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Safaricom staff charged with attempting to defraud firm of Sh300m

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Two employees of Safaricom ltd were on Monday charged with demanding Sh300 million from the company by menaces.

Mr Simon Billy Kinuthia and Mr Brian Njoroge Wamatu, however, denied illegally copying and transferring privileged information on a subscriber from the company’s database and sharing it with an unauthorised person.

COMPUTER FRAUD

Appearing before Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi, the duo denied the charges of computer fraud and demanding money by threats.

It is alleged that with others not before court and with intent to defraud, the suspects unlawfully copied and transferred subscriber’s data information from Safaricom’s company database to one Mr Charles Njuguna Kimani. They allegedly committed the offence between May 1 and June 7, 2019.

SH1 MILLION

 

It is also alleged that the suspects demanded Sh300 million from Safaricom with intent to steal.

They denied the charges and were ordered to deposit Sh1 million cash bail each to secure their release. The court ordered the two to be reporting to the DCI offices, serious crimes unit, twice every week.

However, their lawyer said that reporting twice a week to DCI offices was not necessary. He said that his clients were employees of Safaricom and their jobs would be at stake should they fail to report to work in the next 48 hours. He asked the court to allow the suspects to report to DCI offices one a week. The case will be heard on July 16.

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Why I grow my moringa inside a greenhouse

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Some two kilometres from Soy trading centre in Aligula, Likuyani, Kakamega County, Nelson Njuguna runs a moringa farm.

He grows the crop inside a greenhouse tucked in a section of his 30-acre family farm, with the rest hosting maize and beans, the dominant crops in the region.

The 8m-by-15m structure hosts 500 moringa plants, as he planted 700 but 200 died.
“Most people assume that you can only grow tomatoes or capsicum in a greenhouse, but here is the proof that moringa also does well in the structure,” says the 50-year-old farmer.

He developed interest in the crop in 2014 when he met an exhibitor at the Eldoret Agricultural Show, who sold him one kilo of seeds.

“I was impressed at the numerous benefits of the crop, which include its various nutrients and uses, which range from nourishing the human skin, protecting the liver, fighting bacterial infections to preventing cancer,” notes the farmer who quit teaching in 2008 after 15 years in the profession.

Njuguna funneled Sh300,000 into the business, starting with propagating seedlings and selling each at Sh100.

“I used to sell about 800 seedlings every year at an average of Sh100. I realised this did not make economic sense and shifted to growing the plants in the greenhouse for value addition,” he explains, adding that he first grows the plants in a seedbed.

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The seeds germinate in two weeks, after which he transfers them in polythene pots where they stay for two to three months before he moves them to the greenhouse, where he plants them.

“Inside the greenhouse, the plants must be spaced a metre from one row to the next and 0.3 metres from one plant to another. They mature in six months but regular weeding must be done for good growth,” says Njuguna, who notes that he embraced greenhouse moringa farming after birds damaged his crop in the open field.

Besides helping the farmer to curb birds’ damage, the structure makes the crop to grow faster since it thrives in warmer conditions.

Njuguna says the crop has a lifespan of 30 years, but he replaces the plants after four to five years, when the yields starts to go down.

He has embraced value addition, making soap, powder and perfumed and non-perfumed herbal cream from the plant.

“From the 500 plants, I harvest about eight kilos of leaves, which I dry and grind to make the products,” says the farmer, who identifies pests like white flies and spider mites and rust disease as the biggest enemy of the crop.

To make the jelly, after drying the leaves in an oven for eight hours, he mixes them with sunflower (50 per cent) and palm, soya and canola oils (50 per cent).

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He then mixes with beeswax, allowing it to heat up to 70 degrees Celsius and then it cools for 24 hours to form the final product.

DEVELOPMENT OF NEW ONES

To make soap, he uses a similar process but introduces olive and beef oils to the canola, sunflower, soya and palm.

He then mixes with sodium hydroxide solution and leaves it to be ready. He sells soap and the jelly at Sh40 and Sh120 respectively.

He grows the crop organically, using plants like tree tomato, basil, chia, lavender and oregano to attract and repel some of the destructive pests.

“I mix farm-yard manure with inorganic fertiliser during planting and top-dress especially after cutting the branches to allow development of new ones,” notes the farmer, adding that he plants cuttings for faster growth as he still sells the seedlings.

Dr Shem Mwasi, an environmental biologist at the University of Eldoret, explains that moringa oleifera is a fast-growing deciduous soft wood tree that can grow up to 12 metres high and reach a trunk diameter of 45cm when fully mature.

