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Kilifi public rejects draft Finance Bill

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Kilifi county on September 4th called for a public consultative meeting to get endorsement of the public on the draft finance bill. The meeting started at 10.30am and the attendance was impressive with close to 300 people comprising of mainly BMOs and farmer organisations from Mtwapa, Majengo and Kikambala. Self representation from locally practicing doctors, religious leaders and also well-informed youth attended. Interestingly no political representative attended. Kilifi County Government was represented by Ms. Martha from the Kilifi Revenue Collection office and her counterparts from Mtwapa office. She briefly explained the role of the Finance Bill in project funding and the importance of public consultations. The County Government of Kilifi had earlier on sought public views on the prioritization of development projects and those views were recorded in the County Development Integrated Development Plan (CIDP) available on the County website. By referring to this document, the county government had taken up specific development projects in the past financial year but the Constitution required them to consult with the public every year prior to allocating funds for different projects. 

The County had delayed in submitting their budget proposal to Central Government but were allowed an extra 90 days which expires today on 30th of September. They therefore required public endorsement so as to submit the budget within the period. 

Public Response/ Request

Different members of public made the following requests/observations;

1. Why wasn't the draft Finance Bill circulated/ posted on website/ distributed to the public 14 days prior to consultations as per the constitution of Kenya?
2. Why was the invite to the public forum published on the Saturday Nation (30th August 2014) and announced through the public system to limited areas only hours prior to the forum?
3. Seeing as the Bill consisted of 42 printed pages, how was the public supposed to review such a document and ratify within 8 hours?
4. Where were the previous years accounts on revenue collected for accountability and transparency?
5. What services had the county government offered to the community to warrant introduction of such fees as bus park/stadium/toilet fees which do not exist in Mtwapa?
6. How come the draft Finance Bill lacked a comparative column showing current fees charged against proposed fees as is the norm?

Having noted the above the county representatives were asked to step out of the hall for a short while to allow the public to consult and agree on the way forward. 

During the Community meeting, it emerged that;

1. The Chief Revenue Officer of Kilifi had met 35 ward representatives two days earlier hoping to get a buy in from them for the draft Bill to sail through the public forums.
2. The 35 ward representatives however requested the harmonization of the current charges and  the proposed ones be done based on the average charges of all wards in the county as a condition for endorsing the draft.
3. The Mtwapa business community had presented a three page memorandum to H. E. the governor of Kilifi on how to improve service delivery and the governor requested for 14 days to respond the the memorandum. How then would he expect the public to read and ratify a 42 page document in eight hours.
4. There are no social amenities in some towns in Kilifi County yet the county government has been charging fees on the same.
5. Prior to ratifying the circulated draft, the county government should have provided accounts for collections made in the last financial year so as to ensure transparency since there is no need for 80 per cent seepage of revenue due to corrupt officers which is an additional cost to the business community.
6. A strategic plan on revenue collection utilization is yet to be presented to the community for scrutiny.  Why should they pay more to a bottomless pit, so to speak.

CONCLUSION

The county representatives were called into the Hall and informed as follows;
1. The community shall not accept any presentation or discussion from the county representatives regarding the draft Bill since they had not read it.
2. The community through their leaders shall present a memorandum to the Governor through his representatives at the same Makio Hall on Wednesday 10th September 2014 at 9 am.
3. Before Wednesday, the correct (with a comparison column) draft bill should be posted online and distributed to the Kilifi South community for review,    otherwise a memo shall be written to the Treasury citing a lack of consultations hence non-endorsement of the draft Bill.
4. A final warning was given to the county government of Kilifi with regards to mediocre presentation to the people of Kilifi South. Acceptable timelines should be observed when consultations are done otherwise stern action shall be taken by them.

Though heated, the power of an informed representation from the community was felt and the county representatives apologized to them. 

It was agreed that the meeting shall take place on Wednesday, 10th September 2014. The Salt Sub-sector requested 14 days to present their memorandum to the county government which was approved. 

There being no further consultations the forum ended.

CS Ngilu assures investors that the Law will protect their land interests in the country

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CS Ngilu assures investors that the Law will protect their land interests in the country

September 29, 2014, Nairobi : The Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Lands, Urban Housing and Urban Development  today (September 29) assured foreign investors in the country that Article 65 of the Constitution will not impact negatively on their land ownership once their leases run out, a top official of Kenya Association of Manufacturers has said.  There had been a concern  by the investors has been the stipulation that non citizens can only hold land leases with tenure of 99 year. The assurance came during a meeting held today after the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) paid her a courtesy call. are therefore concerned whether these parcels of land qualify for automatic renewal after expiry.


