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Shilling hits historic low of 119 against the dollar ahead of polls

The Kenyan shilling has for the first time crossed the Sh119 mark against the dollar.
The Kenyan shilling has for the first time crossed the Sh119 mark against the dollar, triggering costly imports and higher international debt repayments ahead of Tuesday’s general elections.
Central bank of Kenya (CBK) data shows the shilling traded at 119.13 units against the bullish dollar on Monday.
The Kenyan currency has been on the back foot since mid-May last year when it stood at Sh106.40 on the combination of weak inflows and strong dollar demand across sectors.
The shilling has depreciated 1.47 percent since the beginning of the year and analysts project worse performance in the coming weeks due to post-election jitters as well as runaway oil prices.
“Looking ahead, the currency is set to continue losing ground against the USD on the back of election-related uncertainty, a wide current account deficit and eroded foreign exchange reserves,” analysts at Barcelona-based FocusEconomics wrote in a report.
A depreciating shilling means that importers will be spending more on bringing in goods such as petroleum products and raw materials for factories, raising the cost of inputs for firms that normally pass the additional expenses to consumers.
The volatile shilling also looks set to increase electricity prices through higher forex levy on power bills, reflecting the impact of the strengthening dollar on household budgets.
Exporters of agricultural products such as tea, coffee and horticulture who are largely paid in dollars are however set to benefit from the weakening of the Kenyan currency as they will end up earning more.
Official data shows imports rose 20.87 percent year-on-year to Sh194 billion in January compared to an 11.21 percent rise in exports to Sh60.41 billion.
Kenyans receiving money from relatives abroad are also counting forex gains on the greenback which they exchange for shillings before spending locally. – nation.africa

More than 13,000 people have crossed English Channel into the UK

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, following a small boat incident in the Channel. Picture date: Monday August 8, 2022.
More than 13,000 people have crossed the Channel since the Rwanda deportation scheme was announced, new figures show.
No one has been sent to the central African country since the policy was announced on 13 April by Home Secretary Priti Patel.
Since 14 April, 13,016 people have crossed the English Channel in small boats – with five vessels totalling 176 people making the journey last Sunday alone, the Ministry of Defence has said.
The total number of people to have crossed this year now stands at 18,284.
Some 28,526 crossed in small boats in 2021; 8,466 in 2020; 1,843 in 2019 and 199 in 2018.
On Monday, photographs showed another group of migrants – wearing life jackets and face masks – being brought into Dover by Border Force officials.
A number of children and babies were among those moved from the vessel on to a waiting bus.
According to analysis by the PA news agency, 1,885 people have been brought to the UK so far in August – more than half of the 3,053 people rescued in August last year.
Both candidates to be the next prime minister have committed to continuing the policy.
The singular flight scheduled to take people from the UK to Rwanda was halted at the 11th hour following a legal challenge.
A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, onboard a Border Force vessel following a small boat incident in the Channel. Picture date: Monday August 8, 2022.
The government has not ruled out leaving Europe’s human rights framework after the last-ditch legal rulings.
People smugglers in Iraq have told Sky News that they are following what happens – and that some people may be discouraged from making the journey due to the policy.
“People were scared of going to Britain and being deported to Rwanda, but I think this decision is halted for now so migration started again,” one smuggler said.
“If the Rwanda policy is applied though, I think people will back out from travelling to Britain and go to Europe instead. They would not go to Britain.”
Court documents have revealed that Ms Patel was advised against enacting the scheme by officials, including the UK’s High Commissioner to Rwanda.
In February 2021, they raised the fact the country “has been accused of recruiting refugees to conduct armed operations in neighbouring countries”.
In April, Ms Patel hailed the Rwanda deal as a “world-class” plan that provided a “blueprint” for other countries to follow.
“The UK asylum system is collapsing under a combination of real humanitarian crises and evil people smugglers profiteering by exploiting the system for their own gains,” she said.
“This has devastating consequences for the countless men, women and children who have tragically lost their lives or loved ones on perilous journeys.
“A global leadership is required to find new innovative solutions to this growing problem.”
The week the deal was announced was the busiest of the year for crossings, with 2,076 people travelling across the Channel. – skynews

Win for UDA as Court of Appeal suspends use of manual register

UDA scored a win on Monday evening after the Appellate court temporarily suspended a decision directing IEBC to use manual register concurrently with the electronic register, pending the determination of an appeal the party has filed.

The bench of three judges stated that the electoral body will use the directions in the case by NASA in 2017 where the court ordered that IEBC to use the printed register of voters only in instances where the KIEMS kits completely fail with no possibility of repair or replacement. – nation.africa.

