Elgeyo teachers college set to become varsity


Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Alex Tolgos has said a new public university in the county will be registered before December 31.

He said on Sunday the university will be established at Tambach Teachers Training College, despite the delayed registration by the Commission for University Education.

Tolgos dismissed some MPs blaming him for the delay. “Some of those laying blame claim to be very influential, yet they cannot push for anything. They should have completed the registration, instead of blaming other people perceived to lack influence,” he said.

The governor spoke to journalists in Iten town on Sunday. The MPs are worried that CUE chaired by David Some may not register the university by December 31, the deadline set by Parliament to stop registration of new universities.

Marakwet East MP Kangogo Bowen on Saturday accused Tolgos of failing to speed up the process of the university’s registration.

“The governor is busy with other irrelevant issues, yet the issue of the university has been left pending as if it’s not important,” Kangongo said in Eldoret town.

Bowen said the governor will be blamed if the university is not registered. There are reports some local leaders presented a fake land title deed for the land where the university is to be built.

Tolgos said, however, some elected leaders are busy campaigning to replace him, instead of dealing with crucial matters.

He said the county has paid Sh810,000 required for the university to be registered. Tolgos said the CUE is yet to inspect Tambach TTC where the university will be located.

“I have been moving from Iten to Nairobi, working to secure this registration. These legislators are in the city but they cannot practically join me in the process, only to turn around and accuse me,” he said. The delay in the registration has been blamed on political interference.


"Elgeyo teachers college set to become varsity"

Fake doctor Mugo wa Wairimu’s video tops Kenya YouTube views

The media expose` on Mugo Wairimu, branded as a rogue gynaecologist who allegedly raped his patients, has emerged as the most-watched video of the year in Kenya.

This is according to a ranking by YouTube of videos that captured Kenyans attention this year. YouTube is a Google-owned video hosting service on which users can upload, share, view, and even download videos.

It emerged that most watched videos were mainly those that were first aired on local TV stations.

Janet Mbugua’s labour prank on Hussein Mohammed, Johnstone Muthama’s speech at an opposition Cord rally in Uhuru Park and Eric Omondi’s Nabeba Mawe videos emerged as second, third and fourth most watched videos respectively.

Other clips in the top-ten most watched videos list include Larry Madowo’s the trend interview with Shaniqwa, pastor Ng’ang’a’s unmasked, Alfred Keter’s weighbridge saga, Janet Mbugua’s wedding, Professor Hamo’s my president is black and ‘Try not to laugh or grin watching this’.

In the category of the most viewed music videos in Kenya, Nasema Nawe video by Diamond Platnumz featuring Khadija Kopa topped the list.

‘See you again’ by the American rapper Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth was second most watched music video in the country and the World’s most viewed too while Nerea by Sauti Sol and Amos and Josh came in third.

Other most watched music videos in Kenya were Nana by Diamond Platnumz and Flavour, Post to be by Omarion and Bad blood by Taylor Swift, Chekecha Cheketua by Ali Kiba, Baadaye by Amos and Josh featuring Rabbit, Sugar by Maroon 5 and Lean On by Major Lazer and Dj Snake- which were also world’s most watched videos at positions two and four respectively.

READ: Diamond Platnumz’s ‘Nasema Nawe’ tops Kenya’s most watched music videos

Other top ten most viewed videos in the world also included, Love me like you do (Ellie Goulding), Bad blood (Taylor Swift), Hey Mama  (David Guetta), Elastic Heart (Sia) and worth it (Fifth Harmony).

“The top 10 music videos collectively in the world, have more than 66 million subscribers and people spent over 37,000 years playing them in 2015,” read a statement by Google in part.

During release of the most popular videos YouTube also unveiled Trending Tab on the YouTube app, which will deliver most trending videos directly to android, iOS and desktop devices’ home page.

The videos appearing on the tab will span from new movie trailers, music videos and other viral clips from YouTube creators. The content appearing on the tab will depend on the location.


"Fake doctor Mugo wa Wairimu’s video tops Kenya YouTube views"

Ranguma denies plot to sell sports ground


KISUMU Governor Jack Ranguma has denied planning to sell the Jomo Kenyatta Sports Ground to a private developer.

