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Why SportPesa has recalled ex-staff for meeting today

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The sacked employees of betting firm SportPesa are today (Friday) expected back to the firm’s head office in the capital Nairobi.

However, it will still be a walk of pain because their employer is not calling them for new job offers but redundancy notices.

On Thursday, the company’s head of human resource Terry Wanja Njagi sent an email to the ex-staff advising them to report at Chancery Building on Valley Road on Friday so that the termination notices issued to them on October 2, 2019 can be withdrawn.

NEXT STEP

The firm also told the ex-workers that after the withdrawal of the notices they will be informed of the “next step”.

When the Nation reached the firm’s CEO Ronald Karauri to establish if the move meant that the ex-employees might get back their jobs soon, he gave a terse answer: “No comment, no comment.”
But on Thursday he was quoted by a local daily as saying that SportPesa decided to call the employees after being advised to “issue proper and legal notices even as we wait for the Betting Control and Licensing Board to act on our application.”

This meant that the betting company that controlled close to 60 per cent of the market share is still optimistic its will get back its operating licence.

READ ALSO:   Kenyans love bringing down their own – SportPesa CEO Karauri

The permit was withdrawn in July after the firm allegedly failed to remit Sh14 billion in tax arrears to Kenya Revenue Authority.

But the some of the 400 plus employees whose services were terminated were hopeful that the issues will be sorted out so that the can get back their jobs.

On October 2, Sportpesa announced that it had halted operations in Kenya due to what it termed as “tough regulations”, including higher taxation and tough advertising guidelines.

Before it closed, the company had been out of business for nearly three months after the government suspended its pay bill numbers.

SportPesa expressed disappointment at the government’s move to impose a 20 per cent excise tax on all betting stakes on top of the 20 percent on customer winnings.

“The economic incentive to place bets will be completely removed as the taxes will deprive consumers of their total winnings and will halt all investments in sports in Kenya,” the company statement read.

HIGH TAXES

The firm has, however reportedly said it would “consider returning to the market if provided with adequate taxation and a non-hostile regulatory environment.

The company’s annual revenues are estimated at Sh100 billion, although its management says it makes only Sh20 billion.

READ ALSO:   Kenyans love bringing down their own – SportPesa CEO Karauri

The closure of the betting company, alongside its rival Betin, send shock waves in the sports and media industries.

The company stopped sponsorships to clubs and the Kenya Premier League, which are already facing financial problems.

Clubs such as KPL reigning champions Gor Mahia have been hit hard, forcing the government to bail it out occasionally to enable it honour its continental fixtures.

On Thursday the government, through the sports ministry, had to buy Gor Mahia air tickets to Kinshasa in DRC for a return match against DC Motema Pembe in their CAF return leg on Sunday.

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.

READ ALSO:   Kenyans love bringing down their own – SportPesa CEO Karauri

“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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How illiterate boys from Rwathia village built Business Empire worth billions

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In the 1930s, a bunch of poverty-stricken boys from Rwathia village in Kangema, Murang’a County, walked to Nairobi with nothing but tattered clothes and a burning dream to find that elusive thing called mbeca (money). Little did they know that they would make tonnes of it.

Eighty years on, the value of property owned by the Rwathia businessmen in Nairobi, Thika, Murang’a and other towns runs into billions of shillings, with their billionaire sons and protégés control substantial wealth at the Nairobi Securities Exchange.

The tough-as-nails capitalists from Rwathia provide a story of unrivalled dedication, passion and inspiration that enabled young boys, most of whom are now deceased, to transform their lives through hawking vegetables, selling charcoal and wattle bark, setting an example in ambition, personal discipline, frugality and entrepreneurship for generations.

Gerald Gikonyo Kanyuira, over 100 years old and still counting, is the only remaining patriarch of the great capitalist boys from Rwathia village that produced the legendary Rwathia Group of entrepreneurs, who control a swath of properties and businesses in downtown Nairobi.

As an indication of the sheer determination of the boys from Rwathia, at 102 years, Gikonyo, who once employed Equity Chairman Peter Munga as a casual labourer in one of their hotels, still supervises several businesses owned by the various groups from Rwathia.

The journey to massive wealth for these exceptional entrepreneurs started in 1930 when a group of boys came to Nairobi and set up a vegetable hawking business.

“We would buy the vegetables from Marikiti (Wakulima) Market from traders from Limuru, and sell them to Asian families,” said the father of 23 and husband to four wives who first worked as a farmhand in a Nyeri coffee plantation.

READ ALSO:   Kenyans love bringing down their own – SportPesa CEO Karauri
Some of the properties owned by Rwathia Group.

Since there were no banks for Africans then, the boys would send one of their friends back to the village to deliver some savings for safekeeping by the elders. When the boys in the city needed to increase their investment, they would go back to the village and get their savings. This cycle had a ripple effect. Seeing how their peers were able to save money, more boys from Rwathia were encouraged to go to the city and start similar or different businesses.

