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State cooked books and lied about big debt, Moses Kuria reveals

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Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria has claimed that the Government cooked books and cheated Kenyans on the state of the economy and debt levels.

This, Mr Kuria said, has subjected millions of Kenyans to untold suffering.In the starkest admission by the Jubilee MP that Kenyans are on their own, Kuria claimed the Government has been lying to Kenyans on various issues, among them the debt situation and the state of the economy.He said President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration has committed ‘treason’ against Kenyans, which, in effect, means it has betrayed the trust of those it is supposed to serve.

“For seven years, we have cheated about our debt, we have cooked books, we have cheated people that we do zero-based budgeting. We have taken loans at 9 per cent that left people offering us money at one per cent. That to me is treason…” said the MP.

Kuria was speaking on Citizen TV’s Day Break show on Tuesday morning.He singled out Parliament as having failed in its oversight role, in effect giving the Executive a free ride to ramp up an unsustainable amount of debt.

The MP, who is also a member of the House Budget Committee, wants both the Executive and Parliament to apologise for being willing accomplices to acts of omission and commission that have brought the country to its knees.

“I want people in the Executive to offer an apology. Ours is an error of omission. Theirs is an error of commission because for seven years we have cheated this country about our deficit…“As Parliament, we have failed Kenyans because we have sold to them the romantic story that all is well. We failed in our oversight role because we could have said no, but we said yes, selling lies that all was well because we believed in respecting the Executive, and most of us are members of the ruling party. We have lied to Kenyans…We are doing badly as an economy,” Kuria said.

READ ALSO:   Maribe arrives at a wedding in a chopper accompanied by Moses Kuria

He wants former Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich and former Principal Secretary Kamau Thugge to look Kenyans in the eye and admit that they failed them.“I want my friends Rotich and Thugge to look Kenyans in the eye and tell them that they have committed treason,” he said.

Kuria said Kenya chose to take expensive loans because lenders such as the World Bank, whose loans are affordable, have no room for corruption.

Burn in hell

“Because institutions like the World Bank, African Development Bank and other multilateral lenders have no opportunities for kickbacks, we refuse their money and go for 9 per cent and 10 per cent. Tell me whether these people will not burn in hell?”Two weeks ago, Parliament raised the country’s debt ceiling to Sh9 trillion, giving the Government a blank cheque to burden Kenyans with more debt.

In the financial year ending June 2019, for every Sh100 that the country earned from taxes, non-tax revenues and grants, Sh57 went into servicing debt.

This compares to only Sh25 Treasury paid six years ago.The cash-strapped Exchequer has been forced to suspend some development projects and do away with non-essential spending such as tea, advertisements and travelling, so as not to be at odds with its creditors.And it has stopped being so cocky about the sustainability of the country’s debt, which has risen to Sh6 trillion as at August — or 63 per cent — assuming a gross domestic product (GDP) of Sh9.5 trillion.

READ ALSO:   Moses Kuria arrested for allegedly punching, kicking woman

The upper limit is 70 per cent. Debt as a fraction of GDP has increased from 42.1 per cent in June 2013. Generally, the higher the country’s debt-to-GDP ratio, the higher the risk of defaulting.

It is even worse when most of the debts are in foreign currencies.That is why starting last year, Treasury began to acknowledge the need to reverse the voracious uptake of expensive external loans lest it tips over the financial cliff. In its recent public debt management reports, Treasury has admitted that things have hardened for Kenya.

The Government says it is trying to restructure its debt by lengthening the average maturity time of its loans. It has, however, had problems restructuring its loans, with investors still preferring short-term government papers.

During the show, Kiambu MP Jude Njomo, suggested that the country could become ‘ungovernable’ as a result of creating a small club of the rich while the majority of Kenyans languish in poverty.“We only have a small crop of people at the top who are making money while those at the bottom are not. I think this county can become ungovernable,” said Mr Njomo, also a Jubilee lawmaker.

They spoke on a day the Government pushed through Parliament changes that will subject Kenyans to more expensive loans by removing the interest rates cap.While the Government has been arguing that the cap had forced it to borrow from the domestic market, Kuria alleged that the Jubilee government has been borrowing from itself.He said some parastatals had kept money in banks, hoping to make a kill from savings.