Ranguma dismissed the claims as malicious, misleading and untrue. He threatened legal action against those “peddling the rumour.”

Ranguma said the grounds will be renovated, but there are no plans to sell it.

“We want to renovate the facility so the public can enjoy its beauty, contrary to its current dilapidated state,” he said.

Ranguma has been faulted by the assembly over reported plans to sell the public utility.

Acting speaker Pamela Omino said the assembly has not been consulted over any plans to sell the grounds.

A notice dated November 18 by county attorney Amos Omollo to tenants at the grounds asks them to vacate by December 15.

“Further to our letter dated October 12, you are hereby reminded you are required to vacate the premise by December 15.”

The letter is only copied to the Sports chief officer. It states that a sanitary inspection report from the public health directorate found the grounds “not habitable and requires immediate renovation.”

In the letter, the tenants have been informed that after the renovation works, they will be given first preference to return “provided you comply with any other terms by the county”.


"Ranguma denies plot to sell sports ground"

Collymore raises transparency bar with declaration of wealth

Safaricom chief executive Bob Collymore’s decision to declare his wealth has significantly raised the bar for wealthy business executives and top public officials, whose responses Kenyans will be eagerly awaiting in the coming weeks.

Mr Collymore yesterday revealed that he is paid an average of Sh9 million per month and that he has net assets of $2.7 million (Sh277.3 million), largely in the form of bank deposits and a house in London, UK.

The Safaricom chief said he decided to make his wealth public as part of the freshly launched effort to boost transparency and fight corruption that has permeated both Kenya’s public and private sectors.

While public officers have since 2003 been required to declare their income, assets and liabilities, the information has been kept secret, making it difficult to hold anyone accountable.

Mr Collymore is the first private sector executive to publicly declare his wealth, raising the transparency bar so high in a market where even the pay of public listed company executives remains a closely guarded secret.

“Corruption distorts markets and has a negative impact on society as a whole, in both the developing and the developed world,” Mr Collymore said. “It is the reason why the responsibility to turn the tide against corruption ultimately lies with us as individuals.”

The income and wealth disclosure requirement in the public service and the private sector has enabled corrupt individuals to sidestep the pressure of accounting for their ill-gotten fortune.

The Public Officers Ethics Act expressly states that wealth declaration forms filed by civil servants shall not be “published or in any way made public except with written authority of the (relevant)ommission.”

Anyone who otherwise makes such information public is guilty of an offence and liable to imprisonment for five years or a fine of Sh500,000.

Former Rongo MP Ochillo Ayacko had warned – as the law was being crafted — that keeping information on civil servants’ wealth away from the public would have the effect of undermining the fight against graft.

“In fact, this Bill also suggests that such declarations remain a secret. If that were to be the case, the purpose of this Bill would not be realised,” Mr Ayacko told Parliament in November 2000.

READ: Uhuru orders lifestyle audit of KRA staff

“The purpose of this Bill is for all Kenyans to know their leaders well and the extent to which they own property and to which they have been involved in grabbing.”

Cover their tracks

The law was eventually passed with the provisions to keep the wealth forms secret helping the political elite – who rank among the most corrupt — to cover their tracks.

In the private sector, no meaningful information is published about executive wealth or income even from publicly traded firms.

At best, companies say how many shares executives hold in their own company directly and deliberately fail to show the entirety of those holdings, including shares in nominee accounts.

Citing statistics from the World Bank, Mr Collymore asserts that the private sector has a major role in fighting corruption in Kenya and other African countries.

“According to the World Bank, $1 trillion is paid every year in bribes in Africa. An additional $2.6 trillion is stolen annually through corruption – a sum equivalent to more than five per cent of the global GDP,” Mr Collymore said.

“Shockingly, in the new era driving Africa’s narrative, the protagonists in this new story of corruption are the private sector, who account for as much as 70 per cent of the fraud taking place in the continent.”

Mr Collymore’s wealth is simplicity itself and indicates that the 57-year-old is highly conservative, showing no inclination to maximise returns on assets.