“There was a wave of boys from Rwathia coming to Nairobi. We encouraged it because we all wanted to do business together,” recalled Mzee Gikonyo, whose first child was born in 1936 and his last born 36 years later.

It is then that the Rwathia boys decided to form several savings groups and one person would belong to several of them. After seven years of selling vegetables and doing other businesses in Nairobi, the savings groups started buying buildings from Asians in Pumwani to set up shops and small dukas.

A group of five to 12 people would buy one shop and jointly start a business. The Asians were selling the shops to move closer to the city centre.

In 1952, the groups decided to start buying plots, on which they built residential and commercial buildings. But this new investment was disrupted the following year when the Mau Mau insurgency saw Kikuyus in Nairobi hounded and repatriated to restricted areas known as ichagi (villages).

READ ALSO:   Kenyans love bringing down their own – SportPesa CEO Karauri

The period that followed was of sheer destruction by the British colonialists. They particularly targeted Kikuyu-owned businesses as they suspected they were part of the Mau Mau support base. All that the Rwathia boys had built was razed to ashes.

Some of the properties owned by Rwathia Group.

By 1957, the Mau Mau war had slowed down because it was taking a toll on both combatants. The colonialists called for amnesty and began allowing some Kikuyus who had businesses back to Nairobi. The boys from Rwathia, now seasoned businessmen, took the offer and decided to up their ambitions.

“When we returned, we decided that we would henceforth enter the city centre, where we were not allowed before. Our idea was to rent buildings and start businesses,” said Mzee Gikonyo, who prefers boiro to roast meat.

“But most of the buildings we wanted to rent were owned by Asians. They were fearful of the Mau Mau, so many of them were migrating from Kenya and selling those buildings. This is how we started buying some of the buildings that we still own to date.”

“Again, we started buying in groups as we had done in Pumwani and Majengo. As many as 30 people would buy one building. All the small savings groups from Rwathia worked in harmony. So you would find one person owning shares in several groups. It was the best thing we did for ourselves,” explained Mzee Gikonyo.

READ ALSO:   Kenyans love bringing down their own – SportPesa CEO Karauri

Today, the Rwathia groups control prime properties in Nairobi, especially within areas on the east side of lower Tom Mboya Street, Ronald Ngara Street, River Road, among others, besides the beer distribution outfit, Rwathia Distributors.

Buildings and bar and restaurants like the famous Magomano, Kinangop, Njogu-ini, Eureka, Timboroa and Alfa Hotels, among others, are all owned by several savings groups from Rwathia.

“The big lesson that we learnt and which we would want generations to understand is that one cannot achieve much alone. It is important to cooperate, even if it is with your wife,” said Mzee Gikonyo.” People should come together. This is what I tell young men from Rwathia.”

He added: “We succeeded because we had passion for our businesses. It is important for people to have passion for what they do even if they are employed. If one is not passionate, it is better to resign than spoil other people’s business.”

According to Mzee Gikonyo, the Rwathia groups thrived on trust. “Each group would pick one of them to manage the business. Every month, members of the group come to inspect the financial books. At the end of the year, we divide the profits or re-invest,” said the man whose village founded an empire.

By SDE

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Bottle tops 2 Man arrested in Nairobi while ferrying hundreds of counterfeit liquor bottle tops

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Detectives from the Special Crime Prevention Unit in Nairobi on Saturday arrested a man who was transporting hundreds of counterfeit of different liquor bottle tops.

In a statement the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), said that detectives based at based at Parklands arrested one Samuel Mwangi Kariuki, 35, along Park Road while ferrying suspected counterfeit goods.

“Upon searching his vehicle, a Toyota Fielder (registration number KBS 275C), the detectives recovered 2000 pieces of Kibao Spirit bottle tops and 1000 pieces of Patiala Spirit bottle tops,” DCI said.

Police said the suspect was then escorted to his store situated at Civil Servant Estate within Ngara where police recovered more 550 pieces of Napoleon Gold spirit bottle tops, 800 pieces of Konyagi spirit bottle tops, 800 pieces of Kenya Cane spirit bottle tops and two rolls of Fake Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) stickers.

Four rolls of tape with London distillers Mark and a roll of Mau Mist natural spring water label were also recovered in the same store.

Police said the suspect will be charged with manufacturing and distributing alcoholic drink without a valid liquor licence within the jurisdiction of the county of Nairobi without liquor licence contrary to section 36(1)a and punishable under section 36(3) of the county of Nairobi City Alcoholic Drink control and Licensing Act, 2014.

READ ALSO:   Kenyans love bringing down their own – SportPesa CEO Karauri

By Nairobi News

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