Section 13 of the Land Act 2012, states that upon expiry of the lease land shall be offered to the immediate past holder if the land is not required by the national or county government. Mrs. Ngilu explained that land should not be held for speculation purposes and would only be  repossessed if it was not being put to use. She also clarified that the Chief Land Registrar will now sign leases and that the County government cannot register titles, they can only give land for use implying that the national government would have a role to play in the transfer of land upon the expiry of a lease. She further promised to safeguard the interests of investors with regard to land.  “We are going through some changes and will work on amendments to the laws which are inconsistent with the Constitution.  They were passed in a hurry because there was a deadline but we have now put a team together to do these amendments,” she said.


The Cabinet Secretary also said that the ministry had developed an automated system of printing leases and they are currently keying them in into the system and verifying their authenticity.. About 17,000 leases are pending and should be done within the next 3 months. Companies that have done subdivisions and developed properties that they now want to dispose will soon be able to do this as the process is almost complete. The ministry has also put in place a system to allow Kenyans to do a search online.  

The manufacturers also asked her to look into the system of paying land raters as they are not able to get confirmations of payment and also to look into the problem of zoning as there were difficulties. “Conflict is arising from a lack of respect of zoning and there are many invasions of land originally set aside for manufacturing purposes,” said Ms. Betty Maina, the CEO of KAM calling for a solution that would not force evictions.

She cited quarry factories off mlolongo that had to be relocated due to residential settlements which conflict with quarrying activities and factories in Athi River area which spill over to Kitengela, a densely populated residential area. Similar situations exist at the coast and especially where there are salt mining activities.  

Mrs. Ngilu called for proper physical planning and said that there was need for the ministry to identify and designate land which can be used for manufacturing and other important sectors in order to be in a  position to advise government at all levels. Banks which had been set aside has been depleted since the 1990s and current land banks are being converted for other purposes through the change of user process.


Discussing the Finance Bill in Mombasa

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Mombasa Stakeholders attended a meeting on Friday to discuss the 2014 - 2015 Mombasa Finance Bill. The forum was held at the Kenya School of Government on Friday, 26th September. Among the stakeholders were manufacturers and members of KAM who in the past have been adversely affected by the Finance Bill and have been petitioning the Governor of the County to institute levies and charges after consulting with the business sector. 

Other County Bills under review include

  • The Kwale County Finance Bill, 2014
  • The Business Licensing Bill, 2014
  • The Kwale County Agriculture Cost Sharing Bill, 2014
  • The Kwale County Animal Diseases Bill, 2014
  • The Kwale County Charges under Meat Control Bill, 2014; and 
  • The Kilifi Finance Bill, 2014
For all these bills, you are requested to send your feedback to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and copy This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


National Climate Change Policy and Bill validated at KICC

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The national draft climate change framework policy and bill were today validated in a conference at KICC. The forum was led by Dr. Richard Lesiyampe, the Permanent Secretary, State Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Climate change is increasingly becoming a concern in the country and adaptation and mitigation measures need to be adopted in order to reverse the effects of this phenomenon. Various sectors in the country will be severely affected if climate change is allowed to run its course without any interventions. The Agricultural sector in particular had come under threat and if allowed to continue unabated, the phenomenon would affect the country's economic base and also affect manufacturing activities. "Engaging environmental initiatives is no longer a philanthropic venture but an investment opportunity," said Dr. Lesimpaye as he lauded the role played by the Private sector in drawing up both the bill and policy. He pointed out that Climate change and called for technological change to counteract the effects of the change. 

Counteractive measures cannot be adopted without a legal and policy framework making it necessary to come up with a national climate change policy and bill for more coordinated and streamlined efforts. Martha Cheruto, EO, Energy was the Vice Chair of the national task force charged with drawing up the policy and bill. 

Climate change is as a result of Green House Gas (GHG) emissions into the atmosphere which heat up the earth beyond normal levels. Due to the small size of them manufacturing sector, emissions from the local industrial sector are still low and is estimated at 0.3 MtCO2e annually. However projections show that this emissions could increase to considerably by the year 2030 especially if the industrialisation plans outlined in Vision 2030 are achieved. 

Manufacturers will be affected once the bill and policy are adopted because the government will tax production practices unfriendly to the environment and need to be on look out for issues related to aspects in the legal framework such as the polluter pays stipulation. 

The National Taskforce gave participants a deadline of 30th September 2014 to give in their feedback on the both the policy and the bill. You can do this by sending an email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it An analysis of the policy will be done after all comments are incorporated before the bill is presented to Parliament. 

County Government Focuses on Infrastructure Improvement

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County Government Focuses on Infrastructure Improvement

The County Government of Uasin Gishu has recently focused on developing and improving infrastructure within the County. On roads, over 900km of roads have been graded and murraming is being done. The roads in focus include; improvement of link roads that join the main highway. Completion of the Kapsoya road will also ease traffic congestion along the highway and the CBD. There has also been on-going improvement of street lighting and drainage works in Eldoret town alongside tendered for tarmacking of major streets in Eldoret town (64 St, Muliro and Gen. Kago). Furthermore the County Government has embarked on development of walkways for pedestrians along Iten Road and Uganda Road.

