President Uhuru Unveils ‘Big Four Pillars’ Steering the Nation to Prosperity


President Uhuru Kenyatta led Kenyans on Tuesday to mark   54 years of self-rule after gaining independence from Britain at Moi International Sports Centre.

“Today we commemorate our 54th birthday,” said President Uhuru.

The President called upon all Kenyans to unite and cultivate bonds that will see the country rapidly achieve its development goals.

He said Kenyans should embrace the unity exhibited by freedom fighters and regardless of race, tribe, religion or class, join hands to build a prosperous nation, devoid of ethnic or parochial divisions.

“The pursuit of politics for politics’ sake should be a thing of the past,” said the President. “We should not accept poverty as our fate, it is merely an outcome of wrong solutions. As President of Kenya, I am willing to engage all Kenyans, including my worthy competitors, in fashioning this new paradigm shift,” he added.

“This big shift will need all of us. It is our shared responsibility for all a good idea must always give way to a better idea. Form politics to prosperity said the Head of State.

Read: Jamhuri Day: What Does It Mean to be Kenyan Today and Tomorrow?

President Uhuru Kenyatta pledged to dedicate his final term to achieving the “The Big Four Pillars”: food security, affordable housing, manufacturing and affordable healthcare for all.

“The big four will help people create jobs, to new lives of comfort and well being. That is the big life I have foreseen,” he noted.

Deputy President William Ruto thanked Kenyans who voted for them and their programme for the next five years stating that ‘they made history’.

“I thank those who gave us the mandate to lead the nation for the next five years. Uhuru Kenyatta is the only president to have won three elections under five years,” said Ruto.

“The journey ahead will now involve all of us. Nobody should be left behind. That journey must involve all Kenyans, all leaders, those in Government and those in opposition because we owe it to those who fought for our independence.” said the Deputy President.

“Our future will be greater than our present,” added  Ruto.

Safaricom’s 4G Coverage now Available in all Counties


Safaricom (NSE: SCOM) the largest telecommunication in Kenya has announced that its high-speed 4G network is now available in all 47 counties.

The telco says the milestone was achieved on the back of an expanding 4G network, increased the affordability of 4G smartphones and more affordable data bundles. With its customers hitting one million.

“The country has consistently stood out as a global innovation powerhouse and a leader in global mobile technology adoption. This milestone further cements Kenya’s position and establishes a strong foundation for future innovation,” said Joseph Ogutu, Director – Strategy, Safaricom.

Safaricom became the first network to roll out a 4G network in the country in December 2014.
Safaricom 4G Investment

Last year, the firm began an accelerated 4G network expansion across key towns in the country, coupled with the rollout of the enhanced 4G+ technology. 4G+ sites allow customers to experience speeds in excess of 150 Megabits per second (Mbps).

As a result of this accelerated expansion, Safaricom now has more than 1,400 4G sites reaching more than 33 percent of the country’s population.

The company also says more than 16 percent of its 4G sites are on 4G+ or LTE Carrier Aggregation Technology.

More Kenyans can now afford 4G devices with the price having dropped to as low as Sh. 6,000. Data prices on Safaricom have also reduced by an aggregate of 29 percent, leading to increasing usage.

In December 2017, the company will be rewarding its 4G customers by offering a free data bundle equivalent to every monthly bundle purchased.

Chief Justice Maraga Named  2017 Jurist of the Year


Chief Justice David Maraga is the winner of the 2017 Jurist of the Year award.

David Kenani Maraga is a Lawyer and a jurist and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Kenya. He is the 14th Chief Justice of Kenya, was feted by the local chapter of the International Commission of Jurists on Monday night.

Maraga was recognised recognized for his dedication to upholding democracy, justice and the rule of law and as an independent-minded and hardworking Judge who performs his work with diligence and determination.

While accepting the honour, Maraga  called upon the Judiciary to be steadfast and not look the other way when liberties are trampled.

“The Kenyan Judiciary, all arms of Government and CSOs must advance constitutionalism. We shall not be blind to human rights abuses. Constitutions need constitutionalists to survive. We must all do more to turn the wheels of justice,” he said.

Chief Justice David Maraga receiving his JOYA Award from Retired Chief Justice Earnest Sakala of the Republic of Zambia

The Jurist of the Year Award (JOYA) is an annual award that seeks to acknowledge, recognize, and encourage outstanding jurists who have consistently, fearlessly and impartially contributed to the promotion of the rule of law and human rights in Kenya during the year. The award has been conferred every 10th December each from 1993 to commemorate and honor the United Nations International Human Rights Day.

