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I’m embarrassed, says Kenyatta as he refuses to read his speech

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President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday declined to read his speech when he officially closed a two-day small and medium enterprises (SMEs) forum saying his government had failed the sector.

Mr Kenyatta said most government officials tasked with ensuring better conditions for SMEs have never visited the traders in their working areas to see the difficulties they face.

He said both the national and county governments have failed to deliver on past pledges made to the traders, citing promises made in 2014 to build roads the populous Gikomba market but are yet to be implemented.

“I will not read my speech because it is shameful for the government. “I’m embarrassed to stand here in front of you people to be reminded of what we should have done many years ago,” Mr Kenyatta said.

The President also hit at Nairobi governor, Mike Sonko for City Hall’s failure to construct proper drainage systems for the traders at the popular Gikomba market.

The market is home at least 14,000 traders but it is a nightmare whenever it rains due to the poor drainage and flooded thin roads making it hard for buyers to access.

Mr Kenyatta was responding to numerous concerns raised by SMEs at the two-day event, with most hitting out at the government for lack of proper infrastructure, high power tariffs and lack of protection from international players.

READ ALSO:   KENYATTA: All Kenyan pupils who sat KCPE will get admission letters by Xmas [VIDEO]

He instead directed a similar meeting be held in a month’s time where the relevant state agencies will update the small scale manufacturers on the measures put in place to provide an enabling environment.
SMEs are the country’s biggest employer with the government banking on them to create more jobs and reduce the unemployment rate amongst the youth which stood at 22 per cent according to a United Nations Human Development report released last year.

Data by Kenya National Bureau of Statistics indicates that there are more than 17 million SMEs registered in Kenya with 98 per cent of them contributing about 25 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

-nation.co.ke

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Facebook set to open second office in Africa

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Facebook on Friday announced its plans to open a new office in Lagos, Nigeria which is expected to become operational in the second half of 2021.

The new Lagos office will be the first office on the continent with a team of engineers and will support the Sub-Saharan region.

This comes five years after Facebook opened its first office on the continent in Johannesburg, South Africa and the 2019 opening of the Small Business Group (SBG) Operations Centre in Lagos.

“The opening of our new office in Lagos, Nigeria presents new and exciting opportunities in digital innovations to be developed from the continent and taken to the rest of the world,” said Ime Archibong, Facebook’s Head of New Product Experimentation.

“All across Africa we’re seeing immense talent in the tech ecosystem, and I’m proud that with the upcoming opening of our new office, we’ll be building products for the future of Africa, and the rest of the world, with Africans at the helm. We look forward to contributing further to the African tech ecosystem.”

The office in Lagos is part of Facebook’s ongoing investments in Africa and will be home to several teams across its business including Sales, Partnerships, Policy and Communications.

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It will also be key in helping to expand the company’s client services across the continent.

Facebook says it has made a number of investments across the continent to support the tech ecosystem, provide reliable connectivity infrastructures and help businesses grow locally, regionally and globally.

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Lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi threatens to sue Safaricom

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BY KEVIN KOECH

Lawyer, Ahmednasir Abdullahi, has threatened a class action against Safaricom.

The lawyer said he has been receiving countless messages from third-party companies, of which he had not subscribed to.

“Lately, I’ve been receiving unsolicited sms from these numbers inter alia…21026, 23050, 40720, Creditinfo BNTSMS, Senti, 60040…and others. It’s very obvious that Safaricom allows third party to have access to my number without my permission,” Ahmednasir tweeted.

Ahmednasir called it a gross violation of his right to privacy, stating that a class action would, then be appropriate.

“This is obviously a gross infringement on my Right to Privacy under Article 31 of the Constitution. I suspect this breach of privacy is rampant and Safaricom may be charging fees the entities it gives access to phone data. I think class action is an appropriate step. What do you think, people?” He added.

In response to allegations, Safaricom denied ever granting access to third-parties.

Last year in June, one Benedict Kabugi sued the telecommunications giant for Ksh 115 trillion over breach of privacy.

However, Safaricom has always maintained that the user may have subscribed to the services through other prompts.

Following overwhelming responses in the affirmative, Ahmednasir said that he would proceed to write to the formally next week.

READ ALSO:   KENYATTA: All Kenyan pupils who sat KCPE will get admission letters by Xmas [VIDEO]

“Seeing the overwhelming response by Kenyan subscribers of Safaricom, I will INSHAALLAH formally write to them next week and then formally start a class action.

“Safaricom has been mining data and then gives access to third parties to our telephones…Kenyans, this is how law is made.” He said.

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Moses Kuria refuted claims that GEM leaders held meeting to discuss Uhuru’s succession 

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BY KEVIN KOECH

Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria has refuted claims that leaders from the Mt Kenya region held a meeting to discuss President Uhuru Kenyatta’s succession.

Kuria claimed that the meeting at Thika Greens was not about politics, adding that the GEMA leaders were discussing development issues in the region.

According to Kuria, these meetings are as a result of the revenue sharing bill.

He also revealed that the GEMA leaders would be meeting up a lot in the next weeks.

The MP further disclosed that other regions in the country might also be meeting up to discuss development issues, and people should stop suspecting the Mt. Kenya region.

“Yesterday we kicked off a series of meetings as mps and leaders from mt kenya region to discuss the repositioning of our core counties with the additional resources that will ultimately come with the new formula,” Kuria said.

“Sadly, when mt kenya meets its followed by suspicion, misinformation, innuendo and propaganda. there was no politics- absolutely none- at thika greens yesterday, let alone succession politics,” he added.

Ngunjiri Wambugu, Nyeri Town MP, also backed Kuria insisting they did not discuss politics in the meeting.

He further went on to explain that they only discussed issues affecting the region and how they can overcome them.

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“I was present at this meeting. we did not discuss anything to do with the 2022 presidency. in fact, we didn’t discuss 2022 elections at all,” Ngunjiri stated.

The MP also revealed that GEMA leaders would continue meeting up to discuss on development agendas affecting the Mt. Kenya region.

Prolific leaders, including PS Karanja Kibicho, attended the Thika Greens meeting. However, some Jubilee leaders from the GEMA region did not get the invite.

Some of them were MPs Alice Wahome, Ndindi Nyoro and Kimani Ichung’ wa.

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