Among the assets listed by the Safaricom chief are cash balances amounting to $1.1 million (Sh116 million) – representing 41.8 per cent of his net worth — in local and UK banks.

He owns a house in London valued at $530,000 (Sh54 million) and shares in Safaricom worth $180,000 (Sh18.3 million). Mr Collymore’s ownership of shares in Safaricom’s parent firm Vodafone Plc valued at $871,000 (Sh88.8 million) rounds up the list of his assets.

The Safaricom boss in the last 12 months earned $5,800 (Sh592,000) in interest and dividends on his bank deposits and stock holdings, translating into an annual rate of return of 0.26 per cent.

That level of return will not hurt him in the UK where inflation is about zero per cent. It will, however, eat up his assets in Kenya where the cost of living is galloping at a rate of 7.32 per cent.

While revealing his wealth, Mr Collymore also confirmed that he is among the highest paid CEOs in Kenya with an annual compensation of $1.06 million (Sh109 million) or Sh9 million per month.

That is equivalent to 196.2 times the average monthly salary of Sh46,264 paid to a formal sector worker in Kenya.



"Collymore raises transparency bar with declaration of wealth"

Express Kenya CEO Hector Diniz edges closer to owning 71 per cent of its shares

Hector Diniz is set to control 70.9 per cent of listed firm Express Kenya, where he is CEO, if a plan to convert a Sh60 million debt owed to his companies into equity is approved by regulator Capital Markets Authority (CMA).

Management of the logistics firm said the transaction is meant to boost its working capital position, which has dropped to more than negative Sh50 million so far.

The transaction, which is already proving controversial among some stakeholders, will see Mr Diniz issued with an additional 12 million shares at a premium Sh5 each compared to the current trading price of Sh4.30 per unit at the Nairobi Securities Exchange.

“The company wishes to capitalise Sh60 million owed by the company to related companies Airport Trading Centre Limited (Sh42 million) and Diniz Holdings (Sh18 million) being part of the loan balance standing in the account as at December 31, 2014,” said the company in a public statement.

Mr Diniz confirmed he owns both companies. Airport Trading Centre is engaged in real estate and is landlord to Express Kenya.

Diniz holdings is the parent company of several businesses owned by Mr Diniz which have interest in real estate, aviation and other sectors.

Paul Wanderi, the second largest shareholder in the listed logistics company with a 5.4 per cent stake, has however questioned the origin of the loans and their benefits to Express Kenya.

His holding will be diluted to four per cent after the conversion.

“CMA should check whether the loans were issued at arms-length and did they benefit the company because they have to protect the retail investors,” said Mr Wanderi. “I would be surprised if CMA allows companies to run down listed companies and then convert debt to equity,” he added.

Mr Diniz, who is also the chief executive of Express Kenya, said shareholders approved the plan last Friday during the company’s annual general meeting where it was presented as any other business.

The transaction will see Airport Trading and Diniz Holdings take a combined 25.3 per cent of Express Kenya. Ectoville, also owned by Mr Diniz, is the majority shareholder with a 60.4 per cent shareholding which will be diluted to 45.1 per cent after the conversion.

READ: Express Kenya to build 224 houses in Industrial Area

Mr Diniz also holds 178,700 shares, 0.5 per cent of the company, in his individual capacity. This means his total shareholding will be 70.9 per cent up from 60.9 per cent when the deal goes through.

Going by the company’s annual report for the period ended December, it’s borrowing from related parties stood at Sh14.1 million though.

The report indicates total borrowings at Sh114 million with Sh42 million being a long-term bank loan, Sh7 million a short term bank loan, Sh50 million in overdraft and the remaining as related parties.

Mr Diniz, however, said Sh14 million was only a short-term debt to related parties but there was an additional amount classified as long-term.

Express Kenya has posted mixed results in the last five years, dipping back to the red last year with a Sh77.3 million loss from a Sh229,000 profit in 2013.

To boost its performance, the company has turned to real estate with plans to build 224 apartments on its Likoni Road property.


"Express Kenya CEO Hector Diniz edges closer to owning 71 per cent of its shares"