“JOYA is an ICJ Kenya long time tradition which has been held since 1993. It has seen men and women who have demonstrated distinguished service to humanity awarded for the work they have do throughout the year,” said Kelvin Mogeni, ICJ Kenya Chairman.

Chief Justice David Maraga was also among the top 100 most influential Africans according to The New African Magazine.

CJ Maraga, who made a landmark ruling in September by nullifying the August 8 presidential election was featured as the 6th most influential person in Politics and Public Service after the King of Morocco Mohammed VI.

The CJ  was admitted to the Roll of Advocates in 1978, and has served as judge of Kenya’s two Superior Courts for about 13 years.

He holds a Master of Laws (LLM) Degree from the University of Nairobi; a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) Degree from the same institution and a Diploma in Legal Practice from the Kenya School of Law.

Shilling Opens The Week Weaker Than Friday But Still Resilient


The Kenyan shilling opened the week slightly weaker than Friday but still resilient against the US Dollar, the Sterling Pound and the Euro.

On Monday, the shilling weakened against the US Dollar by 0.12 percent as compared to Friday to close the day at 103.08.

Against the Sterling Pound, the shilling weakened by 0.34 percent in comparison of its performance on Friday to close the day at 138.32.

Against the Euro, the shilling went slightly down by 0.16 percent as compared to Friday to close the day at 121.20.

The market turnover at the bourse dropped by 32.3 percent as compared to the session on Friday.

The session closed the day at USD 3.57 million or an equivalent of 367.94 million shillings.

On the same day, the NSE 20 dropped by 0.50 percent to close the day at 3,731.79 while NASI rose by 0.42 percent to close the day at 176.00.

Across the pond, in Rwanda, the RSE RSI and RASI remained unchanged at 134.39 and 133.34 respectively while in Uganda, USE ALSI rose 0.15 percent and USE LCI declined 0.57 percent.

Did You Know: The Oldest Competitive Cyclist Was 105 Years Old?


How old is too old to ride a bicycle? Well, if the records in the Guinness World Records are something to go by, then there is no age limit considered too old to ride a bicycle.

According to the records, the oldest ever known active cyclist was aged 105 years and he rode 22.547 kilometers in 2017.

Robert Merchand was born in 1911 and by the time he took part in the “Best Hour Performance in the Men’s Master Aged 105 and above”, he was 105 years and 39 days old.

Still with people who have broken records despite their advanced age, the aggregate age of the oldest couple to have run a marathon is 163 years, 390 days by Uchida Masatsugu (83 years, 272 days old) and Ryoko Uchida (80 years, 88 days old)

Jamhuri Day: What Does It Mean to be Kenyan Today and Tomorrow?


The people of Kenya on Tuesday will mark Jamhuri Day which is one of the three National Days stipulated in Article 9(3) of the Constitution of Kenya in addition to Madaraka Day and Mashujaa Day.

Kenya attained independence (Madaraka) on 1/6/1963 and with the Jomo Kenyatta as the Prime Minister and on 12/12/1964 Kenya became a Republic with the late Jomo Kenyatta as the President.

The people of Kenya as a Republic have had 11 elected governments since independence.  The 2017 Jamhuri Day will be the seventh to be celebrated under the New Constitution of Kenya 2010.

The Constitution of Kenya 2010 was proclaimed as a victory for the people of Kenya to have, for the first time, made their Constitution in Kenya for themselves, unlike the independence Constitution which was negotiated between Kenya’s political leaders and the outgoing British colonial government at Lancaster House, London in Britain.

These years’ Jamhuri Day will be held at Kasarani Stadium. “Being one of the most important dates on the country’s calendar, Kenyans are once again invited to rally in unity around the values of patriotism and moving the country forward in the spirit of Kenya Mbele,” Government spokesman Eric Kiraithe said last week.

The event will be presided over by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The celebrations will be marked by military and police parades, cultural songs and dances and the ceremonial raising of the Kenyan flag.

Further, the uncertainty that would have been witnessed will not be there after the National Super Alliance (NASA) suspended the swearing in of an alternative president and Deputy President following what they termed ‘ extensive internal consultations’.

Jamhuri day gives an opportunity to all Kenyans to rededicate, recommit themselves that they shall eendeavor to  abide by, uphold, and promote every letter and the full spirit of that Constitution as it embodies all that is Kenyan and our Nation’s Promises and Dreams.

To President Uhuru Kenyatta, this will be his first public holiday in his second term in office.

Read: Divided Nation, Rising Debt, Unemployment Ushers Uhuru’s Final Term  

During his inauguration, the President said “I will be the President of all. And I will devote my time and energy to build bridges to unite and bring prosperity to all Kenyans.”

This is because a majority of Kenyans continue to engage in activities that have become symptomatic of a breakdown of social disorder and values. These include: irresponsible leadership, violence and hate speech.

