March 4, 2015

Kenya seeks arrest of high profile US whistle-blower


One of the two foreigners whose arrest a Kenyan court is seeking over the Anglo Leasing scandal is a high-profile whistle-blower protected by a deal with the United States government, Business Daily report. Mr Bradley Birkenfeld, 50, was a prosecution witness who helped expose widespread tax fraud by wealthy Americans using Swiss bank accounts. A former employee at Swiss bank UBS, he also served two years in jail for helping a rich American in California dodge federal taxes. He is on “supervised release” (probation) in New Hampshire and is not allowed to leave the United States without permission. His testimony…

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Equity Group set to open chain of health clinics


Equity Bank has begun hiring health professionals ahead of plans to open a chain of clinics across Kenya, as the lender seeks to cash in on the increased demand for healthcare. The Nairobi bourse listed bank is currently recruiting a chief nursing officer, chief laboratory technologist, finance manager and an IT manager to set up and run its network of health centres dubbed ‘Equity Afia’. The ‘Equity Afia’ chain of clinics will offer diagnostic services, laboratory tests, outpatient care, pharmacy dispensing, dental services and health screening to individuals and companies. The health business will be run as a franchised network…

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Follow these steps to get high yields from passion fruits


Passion fruit (Passiflora edulis) is a very profitable crop, but what has stopped many farmers from growing it is the high prevalence of diseases that cause vines to die. The crop requires a well-draining soil rich in organic matter. Lighter soils are the best; black cotton soils can be improved by adding sand and large amounts of compost. Soils rich in organic matter (compost) suppress diseases due to their microbial activity. The pH of the soil should be between 6.5 and 7.5. If it is lower, lime needs to be applied and incorporated into the soil several weeks prior to…

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Millionaire rises from Mwea’s rice fields


When he was first employed, Charles Njiru Kaburu earned Sh3 to repair a trouser and Sh1.50 cents to mend a shirt. Now, he controls a multi-million shilling empire. Due to his entrepreneurial spirit, Mkombozi has attracted the attention of the powerful and mighty. In 2011, former President Mwai Kibaki awarded him a State Commendation. Last year, President Uhuru Kenyatta invited him for a State dinner during Mashujaa Day celebrations. Farmers in Mwea gave him the moniker ‘Mkombozi’ (saviour), for starting an affordable credit line. The former tailor and hawker now owns matatus, lorries, supermarkets and a Sh300 million rice factory….

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How a Kenyan kid is using poop to clean up his school


CNN Marketplace Africa covers the macro trends impacting the region and also focuses on the continent’s key industries and corporations (CNN)When Leroy Mwasaru‘s school in western Kenya faced a sewage problem, the teenager and a group of friends set out to fix it. It all started after tractors clearing land for the construction of a new dorm at the Maseno school near Kisumu encountered pit latrines. During the building process faeces started leaking into a nearby stream. “There was uproar from the local community,” Mwasaru recalls. “It was the only source of fresh water, and nobody wants faeces in their…

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Fresh evidence on Sh9bn inflated cost on new JKIA terminal

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New evidence has emerged of how the contract for the construction of a modern passenger terminal at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport was varied by more than Sh9 billion. The revelation comes a few days after the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) sent home four top managers, including Managing Director Lucy Mbugua, to pave the way for investigations into alleged corruption at the region’s largest airport. The contract, signed in 2013 between the authority and Chinese firm Anhui Construction Engineering Group Ltd, was a variation of the original contract signed in 2011, with the introduction of a new inflated provision for Sh9.5…

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US tyre company Goodyear to pay Sh1 billion for bribery in Kenya


American tyre company Goodyear has been fined Sh1.5 billion ($16 million) by US regulators over allegations that its subsidiaries paid bribes to secure business in Kenya and Angola. According to a document from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) seen by the Nation, the management of Goodyear’s Kenyan subsidiary, Treadsetters Tyres Limited, authorised and paid bribes to employees of government-owned and affiliated entities. The alleged bribes were paid in cash and recorded on Treadsetters’ books as expenses for promotional products. Between 2007 and 2011, the SEC alleges that Treadsetters paid more than Sh136 million ($1.5 million) in bribes to…

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Kenyan tech innovators chosen for BBC digital pilot

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Two groups of Kenyan tech innovators have been selected to help the BBC reach young African audiences through social and digital platforms. The young digital specialists from Go Sheng Services and Ongair were chosen from 13 teams from across Africa and the US. They had all participated at a BBC “hackathon” event held in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, earlier this month. They will be funded to pilot and user test prototypes over six months. ‘Excited’ “I am delighted that the first Africa-based BBC Connected Studio event, aimed at driving innovation using local expertise and knowledge, has produced such a high level…

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[PHOTOS] List of top ten Kenyan hotels released

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US travel website Trip Advisor has released a list of top hotels in the world. The list has also also released top hotels in each region of the world. The top Kenyan hotels were also listed and were based on reviews and ratings by travelers done over the last one year. The best hotel in the world was listed as Gili Lankanfushi in the Maldives while the best hotel in the US was listed as The Langham in Chicago. Here is the list of Kenya’s best hotels as per the website. 1.Medina Palms in Watamu, Kilifi County 2.Fairmont Mara Safari Club,…

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Gachie estate, an awakening giant


In the current rush for property investments, Gachie holds a great, untapped potential. Located in the outskirts of Nairobi, Gachie estate for many years rarely had anything to write home about. It was infamous for insecurity, as a den to notorious criminals such as the late Matheri and for being prone to perennial attacks by the outlawed Mungiki sect. However, Gachie has made tremendous strides to regain its past glory. It is home to a serene environment, with an endless supply of water in both dry and wet seasons. Situated just 15km from the Nairobi CBD, a 15-minute drive to…

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