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Kenya Power dismisses 110 staff in one year over fraud

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Kenya Power has over the last one year laid off 110 employees who were found guilty of aiding fraud, illegal connections and other crimes.

Theft is partly to blame for the firm’s financial woes that saw it report a 71 per cent decline in net profit for the half year to December.The firm yesterday said its net profit for the six-month period had sunk to Sh693 million from Sh2.45 billion over a similar period in 2018.

Additional energy charges from new power plants and increased transmission costs also ate into its earnings. Finance costs, which were on the rise the previous year and substantially dented profit, went down by 20 per cent.

The half year numbers came a day after Kenya Power reported a 92 per cent drop in profit for the full year to June 2019 in delayed results attributed to lack of a substantive Auditor General.“Our immediate focus is to improve business performance through the implementation of various initiatives to grow sales, reduce system losses, enhance revenue collection and manage costs,” said Chief Executive Bernard Ngugi in a statement yesterday.

“These initiatives are part of a wider turnaround strategy and are supported by the company’s drive to improve customer satisfaction.”

Mr Ngugi, together with Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter and Directorate of Criminal Investigations boss George Kinoti, had earlier yesterday cracked down on illegal connections in Tassia estate in Nairobi, where he revealed that the firm had axed 100 employees involved in fraud.

He further warned of more action as the company scales up the fight on crimes that undermine quality power supply.

The operation was carried out jointly by Kenya Power’s security personnel and police officers. “The company will continue to work with security agencies to eliminate illegal power connections and address other crimes that deny Kenyans quality electricity supply,” said Ngugi.

By Standard

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How a slight headache sparked Covid-19 fears and rush to hospital during curfew

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A sudden illness on Tuesday night transformed me from a storyteller to being the story.

It started with my friend developing joint aches, which escalated to a serious headache. My suggestion that we seek medical attention was dismissed outright.

As the situation deteriorated, the nightmare began. Could it be Covid- 19? I didn’t want to contemplate.

Since I was the ‘healthy’ one, I had to calm the fraying nerves. “No, you don’t have corona. I think it’s just a normal fever,” I declared, although from the laughter that greeted my declaration, it was clear my attempt at raising optimism had failed.

Then came another problem: It was past 7pm and the dusk-to-dawn curfew was in effect. I started mental mapping of the nearest hospital accessible from Imara Daima. My best bet was South B or Nairobi West. In the worst case scenario, I could try Nairobi Hospital, Coptic or Aga Khan. My patient was showing alarming signs of weakness.

I took the matter into my hands. I called my place of work, asked for the staff clinic and found a cheery gentleman on the line. I explained the nature of emergency facing me and the man was very sympathetic.

Unfortunately, he could not send an ambulance. He advised me to carry my staff identity card on my way to the hospital and call him if I ran into the police. He would talk to them.

He assured me that the police were under orders to treat such cases sympathetically.

Now, if there’s one lesson my 30 years of practising journalism has taught me, it’s this; orders tend to disappear somewhere along the chain of command and the officer on the beat is usually free to use their discretion, nearly always with disastrous outcomes for those they come into contact with.

I had the option of using my press card but this would have involved a bit of inveigling in explaining the case of my patient, who was stretched out on the back seat. We said a short prayer and hit the road.

Crash statistics

The Nairobi I saw on Tuesday night was totally different from the city I have known since my early teenage years.

Easing into Mombasa Road felt like driving in another planet.

The road is normally busy at this time of the night with workers heading back home, taxis racing their fares to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to catch flights while, in the air, the huge planes approaching for landing normally fly so low you almost see those on board.

Not on this night. The road was deserted and, for a moment or two, I was transported to the pages of the popular Christian fiction books Left Behind by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B Jenkins, which describe life on earth after the rapture promised by the Bible has taken place.

As I approached the Kenya Railways bridge, just before General Motors, I saw a traffic policeman stopping a G4S van. My patient murmured a quiet and fast prayer that we wouldn’t be stopped.

The prayers worked and I once again had the entire road all to myself. I fought the temptation to gun down the car because, although my patient would not admit it, I knew the situation was getting worse. I remembered road crash statistics and was grimly reminded that accidents had caused more deaths on our roads than headaches.

I took the turn into South B and was greeted by more shock. You see, the area stretching from South B through South C and to Nairobi West has been my stomping ground and is one corner of our globe that rarely goes to sleep, not this early. Driving into Mariakani Cottage Hospital, I found a group of friendly watchmen who were more than willing to direct me to the parking.

We ambled into the casualty and found the place empty. A friendly nurse took us through the paces of registration and directing my patient to the doctor.

Favourable result

The dreaded moment was finally here. What the doctor would find out had the potential of changing both our lives in ways we couldn’t even imagine: If he had recommended the patient for a Covid-19 test based on the lab analysis, mandatory quarantine would follow.

Since I had been the one handling the patient, the same fate awaited me.

Subconsciously, I replayed the figures Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe had been doling out in his briefings. My mind wandered to Italy, Spain, the US and the other places the virus had ravaged.

With massive

effort, I blocked out such thoughts and focused on getting favourable results.

As I sat there, a man walked in with his daughter who looked seriously ill.