Kenya’s re-election resulted in the incumbent President being declared the winner.

The two-month period after the announcement of re-election further extended the period of uncertainty and holding back of expenditure by both corporates and consumers.

“East Africa’s dominant economy is facing a widening debt, slowing Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and a credit longing private sector. The political turmoil witnessed in the second half of 2017 along with drought condition that persisted in the first half of the same year downgraded the country’s economic growth forecast for the year to as low as 5 percent from the previous forecast of 5.9 percent,” according to Fusion Capital.

Treasury has revised its 2017-18 budget deficit forecast to 8.5 percent of the GDP from the previous 6.8, which shows the extent of duress faced by the government.

Read:

World Bank Cuts Kenya’s Growth Outlook to 4.9pc

Kenya’s debt burden to rise due to deficits and borrowing costs – Moody’s 

80pc of Kenyan Job-Seekers Willing to Quit Jobs for Better Pay

“For now, the government will have to focus more on economic activity to ensure prosperity and stability, and improve its standing among the public,” they note.


Law enforcers must not be permitted to curtail Constitutional Rights

The Civil Society Reference Group (CSRG) faulted the security agencies for being selective in the application of the law and being ‘captured’ by the state for its own political survival.

They further noted the deteriorating freedoms of expression, assembly, and association.

“This state of deteriorating freedom of expression, assembly, and association should be a matter of great concern to the government as it is bound to spawn underground activities that the State may not be able effectively to regulate.

There is imminent danger that groups that may feel aggrieved by what now seems to be government policy to deny rights to these freedoms may get radicalized and become easy targets of extremists and pose a greater danger to national security.”

Article 10 of the Constitution stipulates the National Values and Principles of Governance which bind all Kenyans and more importantly those in elected office, and those employed in public offices to make and implement public policies, to apply or interpret the Constitution and to enact, apply interpret any law in Kenya.

As Kenyans mark Jamhuri Day, they will be looking at what President Uhuru will be pronouncing, committing and rededicating in observing and promoting the National Values and Principles of Governance enshrined in the Constitution since the last Jamhuri Day of 2016.

Those values and principles are;

a.     Patriotism, national unity, sharing and devolution of powers, the rule of law, democracy and participation of the people.

b.    Human dignity, equity, social justice, inclusiveness, equality, human rights, non-discrimination, protection of the marginalized.  

c.     Good governance, integrity, transparency, accountability.

d.    Sustainable development

President Uhuru had further said, “This is my second and final term as President. I have taken on board the aspirations of the people of Kenya to move forward, and as I have before, I will dedicate all my energies and that of my Administration towards achieving two principal objectives over the next 5 years. The first is to strengthen the ties that bind us as Kenyans at every level of our society.”

Thus, Kenyans will be looking at answers to:

Have we as a nation promoted, observed those National values and principles we enacted in our new Constitution of 2010. Is impunity, corruption, violation of human rights, failure to deliver justice still the order of the day in Kenya?  

Are the majority of Kenyans still marginalized by being mired in poverty, unemployment, hunger stricken suffering in hospitals for lack of doctors and medicines and all ills that deny them human dignity?

How many of those who hold public office whether elected or appointed have now decided to subordinate, ignore, rubbish the Constitutional values and principles of governance to rank below their selfish personal and parochial party, tribal wishes?

How many of those in elected and appointed public office now seeks to circumvent the Constitution by misconstruing it so as to serve their narrow interests?

How many of those in public offices remember that the Constitution is the supreme law in the Republic and binds all persons and all state organs and therefore by not complying with the National Values and Principles of Governance they are literally committing treason of the Constitution?

Happy Jamhuri Day!

Safaricom Limited Opens the Week as Top Mover with 5 Million Shares


Safaricom Limited opened the week as the top mover of the day at the Nairobi Securities Exchange with a volume of 5.90 million shares followed by Equity Group which sold 2.26 million shares.

WPP ScanGroup, Kenya Commercial Bank, and Home Africa posted 2.23 million, 399,800 and 339,500 shares respectively.

Trans-Century was the top gainer of the day. The company gained 9.68 percent at the price of 6.80 shillings per share. National Bank and Stanlib Fahari Income-REIT gained 7.69 and 7.14 percent respectively at the price of 10.50 and 11.25 shillings per share respectively.

Nairobi Business Ventures and Sasini Tea and Coffee gained 5.56 and 4.85 percent respectively at the price of 2.85 and 27.00 shillings per share respectively.

Umeme was the top loser of the day. The company lost 8.70 percent followed by Deacons (East Africa) with a loss of 6.67 percent.