Apart from this, development of a new fire station has been tendered at Maili Nne to enhance rapid response by fire and the disaster management team within the region. The County has also focused on increased capacity in roads and survey divisions for efficient delivery of service.

IPOA strategic plan

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 IPOA launches its 4 year strategic plan

The independent Oversight Authority (IPOA) on 11th September 2014 launched its strategic plan for 2014 – 2018.This Strategic Plan highlights several strategies that IPOA intends to adopt to implement its mandate and functions,and achieve desired outputs during the four-year planning period.These strategies include: organizational development, performance management, ICT,resource mobilization, stakeholder engagement, communication and outreach, mainstreaming human rights, diversity and ethical behavior, and mainstreaming gender.These strategies willimprove IPOA’s impact and effectiveness in the ongoing police reform agenda in the country.The strategies will also entrench the relevance of policing oversight in Kenya.

For more information please contact: georgina.wachuk This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) Consortium Meetings on Local Private Sector Caucus establishment

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KAM participated in the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) Consortium Meetings on Local Private Sector Caucus establishment held 10 – 12th September. The meeting was organised by SGR Consortium whose mandate is to facilitate effective local private sector involvement both in the construction and post construction process of the railway network. The agenda was establishment of local private caucuses which will form the structures and framework essential to engage the SGR contractor (CRBC: China Roads and Bridge Company).

The caucuses will provide a platform for representing local capabilities as highlighted in the draft bills of quantities as well as to renegotiate expected capacity of local content to be integrated within the SGR project.

Key issues raised:

     1.     There lacks clear structures and framework through which to define the 40% local content input; clarity on whether local content means locally produced/manufactured products or locally source products regardless of whether imported or locally manufactured is required.

     2.      There is a time constraint given that the SGR construction has already been commissioned by the President and the commencement date due in October, 2014.

     3.      Currently CRBC has not shared the full SGR draft bill of quantities and the initial 5 year work plan with the local private sector; this is hampering the local players to identify what areas they can take up during construction and post construction stages.

     4.      The local private sector is still in the dark about the ongoing review of SGR work plan to reduce it from 5 years to between 3 -4 yrs.


Way Forward

     1.      Putting in mind that CRBC is the main contractor with the full discretion on sub contracting, SGR consortium should enhance proactive involvement of the private sector in SGR project, and negotiate for local content adoption by the contractor through effective caucus representation; Every caucus to be represented by two nominated members.

2.     Urgently seek to access full information on SGR draft bill of quantities and material specifications to assist the local private sector to participate effectively.

3.      SGR consortium to work with all stakeholders and government agencies to ensure CRBC provides for knowledge transfer framework in readiness for handover of the project after completion.

4.      In the spirit of 'Buy Kenya Build Kenya' the consortium should as well consider looking into broad based issues of customs and tariffs to review maximum opportunity for the local private sector involvement in the SGR construction process.

Update on EAC - EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) Negotiations

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Update on EAC - EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) Negotiations

An emergency Extra-ordinary Meeting of the Sectoral Council on Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment (SCTIFI) was held on  9 – 10 September 2014 in Arusha to consider the way forward on the EAC-EU EPA negotiations in view of the issues that remain outstanding and the deadline of the EU Market Access Regulation 1528/2007 on 1st October 2014. 

The meeting was attended by Senior Officials and Ministers from EAC Partner States with the exception of the Republic of Burundi and the United Republic of Tanzania, who informed the Secretariat that they were unable to attend due to the short notice for convening the meeting. In line with the EAC Rules of Procedure, the meeting proceeded on a consultative basis, and the outcome will be submitted to the Republic of Burundi and the United Republic of Tanzania for their comments.

The discussions focused on the outstanding issues, after no agreement was reached by EAC and EU in the Kigali meeting.

Outcome

The Ministerial meeting reached a consensus on all the five areas below where EAC and the EU have had divergence for a very long time:

     1.      Duties and Taxes on Exports

     2.      Domestic Policy Measures

     3.      Relations to Cotonou Agreement

     4.      Good Governance in Taxes

     5.      Consequences from other Custom Union Agreement concluded with EU


A road map for conclusion and initialing the EPA by 30th September 2014 was also agreed upon. It is due for consideration to the EAC full Council meeting scheduled to take place between 15th and 20th September 2014.


Given this status KAM would like to clarify that:

      ·        Initialing of the EPA by 30 September 2014 will play a key role in the reintegration of Kenya and other EAC Partner States in the Market Access Regulation (MAR) 1528 of December 2007.

      ·         The Government is working round the clock to have Kenya and other EAC Partner States reinstated in the MAR on the basis of the initialed EPA. If this effort bares fruits before 30th September 2014, Kenya will continue exporting to the EU market on duty free basis.