Banks, staff on the spot for clients’ money fraud

Central Bank of Kenya. CBK has cautioned that rising fraud in banking and mobile money services risks eroding customer confidence, turning the spotlight on banks and their staff.
Rising fraud in banking and mobile money services risks eroding customer confidence, the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has cautioned, turning the spotlight on banks and their staff.
In a banking sector stability report released yesterday, the CBK said money lost through cybercrime and phone fraud remained high in 2021.
“Rapid adoption of mobile money has been categorised as disruptive in the financial services provision. It has, however, come with new risks and raised consumer protection issues, with implications on financial stability risks,” it said.
The report said customers who reported to have lost money through cybercrime accounted for 6.1 per cent for mobile bank users, 25.9 per cent for mobile money users and 6.8 per cent for bank account users.
Money lost through fraud was reported at 7.5 per cent and 53.3 per cent of mobile bank users who attributed the loss to internal (from the provider) fraud and phone-related fraud respectively.
Implications
On other hand, 34.5 per cent and 25.9 per cent of bank account holders attributed the loss to internal fraud and phone-related fraud, respectively, with “implications on consumer confidence and overall financial stability,” CBK warned.
The rapid adoption of digital financial services has come with increased cyberattack threats, as captured in reports by the National Kenya Computer Incident Response Team Coordination Centre, which is mandated to coordinate response and manage cybersecurity incidents.
The centre detected 158.4 million cyber threats as of June 30, 2021, up from 110.9 million in 2020. This surge directed at local targets was due to increased Internet penetration, uptake of e-commerce and cloud-based services to support remote working and increased social media use.
New customers
The CBK data shows that new client uptake of mobile money accounts eased towards the end of 2021.
By December, mobile money providers had 27.1 million active customers, up from 25.7 million in 2020, or a 5.3 per cent annual growth in new customers.
In total, 1.9 million new mobile money customers were registered in the 12 months to December 2021, down from 3.6 million new customers registered between January and December 2020. – nation.africa.

INTRODUCING ROYAL GARDENS-NGONG AT A SPECIAL OFFER OF KSHS. 799,000 FOR THE FIRST 10 CASH BUYERS

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As our tradition, we offer strategic and value-added properties at an affordable price and Royal Gardens – Ngong is not different. Despite the prices of land in Ngong rising over the last couple of years, we are offering an eighth-acre plot at an Opening Offer of Ksh 829,000 only
Experience royal status in Ngong without breaking the bank!

Location

The project is located 10 minutes’ drive from Ngong Town and a few metres from Ngong – Suswa tarmac.
Soil Type – The soil is good for Construction and Farming

Value additions
• Graded access roads
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• Water and Electricity in the neighbourhood

Introductory Prices (per 1/8th acre Plot)

Cash Prices: Kshs. 829,000 (Ksh 80,000 deposit, balance within 30 days)
Special Offer: First 10 cash buyers to buy at Ksh 799,000.
An Instalment option of up to 12 months is also available as shown below;

• 3 months – Ksh 850,000
• 6 months – Ksh 871,000
• 9 months – Ksh 892,000
• 12 months – Ksh 913,000

The minimum booking fee for each plot is Kshs. 80,000 only. The price is all-inclusive i.e. legal fees, stamp duty and title transfer fees with no hidden charges.

Special Offer: Buy 10 plots and get 1 absolutely free.

Title Transfer: The registration of the title deed takes between 6 – 10 months upon completion of payment.)

To View

We have free site visits every Wednesday and Saturday. The meeting point will be at Kencom at 7:30 am.
CALL TO ACTION
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Second-hand vehicle dealers opt for short-term rentals

Some second-hand car dealers have resorted to renting out vehicles for events due to low sales attributed to the global supply chain woes hurting imports.
Kenya imports most second-hand vehicles from Japan and other Asian countries, but the Covid-19 pandemic slowed down the production of new vehicles, which has had a spiral effect on prices.
Most new car buyers overseas have been holding onto their vehicles much longer resulting in fewer units being available for resale in developing markets. With a drop in sales due to the rising prices, dealers have crafted new sources of revenue through car hire services.
“The economic crisis has affected us. During the pandemic, there were no weddings and we were out of business, however, now it’s picking up,” said Mr John Ndwati, a sales manager at an auto dealership in Nairobi.
He says the weddings and other pompous events are coming back hence some of the vehicles in the dealership are hired out.
“This limousine [pointing at a parked goldish black limo] goes for Sh20,000 per hour,” he said.
Weddings and ceremonies in Kenya are typically lavish functions hosting hundreds of people. The car hire business has started picking among second-hand vehicle dealers since last year.
Some merchants however still remain in the sales business strictly.
“At our auto shop, we strictly sell vehicles and not rent them out,” said Ms Terry Mwihaki, a used car dealer.
The Kenyan wedding industry was among the hardest hit sectors of the economy during the pandemic. – businessdailyafrica.