READ ALSO:   Moses Kuria cries foul after TV reporter was cut off before interviewing him

He revealed that Rotich’s successor at Treasury, Ukur Yatani, had discovered Sh70 billion that was stashed away in the banks by parastatals.“Since Ukur Yatani took over the National Treasury we have recovered more than Sh70 billion that was stored in banks. Money from the Communication Authority and the Kenya Ports Authority were all stored in banks, and the same government borrows that money then we tell the public we are over-borrowing domestic loans. That is fraud,” he said.

Economist Kwame Owino said young people could not access credit as it was too expensive. “It is evident that interest rates are too high and therefore it constrains the ability of small people to borrow money and use that for productive enterprise,” he said.

While the State insists that the reason is due to the country’s upgrade into a lower-middle-income country, which saw the flow of cheap loans reserved for poor countries stop coming, fiscal indiscipline is also to blame.“The maturity and grace period has shortened while average interest rates have risen, reflecting the rise in loans contracted on commercial rates in the external debt portfolio,” said Treasury in the annual public debt management for Financial Year 2018/19.

Expensive dollar-denominated sovereign bonds, Eurobonds, and loans from commercial banks have pushed up the share of the country’s commercial debt, plunging the nation into new risk frontiers.

By standard media.co.ke


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Business

By going the solar route, I save Sh140,000 per month, says restaurateur

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Kenya Power was in the news recently complaining that their clients are increasingly transitioning to use of solar energy.

Solar has emerged as a favourite source of power to many homeowners due to its reliability and low cost compared to electricity.

But that is not limited to homes as businesses are also embracing solar energy.

One such business is the new Café Deli branch along Koinange Street.

When the restaurant relocated from Kenyatta Avenue in September, Mr Obado Obadoh, the Managing Director and founder of Nanjala Ltd –the parent company that owns the chain of restaurants — says he wanted to have glass roofing at his new establishment.

This, however, came with its challenges and the option turned out to be expensive since, apart from the glass roofing, they would need ultraviolet (UV) light protectors.

For humans, suntan and sunburn are familiar effects of exposure of the skin to UV light, along with an increased risk of skin cancer.

Solar panels are installed at New Cafe Deli along Koinange Street in Nairobi in this file photo.

Amina Wako | Nation Media Group

But, after consultations with experts, Mr Obado settled for solar panels.

READ ALSO:   Let Mariga focus on football — Kuria tells DP Ruto

“When we were designing the Koinange Street branch, we had experts come in and give their opinions. With the Covid-19 situation, we were also looking for ways to cut costs. With solar, we spent less money than all the other available options,” Mr Obado told the Nation.

“When the costing was done by the quantity surveyor, it came down to almost half of what we would have spent on putting up the glass roof.”

Savings important

 

To Mr Obado, saving even a shilling means a lot and so solar was the welcome option.

“At the Kenyatta Avenue (branch), the cost of electricity per month was between Sh250,000 and Sh280,000. Based on the plan we have, we will use Kenya Power as a backup. This means we will save close to Sh140,000 which is half of what we used to pay before,” he said.

 Mr Omondi Lumbe, the electrical contractor who was in charge of the project, says he installed 96 panels on the roof that coves 250 square meters.

“The panels produce close to 33 kilowatts per hour and are in use for eight hours a day, hence produce close to 264 kilowatts daily,” said Mr Lumbe, who is a partner at Kev & Lum Construction and Electrical Company Ltd.

READ ALSO:   Angry Moses Kuria protests constant links to Chris Msando’s killing 

Solar panels are installed at New Cafe Deli along Koinange Street in Nairobi in this file photo.

Amina Wako | Nation Media Group

To avoid more spending, they opted to use solar power directly instead of using batteries to store more energy.

Today, Café Deli only relies on Kenya Power services for between three and four hours, which is mostly at night when the solar panels are off.

“We are only using Kenya Power at night for three to four hours. That means solar power will be used for most of our 12 hours,” Mr Obado said.

He also has plans to install the solar panels at his other branches on Moi Avenue and Nkurumah Lane, Behind Kencom in Nairobi’s Central Business District.

Business effects

 

This is, however, not the first time the businessman is opting to go the solar power route.

Six years ago, when he wanted to install electricity at his rural home in Busia, he says he was slapped with a quotation of Sh800,000.

“I thought about it and wondered why I would pay such a high figure, buy a transformer which is going to be Kenya Power’s property, and still pay them every month. I settled for solar panels and it’s a decision I don’t regret,” he said.