From their dusty feet, it was evident that they had done some serious hoofing before getting to the hospital.

My patient came out with a smile that could light up a Christmas tree. It was an all-clear from the doctor. Turns out it was a case of bacterial infection.

There was no need for further tests. We hugged and back-slapped one another.

I don’t think a bacterial infection had ever been celebrated that much since God created the earth.

The trip back home was easier and faster. Just as we had made a pact with God as we left home, we said a prayer of thanksgiving; thanking God for having the means of getting to hospital, for medical facilities that are near, doctors and nurses to man them and even the ability to pay for the services offered.

We also remembered to pray for the nameless man we had left at the reception waiting to hear from the doctor on the fate of his daughter.

Joseph Mboya is a Nairobi-based journalist

By Nation.co.ke

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Technology is the Silver Lining on the Pandemic’s Dark Cloud

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BY GEORGE WACHIURI

There is always a silver lining behind any dark cloud. The current Corona crisis is not an exception. Given, this pandemic will permanently change the way businesses are done across the board. The beauty about this is that it is already changing some of our behaviors and culture for the better.

The Pandemic will certainly change what we value as well as our relationships with others. This pandemic will surely bring new innovations, new thinking and new ways of doing things.

How will the real estate be altered? I think technology uptake will permanently change how we do real estate.

Traditional Real Estate vs. New change (adapting the technology)

1. Self-drives to view Property: Taking people to site was a daily engagement. Now, it is all about self-drives to site. Customers moving forward, will most often be seeking Google coordinates of the property and then proceed to taking themselves to site.

2. Physical brochures and Business Cards will be edged out: It is now evident that e-brochures and e-business cards are effective, save and fast. This may become a new norm with the physical brochures and business cards going extinct. Effectively, there will be less printing, and by extension we will end up saving lots of trees since there will be no much printing on thousands of physical marketing brochures.

3. Physical Visits to Site will reduce for those not too serious about buying: Today, online 3D view of property is allowing customers to have an almost real time view of property. It now also allows customers to make decisions to move to the next level of commitment. For instance, Optiven’s Shamba Mkononi App ( https://shrts.net/a6ixO ) allows customers to view their preferred project via Google Earth tools; thus allowing them to see available plots, book site visits online, pick an available plot of their choice and pay for it online.

4. Working from offices will become archaic: We have seen that indeed it is possible for people to work and deliver from home. This has worked during the Covid-19 period. It actually works and indeed, it will surely extend moving forward, for services and work that does not require physical touch. By extension, there may be no need for way bigger office spaces since working from home has proven to be as effective.

5. Cash Payment will be an outdated mode: Online payment is the new way of paying for goods and services. The cashless economy will become an accepted standard. In turn, Governments will save massively for not printing physical money. As a real estate customer, you will not need to travel to a real estate office to deliver money or cheque eating up some more precious time, waiting for a physical receipt. An online transaction and receipting will do just fine.

6. Physical signing will not be fashionable in the near future: Electronic signatures will replace physical signing. The government just allowed electronic signatures and this will surely improve the process of property ownership. Land searches are already online, transfers are going online; things are literally going all digital.

7. Physical meetings for staff will reduce: The use of technology such as Zoom will enable virtual meetings to take place just as effectively. During this Corona crisis, this is what we are currently using. You can expect that the trend will continue, with many meetings being conducted via video conferencing as opposed to one-on-one meetings that sometime end up being time consuming.

The author, is a leading Entrepreneur, a Published Author, Philanthropist, Youth Empowerment Enthusiast, a Family man and CEO of Optiven Group.

Contact Optiven Group: 0790 300 300 Email: admin@optiven.co.ke Website: www.optiven.co.ke George Wachiuri Blog: www.georgewachiuri.com
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/OptivenEnterprises/featured

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Tuju: I expect to be working by next week

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Jubilee Secretary General Raphael Tuju is expected to resume his duties at the party and Cabinet next week after being involved in a road accident on February 12.

Mr Tuju told the Nation Wednesday that he has made remarkable progress “by God’s grace and with the support of the very dedicated professional team at Karen Hospital”.

He suffered 13 broken ribs and head injuries and had to be flown to the United Kingdom for specialised treatment.

“The therapy is tough and painful but I am doing my best. I leave the rest to God,” he said.

“At the current rate of improvement and if God allows, I should be back to work next week.”

He did not reveal his first task when he resumes duty.

Mr Tuju is likely to be faced with the challenge of organising Jubilee elections since the terms of the interim officials expired last month.

The party will have to reorganise its elections as the country battles the Covid-19 pandemic.

The party elections will see the allies of President Uhuru Kenyatta in the Kieleweke faction face off with those of Deputy President William Ruto in the Tangatanga camp.

Last week, Mr Tuju tested negative for coronavirus.

He returned to the country on March 7. Mr Tuju took the test because the pandemic is also ravaging the UK.

“The results from the Ministry of Health were good. I praise God for taking care of me when I was in the UK,” he said.

“I ask Kenyans to take the pandemic seriously.”

Some of the people who have visited Mr Tuju at his home is Mr Ruto, ODM leader Raila Odinga, Baringo Senator Gideon Moi and Kanu Secretary General Nick Salat.

By nation.co.ke

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