KQ headache as Schiphol extends passenger limits

Kenya Airways (KQ) will have to cope with reduced revenue on the European route as Schiphol International airport extends passenger caps to October.
Schiphol has advised airlines that it will be extending the limits on outbound passengers from the facility to October, from the initial August date, which it had issued.
The move implies that KQ and other carriers will not be allowed to operate at full capacity out of Schiphol.
In June, Amsterdam capped the number of passengers that the national carrier can carry from Schiphol to Nairobi to 78 percent of its capacity on every flight, meaning that the airline is flying empty seats out of the Netherlands.
“Schiphol will set a maximum number of passengers per day for the months of September and October as well after consultation with airlines. In September, there will be a maximum of 67,500 local departures per day,” said the airport on its official website.
Europe was the second-highest revenue earner for the airline last year raking in Sh11.3 billion and the latest development meant that the carrier’s earnings will be impacted negatively.
Kenya Airways suspended the sale of tickets from London to Nairobi last month, as airports in Europe continue to grapple with a shortage of manpower.
The move follows a directive by Heathrow Airport instructing airlines to freeze outbound bookings until September, as it contends with a surge in the number of passengers using the facility amid a shortage of manpower to manage the situation.
Major airports in Europe have been grappling with a sharp rise in the number of passengers on the back of a shortage of workers, as the airlines and airports struggle to recruit back after cutting jobs at the height of Covid-19 in 2020.
Heathrow and Schiphol are the busiest airports in Europe as airlines use them as transit hubs to other regions across the world. – businessdailyafrica.com

Children’s home director jailed for 100 years for defilement

Stephen Nzuki Mutisya, 29, was handed down the long jail term by Milimani Senior Principal Magistrate Zainab Abdul who said the act was beastly and inhuman.
The director of a children’s home who was convicted of defiling boys under his care has been jailed for 100 years.
Stephen Nzuki Mutisya, 29, was handed the long jail term by Milimani Senior Principal Magistrate Zainab Abdul, who said the act was beastly and inhuman.
Mutisya defiled the boys at a children’s home in Utawala estate in Nairobi between 2010 and 2016. “Boys and girls of tender age need to be protected by the court with all its mighty from such unkind human beings,” ruled Ms Abdula.
The magistrate said courts are empowered by the law to protect the vulnerable by issuing severe sentences against such men to serve as a lesson to those bent on violating the rights of children.
Mutisya, the court noted, had been entrusted to care for and guide the boys properly and impart good values as he had held himself out as a practising Christian.
“The accused is a wolf in a sheep’s skin. His actions have betrayed him. He misapplied and misquoted the holy scriptures to woo the victims into believing what he was doing to them was godly,” ruled Ms Abdul.
As a result of misleading the boys by quoting the Bible and abusing them sexually, the magistrate said, he went against his initial calling as a model for the boys from poor backgrounds.
Mutisya was found guilty of defiling the minors between 2010 and 2016.
Sentencing Mutisya, the magistrate considered the recorded views of the victims, who had urged the court to impose a deterrent sentence.
“The court has considered the victims’ impact report which was filed before this court. The victims were grateful to the court, which convicted the accused,” Ms Abdul.
She added: “The victims asked this court to hand down a harsh custodial sentence.”
She said the sentence should act as a lesson to deter others from such an offence.
When she convicted the accused late last month, the magistrate said Mutisya took advantage of the children while quoting Bible verses to them in a bid to convince them that his illegal acts were allowed in the Bible.
Ms Abdul said the rapist was positively identified by the victims during the trial.
The victims were below 10 years old.
The offences were committed at (Scream Africa Child Home and Vijiko School) in Utawala, Nairobi County.
Mutisya used to take the boys to his residence, serve them with food and drinks and share Bible stories before violating them. They were defiled at different times between 2010 and 2016. – nation.africa.