READ ALSO:   Maribe arrives at a wedding in a chopper accompanied by Moses Kuria

According to Mr Obado, the high cost of power in Kenya has rendered businesses uncompetitive compared to other countries in East Africa.

The new Cafe Deli along Koinange Street in Nairobi, which uses solar energy.

Amina Wako | Nation Media Group

Café Deli has joined several companies, universities and factories that have turned to solar power  and, in the process, cut operational costs.

This, according to Kenya Power, has dealt a blow to their already dwindling finances.

“The company operated in a challenging environment over the financial year under review, where demand growth at 3.7 per cent remained below the projected level of five per cent. The dampened demand growth is further compounded by increased threats of grid defection by the industrial category as decentralised renewable energy options are becoming more available and cheaper,” Kenya Power revealed in its latest annual report.


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Africa

Kenya has the most expensive schools in Africa costing over Sh3M a year per student

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The International Schools Database 2020, has ranked Kenya’s cluster of schools as the most expensive in Africa.

According to the report, the most expensive international schools in Kenya charge an average of Ksh 3,245,932 in school fees per year.

Kenya has a well-established private, international schools sector serving both expatriates and local elites, with schools clustered around Nairobi, Mombasa, Nakuru and Kisumu.

The vast majority teach in English and offer a British curriculum but International Baccalaureate (IB) programmes are increasingly popular.

International Schools Report 2020.
International Schools Report 2020.
FILE

There are six IB World Schools in Kenya, all of which are authorized to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma.

Three IB programs are offered by Aga Khan Academy schools in Nairobi and Mombasa, while Braeburn Garden Estate School, which is part of the home-grown Braeburn education group, offers the IB Diploma alongside A-levels.

The Braeburn group runs seven schools in Kenya of which four are based in and around Nairobi, with the others are in Mombasa, Kisumu and Nanyuki. The schools follow the English national curriculum leading to A-levels and IGCSEs and two of them offer weekly boarding.

Other international schools in Kenya include: Kenton College Preparatory School, GEMS Cambridge International School, German School Nairobi, Greensted International Schools, St Andrew’s Senior School among others.

In late 2017, St Andrews Turi become the talk of social media after its fees structure and menu were leaked to the public.

READ ALSO:   Mbogo threatens to ‘deal with’ Kuria for insulting Uhuru and Raila

Year 7 and 8 full board students were recorded as paying Ksh 730,000 in school fees per term.

In the latest International School Fees report 2020, South Africa had the lowest maximum prices for international education in Africa (Ksh 627,798).

Kampala in Uganda was highlighted as the most affordable city in Africa for international schooling with the lowest minimum international school fees of Ksh 67,303 per year.

Below are the most costly schools in Kenya:

  • In Kenya, Education is seen as the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today. However, in Kenya, some of the ‘passports’ come at a cost that is enough to buy you a parcel of land and set up a nice bungalow upcountry.


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Health

Comedian Flaqo opens up on rare condition he has been battling

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Popular Kenyan comedian, Flaqo born Erastus Ayieko Otieno has for the first time spoken about a rare condition that he has been struggling with for some time.

Turns out that despite the funny man the Kenyan audience and beyond has grown to know as Flaqo Raz, he has his fair share of battles behind the cameras.

Flaqo opens up

The Internet sensation shared a photo showing red, itchy welts like a form of skin reaction on certain parts of his body.

Depending on the reactions, the welts appear and fade repeatedly and vary in size.

The YouTuber shared his condition with fans in the hope that maybe one or two can relate to what he has been going through and maybe work out a solution on the same.

“Anyone with this condition, how do you go about it?” he posed.

Comedian Flaqo rare skin condition

“Sometimes I have to postpone my shoots because they are unbearable. Zangu zilipotea for 6 months straight. Now they are back…” he replied to a fan who shared a similar experience.

Funny enough, soon as he had put up the post, he got so much feedback, with so many individuals able to relate to his skin condition, to his amazement.

READ ALSO:   Moses Kuria cries foul after TV reporter was cut off before interviewing him

“So far: try staying in the sun for a bit, bathe with warm water after taking antihistamines. To understand your condition better, make a point of seeing a dermatologist,” Flaqo shared with fans battling a similar condition, after gathering responses from his fan base.

Wrapping up urging fellow victims to take plenty of water, work out more often and avoid proteins since hives get triggered by things like particular foods, medication and stress.

By Ghafla.com


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