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Michael Joseph: Why I chose Bob to succeed me



Safaricom’s founding chief executive officer Michael Joseph personally campaigned to have Bob Collymore succeed him in 2010 despite the latter not being the front-runner.

Mr Joseph told a gathering in Nairobi last year that being the “dictator” that he is, his ideal successor had to be a consultative individual to lead the telecommunications firm to the next phase — one of the reasons why he thought Mr Collymore would be the best pick.

“Quite frankly, my personality, my character, my lack of democracy, my dictatorship style of management was suited to a start-up and growth company. It wasn’t really suited to this mammoth that we have now. We have to consult and we have to agree; be nice to everybody,” said Mr Joseph, admitting that seeking consensus is “not my style.”

Mr Joseph was speaking at an event to celebrate 18 years of Safaricom on October 25, 2018, which Mr Collymore had not attended as he was away receiving medication.

“He’s very patient. I’m not patient at all,” Mr Joseph said of Mr Collymore, who died on Monday aged 61. His remains will be interred at a private ceremony on Tuesday.

At the October 2018 event, Mr Joseph revealed the long search for the next CEO of Safaricom, a company that is partly owned by London-based telecommunications conglomerate Vodafone, the government of Kenya and shareholders.

READ ALSO:   Seven things you probably didn’t know about Collymore

“We had gone on a worldwide search for a replacement for me. Actually, the search had started two years beforehand and we’d gone round and we’d done a shortlist,” he told the gathering that included journalists and other players in the technology space.

“I pushed for Bob to be on that shortlist. He wasn’t the favourite candidate at the time, but I pushed for Bob because he understood the DNA of Safaricom. He understood what we were all about: we were not just a mobile phone company, we were much bigger than that,” said Mr Joseph, now the interim chief executive.

“This country believed in Safaricom; we were part of everybody’s life. Bob understood that and I knew that Bob would continue with the legacy of Safaricom, not just my legacy. It was my legacy, but the company’s legacy that he would continue. That’s why I chose Bob,” said Mr Joseph.

He further revealed that Mr Collymore had “a hard time” in his first two years at Safaricom but later managed to steady his ship.

Mr Joseph led Safaricom for eight years. He said he left the corner office because he felt “a little bored because now I’d done everything”.

Mr Collymore succumbed to leukaemia a few months after the Safaricom board extended his term by a year so he could make up for the time he spent out of the country seeking medication.

READ ALSO:   Safaricom best employer in Africa

He was to stay in his position until 2020.

The death also happened just two months after he had been appointed a board member of the National Cancer Institute by Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki.

Source: nairobinews

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Death of festivals dims Lamu hope to revive ailing tourism



Maulid. Food and Expo. Art, yoga and kite festivals. These are just a few of a slew of art and culture experiences that Lamu County used to dish out to the world and which boosted its tourism profile.

Lamu Old Town, also known as “the island of festivals”, had a splendid array of events and festivals ranging from Eid-Ul-Adhar to the Lamu Fishing Competition, Lamu Art Festival, The Lamu Cultural Festival, Lamu Yoga Festival, the Kite Festival, Shella Hat Contest and the Lamu Painters Festival.

But these events were put on the back burner as the tourism sector took a nosedive.

Coming on the backdrop of the Mpeketoni terror attacks in 2014 that also hit tourism hard, hospitality industry players say the vital sector is in the doldrums and want the festivals reinstated. Speaking during a forum in Lamu at the weekend, hoteliers and other players questioned why the county government has not been keen in reviving the events.

Hotelier Salim Abubakar said the county’s tourism sector was on the decline after the festivals were lifted. He urged Governor Fahim Twaha to restore the events and revive the sector.

“All the festivals that were introduced in the calendar of events are crucial. They served to attract visitors, both domestic and international, to Lamu. We need them back so that the tourism sector can be improved,” he said.

READ ALSO:   Collymore to leave office as row erupts over successor

Marketing strategy

Former Lamu Tourism Association (LTA) deputy chairman Ghalib Alwy said the body, in partnership with the county tourism office started the festivals to attract more tourists. Mr Alwy said it is important that the events are retained.

