True Taste of Kenya that you as our loyal clients have grown to love. We appreciate the prompt response by the Prince Georges county emergency team which includes the Prince Georges County Police Department and the Beltsville Fire Department. A huge thank you goes to our well wishers for your support as we work towards reopening.

 

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Business

Kenya’s Chief Justice David Maraga jets into US for 2018 Diaspora Conference which opens Friday

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BY BMJ MURIITHI

Kenya’s Chief Justice, David Maraga, arrived in Dallas, Texas, Wednesday in readiness for the 2018 Kenya Diaspora Conference which opens this Friday and runs through Saturday. Justice Maraga will be the guest speaker at the much publicized annual event, which will be held at The University of Texas. (Address: 800 West Campbell Rd, Richardson, TX 75080-3021)

The judge was met by Association of Kenyan Diaspora Organisations Inc (AKDOI) chairman, Mr David Ochwang’i, and other officials.

The Conference is a collaboration of Kenyans in America and their affiliated organizations that form the AKDOI.

According to Mr Ochwang’i, the primary focus is to advance our the common welfare of Kenyans in the Diaspora. The Conference theme this year is “The Diaspora Renaissance –Optimizing engagement with the Motherland”.  

“We have been doing this annually but this year’s conference has moved to another level,” he told this reporter.

“It is an annual tradition where business leaders, government officials in both the United States and Kenya as well as other organizations meet and engage with each other, gain potential clients and potential development partners and establish long-term business and professional partnerships for growth,” writes Ochwang’i on the organization’s website.

“For us in the Diaspora, it is an opportunity to showcase our own progress in advancing our common welfare particularly in our economy and investments, governance and culture,” he adds.

Topics up for discussion this year include business and investment opportunities of mutual interest including Governance, Cultural exchange, Banking, Healthcare, Tourism, Africa Growth & Opportunity Act (AGOA), Real Estate, public infrastructure, Women and Youth and Diaspora representation.

Other speakers includethe MD of Karibu Homes, Ravi Kohli, Attorney Elizabeth Plumlee and Mr Gregory Pappas of Capital Group. Entertainment will be provided by musician Kepha Bwonda.

 

Below is a message from the event organizers :

The Association of Kenyan Diaspora Organizations, Inc.(www.akdoi.org ) and the Kenyan Women in The US (KWITU) invite you to the 2018 Kenya Diaspora Conference scheduled for Friday May 25 and Saturday May 26, 2018 at The University of Texas at Dallas, 800 West Campbell Rd, Richardson, TX 75080-3021(http://www.utdallas.edu/conference/ ).

On Monday, the CJ met with Hon. John G. Roberts Jr., Chief Justice of the United States at the Supreme Court in Washington DC. “We consulted on issues of mutual interest in the administration of justice in our countries,” he said.

Justice Maraga poses for a photo in Dallas, Texas. Behind him is a poster of former US president, George W Bush and his wife, Laura Bush. PHOTO/COURTESY.

 

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Business

FEP woes intensify as CEO Korir fired after serving for 2 years, Kithaka returns

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Diaspora-backed investment firm FEP Holdings has sent chief executive Maurice Korir packing nearly two years after tasking him with restructuring the chama.

Previously long-serving founding chief executive John Kithaka has reoccupied the position. Mr Kithaka quit in October 2016 following Mr Korir’s promotion.

Mr Kithaka had been at the helm of the financially haemorrhaging investment group for more than a decade while Mr Korir was the chief operating officer.

“FEP Holdings Ltd board of directors wishes to announce the resignation of the chief executive officer, Mr Maurice Kimutai Korir effective March 8, 2018,”read a statement.

“The board has appointed Dr John Muchira Kithaka to the position of the group executive director with immediate effect.”

Maurice Korir. PHOTO/COURTESY.

The firm’s board linked the management shake up to need to conform to a changing investment landscape.

“The board wishes to assure shareholders and stakeholders, both local and in diaspora, that the corporate leadership changes are aimed at aligning and strengthening the group’s organisational structure to ensure we meet evolving investor expectations,” it said.

The Sh4.4 billion asset chama has faced a string of troubles in the last few years.

Founded in 2002, it has a membership of 70,273 investors, with a significant stock held by Kenyans residing in the UK and US.

FEP’s multiple projects including a planned 146-bed hotel in Sagana, Kirinyaga County, have missed completion deadlines for lack of capital.

Mr Kithaka will be charged with finishing stalled projects and revamping the chama. Its planned rights issue collapsed while plans to acquire a majority stake at Credit Bank, controlled by the Nyachae family, also failed.

The Central Bank of Kenya in 2016 declined FEP’s bid to take control of the bank after raising queries on the chama’s share register and ability of its financial muscle to adequately capitalise the small lender.

The banking sector regulator had raised similar ownership and capital concerns early the same year in denying the investment group a licence to operate a deposit taking microfinance bank, despite a temporary approval.

FEP was rocked by fraud in 2016 and hired an asset recovery agent to pursue six former senior managers and confiscate Sh67 million allegedly stolen from the organisation.

A forensic audit on the investment group’s operations by KPMG had revealed then that half a dozen top executives were discreetly siphoning cash meant for projects and investments. Prior to joining FEP in 2014, Mr Korir was chief operating officer at publicity firm Ogilvy.

-Business Daily

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Africa

VIDEO: For Kimani Wanguhu, 22 years in US have borne fruits as he owns 2 successful businesses in two worlds

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BY BMJ MURIITHI

Meet Wilson Kimani Wanguhu. He has lived in the US for 22 years where, besides getting an education, he has also learnt the ropes. Just like many who have relocated from Kenya to US, it was not easy at the beginning. When he landed in the US in 1996, he struggled to pay his fees and sustain himself. “I used to flip burgers and later sold petrol at a gas station,” he says.

But now those are distant memories. His entrepreneurial streak has seen him venture into business and he now sells insurance in the Atlanta, Georgia and water in Nakuru, Kenya.

Wanguhu has put up systems that enable him to run businesses in both cities effectively and his story is an example of the impact of remittances from Abroad. He  says having lived in a country where systems function like clock work, setting up shop in Kenya has had its fair share of challenges.

The former CEO of Kim Media Group and publisher of Kenya Empowerment Newspaper is however upbeat and quite happy with what the has achieved so far. He co-owns Ameritrust Insurance Group and has teamed up with his mom and his younger brother, Ezekiel Manyara, as the co-proprietors of Riftdrops Limited, a water bottling Company with its headquarters in Nakuru.

“If you are doing well in Kenya, stay there…,” he advises would-be migrants. He spoke to Alex Chamwada in this week’s episode of  Daring Abroad. Here is his story.

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