KBA, FSD Kenya, GIT partner to promote access to people with disabilities

By Mourice Seretta The Kenya Bankers Association has partnered with the Financial Sector Deepening Trust (FSD Kenya), non-profit inABLE and Georgia Institute of Technology in a programme to promote access to financial services for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs). The initiative, whose pilot phase kicked off this month, aims to identify major accessibility challenges PWDs face while using banking service channels. The programme seeks to assess PWDs’ access challenges using the sample of seven banks. The project will be jointly funded by the banking industry and FSD Kenya. Under the partnership,…

OPPO Kenya Joins The Fight Against Covid-19 By Donating Hand Sanitizers

As the world continues to battle the fast-spreading deadly Coronavirus that has now claimed over 50,000 lives, global electronics giant OPPO Kenya has joined Kenyans in the fight against the virus by donating hand sanitizers. In a statement posted on their Twitter handle, OPPO Kenya says it has donated 1,000 liters of hand sanitizers that “will go way in aiding the efforts towards flattening the curve” of Covid-19. The government, through the Ministry of Health, has been calling on Kenyans of goodwill and well-wishers to join the fight to contain…

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of spirits also amounted to manufacture of new product within the definition of Customs & Excise Act, CAP 472 (now repealed). 4.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.

Alexander Forbes clienteles wins big from Octagon services deal

A new strategic partnership has been entered into under which Octagon Africa will serve Alexander Forbes multinational clients with a presence in Kenya.  This strategic partnership comes after Alexander Forbes’ review of its strategic business and operating model in March 2019, and to exit emerging markets and strategically reposition with credible partners to deliver and support their clients operating in the specific country.   Through this strategy we have a platform to work with a network of partners while maintaining the ability to deliver excellent service and solutions to our…

GAUGING THE ECONOMIC WAVES OF CORONAVIRUS ON KENYA

The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), the apex body of the private sector in Kenya, this morning resolved to engage all its members to begin to calculate the projected economic impact of Coronavirus in each sector. The collated input will inform the development of a rapid response mitigation plan to minimize the impact of the outbreak on the Kenyan market. It will also allow the private sector to measure the impact of the expected global slowdown of trade on Kenya. KEPSA is encouraged by Executive Order No 2 ofhttps://www.expresstoday.co.ke/?p=2932&preview=true 2020…

Greenpeace Africa  Lauds Plans to Roll Out Off-Grid Solar Electricity in Kenya

Responding to the news that the Government of Kenya has partnered with the World Bank to finance off-grid solar projects in Kenya,  Amos Wemanya, Greenpeace Africa’s Campaigner has said:   Greenpeace Africa has received this news with a lot of eagerness. The project will help rural off-grid households access electricity that is important in unlocking their economic potential. “Kenya is among the countries that have been hit hard by the impacts of climate breakdown. Investing in clean energy technologies such as solar, especially for the rural off-grid households will help…

Thai doctors finds cure for coronavirus

Thai doctors say cocktail of drugs can fight coronavirus BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thai doctors have seen success in treating severe cases of the new coronavirus with combination of medications for flu and HIV, with initial results showing vast improvement 48 hours after applying the treatment, they said on Sunday. The doctors from Rajavithi Hospital in Bangkok said a new approach in coronavirus treatment had improved the condition of several patients under their care, including one 70-year-old Chinese woman from Wuhan who tested positive for the coronavirus for 10 days. The…

IHG® debuts upscale brand, voco™ in Africa with Valor Hospitality Partners Africa

voco, combines the informality and charm of an individual hotel with the quality and reassurance of a global and respected brand. JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, January 30, 2020/ — InterContinental Hotels Group (www.IHG.com), one of the world’s leading hotel companies, has signed voco™ The Bank, Rosebank in South Africa in partnership with Valor Hospitality Partners Africa. Last year, IHG announced the signing of a Master Development Agreement (MDA) with Valor Hospitality Partners Africa to roll out multiple franchise hotels over the next 10 years, across IHG’s portfolio of brands in midscale,…

Grammy bites: 9,000 users attacked by malware disguised as Billie Eilish in Nigeria

Kaspersky found 30,982 malicious files that used the names of artists or their tracks in order to spread malware. LAGOS, Nigeria, January 30, 2020/ Cybercriminals are actively abusing the names of artists and songs nominated for a Grammy 2020 award, in order to spread malware. Kaspersky protection technologies (www.Kaspersky.co.za) detected a 39% rise in attacks (attempts to download or run malicious files) under the guise of nominees’ work in 2019, compared to 2018. Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift and Post Malone were attackers’ favorites, with these nominees’ names used most often…

REPORT: 83% of Kenyans are happy with mobile loan apps

Microloans are small loans offered to people over a shorter period of time, typically without providing any form of security for the lender and often without requiring a credit history from the recipient. They are very similar to credit cards, but are more widely available, especially in markets where a majority of the population is underbanked. People in such markets often don’t have bank accounts or the ability to get a credit card. In recent years, the growth of the internet and easier access to smartphones have been great for…