ARE TRAVELLING TO SPAIN? YOU NEED TO KNOW THIS

New travel rules for Spain: what documents you need and other Covid requirements this summer
Spain continues to enforce Covid-related entry rules, despite an ever-increasing number of countries scrapping all restrictions.
Arrivals must prove they have either been vaccinated against Covid, have recently recovered from the virus or show evidence of a negative test.
On the ground, face masks are now only required on public transport or in healthcare settings. However, there have been calls to reinstate them in indoor public settings amid rising infection rates. Last month, Spanish health minister Carolina Darias recommended people wear face masks inside and similar announcements have been made by local authorities in Catalonia and Madrid.
And it’s not just Covid regulations which have the potential to confuse travellers in the coming months. A new Brexit quirk has emerged which suggests UK travellers to Spain must be able to show evidence that they have enough money – £85 a day – to support themselves during their visit. However, it seems unlikely travellers will actually be forced to prove this. Find out more, here.

Can I travel to Spain?

Yes, but there are still Covid-related entry requirements. Travellers need to provide one of the following:
1. A certificate of full vaccination: Proof of being fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to arrival in Spain. If more than 270 days have passed since your second dose, proof of a booster vaccination is also required, except for teenagers aged 12 to 17.
2. A certificate of recovery: Proof of recent recovery from Covid. Recovery certificates issued by the official authorities will be valid at least 11 days after the first NAAT diagnostic test or positive antigen screening test, carried out by qualified personnel. The certificate shall be valid for 180 days after the date of the first positive diagnostic test result.
3. A negative test certificate (this can either be a PCR taken no more than 72 hours prior to departure, or an antigen test taken no longer than 24 hours prior to departure).
Children under 12 are exempt from these requirements.
Watch: Europe must act or risk tougher COVID rules, says WHO
Scroll back up to restore default view.
Do I need to take a test before travel to Spain?
Fully vaccinated travellers (administered at least 14 days prior to arrival) are not required to take a test.
Unvaccinated travellers can show proof of a recent negative test or a certificate of recovery (dated within the last six months).
Children under 12 are exempt from these requirements.
Do I need to fill in any forms?
It depends. Children under 12, those travelling to Spain with an EU COVID passport or equivalent (including NHS COVID travel pass) or proof of recent recovery from Covid no longer need to complete the Health Control Form (FCS in Spanish) prior to arrival.
However, those who aren’t fully vaccinated and can’t show proof of recent recovery must fill in the Health Control Form.
What are the rules for children?
Double-jabbed children can show a proof of vaccination certificate. Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated children aged 12 to 17 can enter the country with a negative PCR or Antigen test, or proof of recent recovery. Children under the age of 12 years old are not subject to any restrictions.
Essential tick-list: What do I need to travel to Spain?
Make sure you have the right paperwork and documents for your trip.
For fully vaccinated travellers:
Proof of vaccination
Any additional non-Covid related visa/entry documents.
For travellers who are not fully vaccinated:
Proof of a recent negative Covid test (a PCR test taken no longer than 72 hours before departure or an antigen test taken within 24 hours of departure) or a certificate of recovery (dated within the last six months).
To fill in a Health Control Form before departure (those who show proof of recent recovery to not need to fill in the form)
Any additional non-Covid related visa/entry documents.
Children under 12 are not subject to these requirements.
Returning to the UK:
There are no Covid-related requirements for travellers returning to the UK.
Are flights operating?
Yes, airlines are operating a large number of flights between the UK and Spain. However, passengers should be aware that ongoing problems in the airline industry mean some flights, including those on popular Spanish routes, are being cancelled at short notice. Read our guide on what to do if your flight is cancelled for more information.
Do I need to wear a face mask?
Face masks are no longer mandatory in most public indoor spaces in Spain. Since April 20 they have only been required on public transport and in healthcare settings. However, there have been recent calls to reinstate face masks rules in enclosed spaces amid rising infections rates.
What are the rules in bars and restaurants?
All regions have scrapped the requirement to show a Covid pass to enter bars and restaurants.
In all hospitality situations, you no longer need to wear a mask indoors.
What are the rules on public transport?
You still have to wear a mask on buses, metro systems, trams and trains. – yahoo.com