“We launched those events as a marketing strategy for Lamu tourism. Through them, we were able to attract tourists from Kenya, East Africa and the world. This is after the terrorism attacks led to an almost 90 percent decline of the sector. It’s only through the festivals that tourists got the confidence to visit Lamu again. The events must be reinstated,” said Mr Alwy. Mr Mohamed Hassan noted that local tourism was still doing badly, attributing the situation to a section of foreign countries that are still having active travel advisories against their citizens visiting Lamu.

“The travel advisories still play a big role in scaring away tourists. We want as many festivals as possible as they have the ability to ensure the tourism climbs back on its feet,” said Mr Hassan.

Some of the festivals known and which are still being celebrated by many in Lamu includes the annual Lamu Cultural Festival that is marked between November and December, the Maulid Festival marked every January, New Year’s Dhow Race marked on January 1 and Eid Ul-Fitr marked every July.

READ ALSO:   President Uhuru leads politicians, celebrities in mourning Bob Collymore

The festivals are said to attract more than 30,000 visitors from around the world.


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Drama as delegates heckle DP Ruto during BBI launch 




Delegates heckled Deputy President William Ruto during the launch of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report at the Bomas of Kenya over his remarks on the report

The DP was forced to pause his speech after the delegates started booing him after he appeared to express his dissatisfaction at the Youth leader Trans Nzoia County Alex Matere’s remarks about his wheelbarrow donations.

Ruto said by saying that Kenyans should not adopt 16th-century technology, Matere was referring to the wheelbarrows he has been supplying to Kenyans.

However, Ruto noted that the discussions Kenyans should have is why a 16th-century tool has millions of citizens still dependent on it in the 21st-century.

The DP’s remarks didn’t sit well with most of the delegates, which resulted in them openly expressing their displeasure and forcing him to stop talking.

Mbita Member of Parliament Millie Odhiambo appeared mainly pissed by Ruto’s remarks as he stood and jeering Ruto, drowning his speech.

He went on to ask for a minute to conclude his speech but the crowd couldn’t hear of it as they continued to jeer him after he appeared to hit out at the former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka.

READ ALSO:   Seven things you probably didn’t know about Collymore

Ruto concluded his speech by calling on leaders to refrain from contests pitting the rich and the poor by quoting former US President Abraham Lincoln.

DP Ruto then proceeded to welcome his boss President Uhuru Kenyatta to make his remarks with the delegates still shouting “respect the president,” as he took his seat.

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga also hit on the DP for engaging in early campaigns instead of supporting the President in delivering the Big-4 Agenda.

Raila said that Kenyans expect to be united for now but not campaigns of who will be the President in 2022 as they will handle that when the time comes.

The ODM Party leader noted that Ruto and President Uhuru Kenyatta should be working as a pair to bring a difference in the country.

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Uhuru maintains Raila is not government




President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday 26 October 2020 made it clear that Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party leader Raila Odinga is not in the government.

Speaking at the Bomas of Kenya during the launch of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report, the Head of State explained that when he decided to come into an agreement with Raila, the mission was to find a way to healing this country.

“When we sat down to talk, something that was very difficult, for him and also for me and my team, very difficult. But when we got through to it and we spoke and we spoke again, we agreed that we are not here to share positions and we should put our various positions aside,” he said.

He mentioned that the two agreed to come together with a common agenda of ensuring that what the people of Kenyan have witnessed in 1992, 2005, 2007, and 2017 Kenyans shall never witness again.

He went on to make it clear that Raila Odinga never made any demands from the government.

“We did not talk about sharing government and as we stand today, he (Raila) is not in government. He is not in government; he never made any demands for the government. He never made any demands for a share of government,” he added.

READ ALSO:   President Uhuru leads politicians, celebrities in mourning Bob Collymore

The President pointed out that Raila Odinga asked for the two opposing sides to come together and fix what has been ailing the country.

He explained that this would allow the country in the future to be able to compete without the need for the innocent Kenyans blood being shed.

He went on to that the ODM leader for showing his patriotism and looking for a solution because he did not have to do it.

Uhuru also gave special thanks to his Deputy William Ruto for being part and parcel of the handshake and making the BBI report.

He revealed the three agreed that they would never talk about elective posts as they aimed to unite Kenyans.

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