WPP ScanGroup, ARM Cement, and Britam Holdings lost 5.61, 3.60 and 3.03 percent respectively.

Bidco Africa Feted for its Safe and Healthy Workplace  


Leading Fast Moving Consumer Goods Manufacturer, Bidco Africa bagged two International Safety Awards from the International Institute of Security and Safety Management (IISSM), for its commitment to keeping its workers and workplace safe and healthy.

The company won the awards at IISSM’s 27th Annual Conclave, in New Delhi, India in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods Manufacturer (FMCG) industrial sector category.

Bidco Africa’s Group Director of Operations Dr. Thiagarajan Vijayakumar, expressed his delight at receiving the award saying, “The awards were a powerful affirmation of our commitment to safety management and, by extension, to sustainable development.” Adding that, “Bidco Africa has always placed great emphasis on health and safety and we pride ourselves on a solid track record of safe operations”.

Dr. Vijayakumar noted that Bidco’s health and safety recognition was also as a result of a concerted effort between the company and its partners working with the company’s workforce to set the high standards.

“This award clearly demonstrates our commitment to managing Health and Safety in an appropriate and effective manner and the criteria set by IISSM, although challenging, shows the importance of ensuring the risk of injury and ill health in the workplace is properly controlled,” he said.

Promoting and maintaining the health and safety of its employees, contractors and other stakeholders including suppliers, customers and the public, is an essential element of Bidco’s corporate business principles. Accountability for health and safety performance has been established through the manufacturer’s business planning, policies and scorecards. All its employees are responsible for health and safety in the operations they manage, and safety performance forms part of their scorecard. This has subsequently resulted in a strong safety culture that has effectively prevented accidents.

Now in their 27th year, the IISSM International Safety Awards seek to celebrate and promote the success of the winning organizations and their employees in maintaining a safe and healthy working environment. They are open to businesses, public and private sector bodies of all sizes and sectors from across the world.

The 2017 award winners demonstrated to the satisfaction of the scheme’s independent judges their commitment to preventing workplace injuries and work-related ill health.

Microsoft Launches a Mobile App for Business Communication


Microsoft has launched Kaizala, a mobile app designed for large group communication, work management, reporting and analytics, integrated with Office 365.

According to Sebuh Haileleul, Country General Manager for Microsoft East and Southern Africa, the app addresses several challenges faced by most businesses in Africa who manage field staff remotely.

“Task workers working on construction sites, or in manufacturing plants, retail shops and other industries, typically don’t have a dedicated work space, computer or even email address. This makes it hard for managers to share and collect important information. Kaizala makes it easier and less time consuming for organizations to communicate, assign and track work in real-time, and create reports based on aggregated data,” said Haileleul.

Businesses using Kaizala will be able to connect with large groups of people across their entire value chain, wherever they are, all on a single platform on their mobile phone.

Haileleul added that Kaizala extends beyond a communication function, enhancing business agility, collaboration and organizational productivity. Some of its unique features include the ability to:

“As we launch Microsoft Kaizala in Kenya, we hope to help connect the complete value chain, including even the unconnected parts of organizations – from small businesses to large enterprises and governments who wants to connect with their citizens,” added Rajiv Kumar, Corporate Vice President, Office Product Group, Microsoft.

Microsoft Kaizala is now available in Kenya for download as a standalone app for Android and iOS phones. 

Telkom Kenya Announces Festive Season Giveaway Campaign


Telkom Kenya is running a ten days festive season devices giveaway across its social media platforms until the 16 December.

Capitalising on its vision, “Connecting the people that make Kenya move” Telkom Kenya will be offering consumers the chance to win an array of devices via its social pages.

 

“The giveaway will run on alternate days on both platforms. There are 10 devices to be won in total,” announced the telco when it launched the campaign on December 7.

Each platform chooses 5 winners as the giveaway runs on alternate days.

Terms and conditions for the giveaway are as follows:

  1. In order to win you will be required to correctly identify the mystery phone, take a screenshot of the phone on our website and respond in the comment section of the giveaway with the image using the #WhatsInYourPresent.
  2. The winner will be chosen at random, in order to win you must have provided the correct answer to the question.
  3. In order to get the free phone, you must purchase a similar device (i.e. the mystery phone) at the agreed upon Telkom shop.
  4. Winners will be announced at the end of the day. They will receive a message on the social media platform on which they won.
  5. Once you win you will be required to provide the following information
    Name
    ID number
    Phone number
  6. Once you win you are not eligible to compete in the giveaway again whether or not you buy the device.
  7. You will need to redeem the gift by the 20th of December 2017. This date will not be extended and failure to redeem your gift you will have forfeited your chance to get a free device.