SOCIOECONOMIC COSTS OF COVID 19 MAY GO OVER AND BEYOND THAT OF HIV

By Joanne Mwangi-Yelbert As news of the global spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) emerged, global financial markets reacted pessimistically and behaved in ways not seen since the 2008 financial crisis, the worst economic disaster since the Great Depression of 1929. A full understanding of the potential economic and social impact of the virus which leads to this disease remains difficult to predict. This is because spread of a disease on this scale both geographically and exponentially is unprecedented in the modern world. Since the first reported case in Wuhan China,…

KRA begins to pay Ksh.10 billion VAT refunds to businesses

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has begun paying out Ksh.10 billion in VAT refunds following a presidential directive and release of funds by National Treasury. “We have begun paying various businesses entities VAT refunds from special funds allocated by the government and released to KRA and expect to finalise the payments process in one Week”, said the Commissioner for Domestic Taxes Ms. Elizabeth Meyo. The refunds are expected offer financial relief to businesses worst hit by the Covid-19 pandemic especially the horticulture, transport and hospitality sectors of the economy. “Only…

COVID-19 numbers go up as government intensify testing across the country

Kenya has recorded 127 positive cases of COVID 19, out of 3,831 samples tested in the last 24 hours bringing the total number of positive cases to 1745. These cases are spread in Nairobi (76), Mombasa (19), Busia (16), Uasin Gishu (8), Kiambu (2), Kajiado (5) and Isiolo (1). The announcement was made by the Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS), Health, Dr. Mercy Mwangangi who said the high numbers are as a result of the increase in the sample size and also a show that the virus is firmly in our midst. “This can be stopped…

Dutch Flower Firm ordered to pay Ksh.1.3 billion in taxes

Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has won a case to collect taxes worth Ksh.1.3 billion from Van Den Berg limited, a Dutch flower firm operating in Kenya. The firm was ordered to pay KRA after the High Court in Nairobi dismissed a judicial review application filed by the company in April, 2016 seeking to quash a tax assessment issued by the Commissioner of Domestic Taxes. In a ruling delivered online, Justice J.M.Bwonwong’a found that the company had not exhausted the dispute resolution mechanism provided under Section 12 of the Tax Appeal…

Over 128,500 confirmed COVID19 cases on the African continent

Over 128,500 confirmed COVID19 cases on the African continent with more than 53,000 recoveries & 3,700 deaths. View country figures & more with the WHO African Region COVID-19 Dashboard:  https://arcg.is/XvuSX Thirty-Two out of 47 counties in the country have so far recorded cases of Coronavirus disease. This number accounts for more than 60% of the counties affected. Kiambu County has recorded 39 cases, placing it at number 4 behind Nairobi (835), Mombasa (490) and Kajiado (65). This is a worrying trend, and we must collectively stop it by observing and…

DHL Express cements commitment to grow African e-commerce

DHL acquires a stake in their strategic partner company, Link Commerce, in support of growing e-commerce in Sub-Saharan Africa and other global emerging e-commerce markets; Africa’s online retail market predicted to reach an 11-digit dollar value in 2020. DHL Express today announced its minority stake acquisition in Link Commerce, the UK-based e-commerce firm that helped the logistics company develop its hugely successful DHL Africa eShop platform. Hennie Heymans, CEO of DHL Express sub-Saharan Africa, says that the acquisition demonstrates the company’s commitment to growing e-commerce on the continent. “Acquiring a…

Cytonn Investments launches Cytonn Wallet

This is a one stop digital wallet where you stand to earn up to 10 to 11 % per annum. Cytonn FinTech, a subsidiary of Cytonn Investments has today launched the first of its kind digital wallet that replaces your ordinary wallet, dubbed ‘Cytonn Wallet’. Cytonn Wallet is powered by the Cytonn Money Market Fund where you stand to earn up to 11% P.A  Edwin H. Dande, Chief Executive Officer at Cytonn Investments stated “We are in the business of identifying client needs and offering effective and efficient solutions. Cytonn…

Keroche Tax burden

The KRA is set to collect tax of Kshs 9,116,835,985 .00 from Keroche Breweries Limited with regard to products manufactured and marketed by Keroche breweries Limited. This follows a big win by the Kenya Revenue Authority in the six (6) Appeals filed by Keroche before the Tax Appeals Tribunal in 2015 and 2017 respectively. 2.  In three of the Appeals, the contention was the manufacturing process of Vienna Ice Brand of Vodka. The brewer argued that, Vienna Ice brand of Vodka was not a distinct product from Crescent Vodka since Vienna Vodka was produced by diluting Crescent Vodka which process did not amount to manufacture. 3.  KRA relied on the Compounding of Denatured Spirits Act Cap 123 and argued that the process undertaken by Keroche Breweries was compounding within the meaning of the Act. Compounding of spirits also amounted to manufacture of new product within the definition of Customs & Excise Act, CAP 472 (now repealed). 4. In the other three appeals, the contention was with regard to classification of pineapple based wines. The Brewer had argued that what they produced was fortified wines which should be classified under HS Code 22.04 which attracted lower excise duty rate of 40%. Their position was that the classification was specific for any fortified wine. 5.   KRA’s position was that HS code 22.04 was reserved for wines based on grapes and the Keroche’s fortified wine was purely fermented pineapple as such is to be classified under HS Code 22.06 which is for any other fermented beverage. HS code 22.06 attracted a higher excise duty rate of 60%. 6.    The Tax Appeals Tribunal in its’ judgments delivered on 9th March, 2020 held that: 6.1.   Keroche Breweries Limited was involved in the compounding of spirit which amounts to manufacture within the meaning in Excise Duty Act, 2015 and Customs and Excise Act, CAP 472 (repealed)as such Vienna Ice was a distinct product for which Excise Duty was payable; 6.2.  With regard to Fortified wines produced by the Brewer, the Tribunal guided by the World Customs Organization explanatory notes on HS code found that HS code 22.04 was for grape based wines and the correct classification was HS code 22.06 as the Keroche’s wine is a mixture of fermented pineapple and alcohol. 7.  The Tribunal however faulted the Authority for levying interest and late payment penalties for the period the disputes were being litigated at the High Court and the Court of Appeal which had directed that the matters be heard at the Tax Appeals Tribunal.

Nairobi Water seeks Raila’s help for water infrastructure funding

The Directors of the Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company on Thursday held a special meeting with AU’ special envoy for infrastructure  Raila Odinga to deliberate on possible ways of improving Water infrastructure in Nairobi. The meeting that was held at Odinga’s pro Upperhill office focused on increasing water connectivity, getting more funds for sanitation activities. According to Karen Nyamu who is one of the Directors , Odinga promised to help source more funds that will help meet the water deficit in Nairobi. This will involve getting more funds for sinking…

Sanlam General Insurance rolls out Road Assistance services

Sanlam General Insurance, a subsidiary of listed non-bank financial services provider Sanlam Kenya, has today launched Sanlam Road Assistance, a comprehensive private motor insurance service geared towards improving the experience of its motor insurance customers. The service which is in line with the firm’s commitment to offer solutions to customer needs will provide road assistance to all motor private – comprehensive customers. This includes, on spot accident assessment, free post-accident support, towing and an optional add on for courtesy car and taxi service to complete the journey. Speaking during the…