“It grows well in areas with an annual rainfall of 760 to 2,500mm, an annual average temperature of between 18 and 28°C and an altitude of up to 2,000m above sea level.

In Kenya, it can grow in areas that receive an annual rainfall of as low as 300mm,” he says, adding that it can grow in any soil type with a pH of 4.5 to 8, save for areas with a lot of clay soil that is constantly waterlogged.

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Dr Mwasi notes planting is done by sowing seeds or vegetative propagation (use of cuttings).

He said trees raised from seeds produce poorer quality fruits but develop longer roots (an advantage for stability and access to water) compared to those grown from cuttings.

“A single mature tree can produce from 15,000 to 25,000 seeds, with an average weight of 0.3 grams per seed during the harvesting season. Almost all parts of the tree are utilised but leaves and fruits (pods and seeds) are the most used parts.”

Leaves are used in human and animal nutrition and in traditional medicine because they are rich in bioactive compounds. They are rich in mineral, beta-carotene and natural antioxidant compounds.

“They are a good source of natural antioxidants, which protect the human body from free radicals that play a role in the pathogenesis of diseases such as cancer. The leaves added to cow feeds led to an increase in daily weight gain while daily fresh leaves resulted in increased milk production,” he said.

By Seeds of Gold

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Govt demands answers from Fairmont after mass layoffs

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The government has demanded answers from Fairmont Hotels on its reason to sack all staff over what it attributed to uncertainties of the coronavirus pandemic.

The hotelier that runs Fairmont the Norfolk and Fairmont Mara Safari Cub said on Wednesday that they have ceased operations as a spiral effect of the Covid-19 pandemic and the recent flooding of Fairmont Mara Safari Club.

In a letter addressed to the Country General Manager, Mehdi Morad, Solicitor General Ken Ogeto on Friday, said the move by the hotel has generated a lot of public interest especially after some of the employees petitioned his office saying the due process was not followed.

“This matter is of public importance and great concern to the government and in view of the Attorney General’s mandate to promote, protect, and uphold the rule of law and defend public interest, this office should be very grateful if you would provide it with clarification regarding the said media reports and complaints from employees including on the veracity thereof and justification for taking such action, if this is the case,” Ogeto said in a letter dated May 29.

Declare all positions redundant

Ogeto noted the move to declare all positions redundant would have far-reaching consequences on the welfare of the employees and the country’s economy.

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“This is therefore a matter of profound public interest, in respect of which this office demands a response,” he added.

In a memo to staff, the country manager said, owing to the uncertainty of the direction the global pandemic will take, they have been forced to terminate employee contracts and close their properties.

“Due to the global Pandemic will result in the business picking up in the near future, we are left with no option but to close down the business indefinitely,” Mr Morad said in the memo.

“It is therefore the decision of the management to terminate the Services of all its employees due to “frustration” by way of mutual separation and taking into account the loyalty and dedication the employees have put into the success of our company in the previous years.”

Employees will receive their termination letters by June 5.

All major hotels in Kenya have remained closed since mid-March when international flights were suspended and movement restrictions imposed by the government to curb the spread of Covid-19.

BY NN

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Why Coca-Cola won’t take her

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Coca-Cola Company on Monday bowed to online pressure and stated their position the little girl from Baringo who warmed many hearts with viral photos of her joyfully sipping a Coke drink.

The pictures of four-year-old Joy Jebiwott, in a traditional African set-up,  said to have been taken by Daggy Shy, a Baringo born photographer, prompted Kenyans to launch an online campaign to have the multinational soft drink giant adopt the girl as their brand ambassador.

However, the company, in a statement, said they have a policy of not using anyone below the age of 12 years in marketing.

“This is pure happiness. You’ve made us smile by sharing this beautiful image. As a company we have made a decision not to use children under the age of 12 in our adverts and marketing worldwide, but we do love seeing the creativity and passion for our brand,” the company said in their statement.

Earlier, the father of the girl had expressed his joy with the viral photos saying he has no reservations with the company working with his daughter.

BRAND AMBASSADOR

“If it is possible for her to be made a Coca-Cola brand ambassador, it is okay,” Jacob Keror, the father of the girl stated.

The firm’s responsible marketing policy clearly states out that they do not design their marketing communications in a way that directly appeals to children under 12.

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“Specifically, we will not use, in any communications created after the date of adoption of this policy: Celebrities or characters whose primary appeal is to children under 12, with the exception of brand equity characters already in use…Licensed merchandise whose primary appeal is to children under 12. Images of our products being consumed by children under 12 without an adult present. We will not feature any children who are, or appear to be, under 3,” Coca-Coca policy published on their website states.

By Nairobinews.nation.co.ke

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