      ·         If current efforts by the Government fail to have Kenya reintegrated by 30th September 2014, it means that Kenya will start trading with the EU on GSP basis with effect from 1st October 2014, where most of Kenyan products will start attracting import tariff.

      ·         The period under Kenya will continue trading under GSP, if the effort for reintegration into MAR by 30 September fails will be very short. Assuming that the EPA is initialed by 30th September, it is estimated that it will take 8 to 12 weeks to have Kenya and other EAC countries reintegrated to MAR through an EU process of MAR amendment. It is therefore important that the EPA be initialed by 30th September to ensure that the GSP trading arrangement lasts the shortest time possible.

For more details please contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

Nyanza/Western August 2014

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Nyanaza/Western

Regions Plan Investor Forum

Investment in value addition, logistics and storage for agricultural produce tops the Agenda as western Kenya Counties prepare for a symposium of farmers, financiers and investors. Sixteen county governments keen on attracting the bulging young population to farming will attend the meeting, which will be held at Kisumu’s Tom Mboya labour college from September 24 to September 27. More than 500 delegates from the public and private sectors are expected to attend. The symposium will seek ways of engaging counties and the national government to promote Agricultural focused policies.

The forum is expected to push for public private partnerships and investment in areas that will boost incomes of millions of small scale farmers who are the bulk of the regions poor. “The Western Kenya Agribusiness Exchange will, among other things, facilitate structuring of joint initiatives, including public private partnerships and external financing”, planners said.

Kisumu, Siaya, Homa bay, Kisii, Nyamira, Migori, Busia, Kericho and Nandi which have been working on how to ease trade in agricultural commodities, are among the counties that will participate. Under the theme, “Unlocking Agribusiness Potential of Lake Victoria Trading Bloc”, the symposium seeks to explore financing models for value chains, review policies to boost commercial farming and open regional markets for farm produce.

The participants include agro based companies, logistic firms, banks, insurers, private equity funds, Universities, county officials and civil society organizations. Firms from India, China, Latin America and the US have been invited to showcase agribusiness innovation that suit local conditions.

The Lake Victoria Trading bloc is a market for more than 120 million people living in 16 Counties in Kenya and bordering parts of Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, DRC and South Sudan. The majority of the regions’ population depends on natural resources and subsistence agriculture for livelihood. The bloc hopes to encourage the regions to specialize on their strong areas and open markets for each other’s produce. Through partnership with governments, it hopes to boost access to input and more resources for irrigation, climate change mitigation and other needs.

Uasin Gishu Chapter August 2014

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UASIN GISHU CHAPTER AND SURROUNDING REGIONS NEWSLETTER

Elgeyo Marakwet County Plans To Focus On Value Addition Industries

The importance of industrialization and value addition on produce cannot be over-emphasized. Over the years there has been a demand for value addition to farm produce in order for the farm produce to attract better prices in markets. Since the county’s major economic activity is agricultural production, development of agro-based industries that would boost the residents’ income from farming is vital. The need for value addition is not only confined to the agricultural production but also in other sectors such as tourism and mining whose products would fetch more returns in improved forms.

 According to Ann Kibosia, the CEC, Trade, Tourism and Industry there is need to build the capacity of the people so as to focus on value addition industries. “With the devolved system of government and establishment of Counties, there is need to encourage people on value addition so as to increase returns and improve livelihoods,” said Kibosia.

Industrial investment in the county has been relatively low not withstanding the increased farm production from irrigated farming that has created huge potential for fruits and vegetable extraction industries in addition to opportunities of abattoir industries along the Valley offered by the successful livestock activities at the county. In striving to achieve value addition demands in the county, the Elgeyo Marakwet County plans to focus on; construction of potato processing plants, milk processing plants, integrated fruit processing plant, coffee milling plant, tea factory, an abattoir, fish processing industry, sub ginnery for cotton processing among other value addition industries.

Working Group validates the Illicit Trade Manual for Prosecutors

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A working Group comprised of a cross section of stakeholders drawn from all sectors is currently validating the Illicit Trade Manual for Prosecutors in Naivasha in a two day workshop. The meeting is being chaired by Hon. Abdulqadir Lorot, a Senior Principal Magistrate at the Judiciary and a member of the NCAJ technical working group. The Illicit Trade Manual for prosecutors has been as a result of recent alignments in the judiciary where with the adoption of Court Users Committees, justice is no longer the preserve of the judiciary but rather seen a chain issue. Representatives from government ministries and agencies involved in any way with the law and regulation are attending the meeting. KAM has been playing a coordinating role since the inception of the process as local manufacturers are severely affect by the issues of trade in Illicit goods and are usually the victims. 

This is the second validation meeting before the manual is presented to the Judiciary and published. 

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