The News Brief: Report: Youth, women tenders just on paper

Here is your summary of stories making headlines in the Star.

In Summary

The Star News Brief gives you a summary of the stories making headlines in Kenya today and offers you a glimpse of what to expect in tomorrow's newspaper.

30 per cent tender quota for youth, women just on paper

The empowerment of the youths, women and people with disabilities through the reservation of at least 30 per cent of state procurements for the disadvantaged group seems to be merely on paper. A report by the Public Procurement Regularity Authority has revealed that most county and national government agencies are not reserving the tenders for the lot.

The report tabled in Parliament further discloses that most of the government entities are not filing their procurements documents with the Authority to ascertain their compliance with the 30 per cent reservation requirement as stipulated in the law. In the report that captures procurements by state and county government entities for the second half of 2019-20 financial year, only 148 entities submitted to PPRA their procurement contracts.

Interior ministry mismanaging births, deaths registries

The Interior ministry is on the spot following audit findings pointing out mismanagement of the country’s civil registries. Auditor General Nancy Gathungu, in a report tabled in Parliament, revealed that the Civil Registration Department has not been listing all deaths and births.

The auditor reported that civil registration services cannot fully account for all births and deaths since registration rates are still below 100 per cent. The auditor raised concern that the government, through the registration services, has not created a need or urgency for mandatory citizens listing. Thus, the citizens don’t seem to be aware of the need for civil registration and the importance of obtaining birth and death certificates.

Queries as Uhuru, Raila lock ruto out of BBI consensus talks

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his handshake partner Raila Odinga have locked out Deputy President William Ruto and his allies from the ongoing BBI consensus building. In what is seen as setting the stage to push the DP for a contest in the proposed referendum to ratify some of the Constitutional amendments contained in the report, Uhuru and Raila have separately met some of the leaders who have raised reservations on the report.

On Monday last week, the two co-chaired a meeting in Naivasha that brought together Jubilee’s Kieleweke faction and ODM legislators. On Friday last week, President Uhuru held talks with Musalia Mudavadi, Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetangula at State House, Nairobi. Ruto has repeatedly called for consensus with the latest being on Saturday during the wedding of Nakuru senator Susan Kihika and businessman Sam Mburu.

Why Safaricom has registered rare plunge in profits

Suspension of major betting firms in Kenya dented Safaricom’s income for the first six months of the year, with the value of transactions from the segment dropping by 59.3 per cent. The firm’s half-year financial results released yesterday shows the value of transactions from betting dropped to Sh49.2 billion from Sh83 billion similar period last year.

Kenya Betting Control and Licensing Board revoked licenses for SportPesa and Betin, which controlled up to 70 per cent of sport betting in the country over tax compliance disputes. The shutdown of major betting firms and zero-rating of M-Pesa transactions to cushion low-income users from ravages of Covid-19 saw general M-Pesa earnings drop 14.5 per cent to Sh35.9 billion compared to Sh42 billion the previous year. The waiver of fees for M-Pesa transactions below Sh1000 in March denied the company Sh9 billion in revenue in the first six months of the year.

Cohen case: Wairimu now wants murder trial dropped

Tob Cohen’s widow Sarah Wairimu now wants the court to declare her trial for the alleged murder of her husband a mistrial. In an application filed in court last Friday by her lawyers, Wairimu argues that the case against her is founded on hearsay and that it was built on malicious investigation process with the view to deny her the right to inherit her matrimonial properties after the death of her husband.

Wairimu, who had a rocky marriage with the late Dutch businessman Cohen, is accused of masterminding the disappearance of her husband in July last year. The decomposing body of Cohen was later discovered in an underground water tank at their home along Farasi Lane in Loresho. Shas denied the murder charges. She lodged the petition in the constitutional and human rights division of the High court to undermine the foundation of the charges with a hope to quash them.