Woman who smuggled firearm from Somalia gets 30 years in prison

Ms Jamila Eymoi at the Mandera Law Courts on January 19, 2022. She was sentenced to serve 30 years in prison after being found guilty of illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.
Early last year, Ms Jamila Maalim Hussein Eymoi fell in love with a military officer in Somalia and crossed the border to settle with her newfound lover in Bulahawa, a town conjoined to Mandera town.
She did not follow immigration laws when she crossed the border. This is simply because it is not normal for anyone to ask you about your travel documents when crossing into Somalia or returning to Kenya.
There is no official immigration point, let alone immigration officers, except police officers purporting to guard the border as they collect Sh50 from anybody crossing into Bulahawa or into Mandera.
“You don’t really need anything like a passport because nobody will ask you about it at the border. You only need Sh50 for the police officers,” a regular traveller between the two towns said, requesting not to be named.
Bulahawa in Somalia, Mandera in Kenya and Suftu in Ethiopia are so connected that a local can wake up in Mandera, have breakfast and cross into Suftu for lunch and then into Bulahawa for supper before deciding where to spend the night.
“We have people with wives housed in each of these three towns and they keep just going round and it has become a normal life for them,” our source said.
On an unspecified day in April last year, Ms Eymoi crossed back into Kenya from Somalia and just like any other person, she paid her “immigration fee” to the police officers and her luggage was not checked.
She proceeded to her uncle’s house at Busley estate with Mandera town.
She told her host that she had come for treatment at Mandera County Referral Hospital and that she would travel back to Takaba in Mandera West immediately after she was treated.
Mr Hussein Nunow Sheikh, her uncle, handed her ‘sick’ niece Sh200 for transport to the hospital.
Ms Eymoi had managed to trick her uncle to believe that she had indeed travelled from Takaba and that she was sick.
On April 20, 2021, Mr Sheikh was shocked to return home in the evening to find well-armed security officers in his compound.
The officers were with Ms Eymoi, who had gone for treatment.
Mr Sheikh told a Mandera court that the officers and his visitor entered his house and seized an item under a bed that his niece used.
“I was summoned to go to the Mandera Police Station, where I was informed that the item found in my house was a firearm,” Mr Sheikh told the court.
Mr Sheikh said it was Ms Eymoi who lifted the mattress on the bed and removed an item.
According to police, Ms Eymoi crossed the border with the stolen firearm and went to hide it at her uncle’s house, where she spent a night.
She left Mr Sheikh’s home, alleging that she was going to hospital, only to visit another home near the Kenya-Ethiopia border.
Security agencies in Bulahawa had raised the alarm about an AK-47 rifle stolen by a woman who had crossed into Mandera town with it.
Police officer Johanes Nyangige told the court that a liaison officer from Somalia reported a missing firearm to them.
He said the photographs and phone numbers of the suspect were provided and upon tracking, Ms Eymoi was arrested near the Kenya-Ethiopia border in Mandera town.
She took the officers to her uncle’s house, where they recovered the said firearm.
Mr Nyangige, in his evidence, said they seized a dismantled firearm wrapped in paper bags and rugs.
The recovered firearm had a magazine loaded with 13 rounds of ammunition.
The accused was also found in possession of several identification cards belonging to different people, a driving licence belonging to one Mohamed Ali Mohamed and an Equity Bank card for Ms Halima Hussein Mohamed.
On April 22, 2021, Ms Eymoi faced three charges in Mandera court and admitted all, only to deny them when the matter came up for presentation of the facts by the prosecution a week later.
After a long court process characterised by adjournments, Mandera Senior Resident Magistrate Kimani Mukabi noted that the prosecution case was cogent and watertight.
Ms Eymoi was put on her defence after the court established that she had a case to answer on May 28, 2021, but she introduced a lawyer on July 9, when the matter had been set for defence hearing.
Mr Ibrahim Yussuf, her lawyer, sought adjournment of the proceedings to give him more time to study the case.
On August 2, 2021, the defence lawyer sought another adjournment, asking the prosecution to recall all witnesses.
There were at least three other adjournments for different reasons, but the matter was fixed for hearing for three consecutive days starting on March 14, 2022.
The accused jumped bail on March 16, and an arrest warrant was issued as the defence lawyer withdrew his services.
Ms Eymoi was arrested on March 26, 2022 in Moyale as she attempted to cross into Ethiopia.
In his ruling, Mr Mukabi stated that the accused person’s defence consisted largely of mere denials that could not shake the corroborated and strong chain of evidence by the prosecution.
“The court record is also clear that when the accused was first arraigned before this court for plea taking on April 22, 2021, she unequivocally admitted being in possession of the subject rifle, only to later backtrack the same when the matter was deferred for facts a week later,” Mr Mukabi said.
In her defence, Ms Eymoi said she was arrested because of abandoning her children and not because of the firearm. She denied all the charges, alleging that she had been framed.
She faced three charges, including illegal possession of a firearm, illegal possession of ammunition and entering Kenya through an illegal point.
“The upshot of the matter is that I proceed to enter a plea of guilty on behalf of the accused on counts one and two. The accused is convicted on those two counts and is acquitted on the third count,” Mr Mukabi concluded.
She will serve 20 years for illegal possession of a firearm and 10 years for illegal possession of 13 rounds of ammunition.
The custodial sentence will run concurrently from March 31, 2022 when she was remanded. – nation.africa.

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