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Amazon to axe another 9,000 jobs globally

Amazon has said it will cut another 9,000 jobs across its global business in “the next few weeks”.
Andy Jassy, chief executive of the technology giant, told staff that the move will reduce jobs in its web services, advertising, PXT solutions division and its Twitch livestreaming arm.
The cuts come on top of 18,000 job cuts the business had already announced in January.
Amazon also revealed separate plans to shut three UK warehouses and seven delivery stations in January, affecting more than 1,200 further jobs.
On Monday, Mr Jassy said in a letter to workers: “As we’ve just concluded the second phase of our operating plan this past week, I’m writing to share that we intend to eliminate about 9,000 more positions in the next few weeks – mostly in AWS, PXT, Advertising, and Twitch.
“This was a difficult decision, but one that we think is best for the company long term.
“To those ultimately impacted by these reductions, I want to thank you for the work you have done on behalf of customers and the company.
“It’s never easy to say goodbye to our teammates, and you will be missed.”
Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting.
The Telegraph
Chief executive Andy Jassy announced the redundancies in a company-wide note to employees on Monday, saying: “I’m writing to share that we intend to eliminate about 9,000 more positions in the next few weeks.”
Cuts will fall on the company’s computer hosting division, Amazon Web Services, its HR and technology, advertising departments, and its Twitch game streaming website.
Amazon cut 18,000 roles in January, including 1,200 UK redundancies. The company made a record loss of $2.7bn (£1.69bn) for the final three months of 2023.

Traders pay heavy fines for theft of public money

The latest to pay a heavy fine is Wilfred Munyoru Weru, the former finance and administration director at the defunct Discount Securities Ltd.
A number of people trading with the government have in recent months been hit with heavy fines for stealing public funds.
Others have had their wealth forfeited to the government after being found to have acquired it illegally.
The latest is Wilfred Munyoru Weru, the former finance and administration director at the defunct Discount Securities Ltd.
Weru has been condemned to a Sh900 million fine over theft of Sh1.2 billion from the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) in 2008.
The ruling came just weeks after Quorandum Ltd director, Mukuria Kamau, was fined Sh900 million for stealing Sh180 million from the Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YEDF) in 2015.
In another recent ruling, Eveline Awino Ogutu – trading as Nyangume Enterprises – and Bob Kephas Otieno were ordered to compensate the Homa Bay County Assembly Sh26,272,460.
The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) told the court that Ogutu and Otieno were a couple and that the money was fraudulently acquired between August 2016 and February 2017 as no goods or services were rendered to the assembly.
Weru was convicted after the NSSF lost money through payment to Discount Securities Ltd – a stock brokerage firm – for goods not supplied.
Tonga Investments Ltd
The offence, the EACC said, was committed between May 1, 2006 and October 15, 2008.
According to the prosecution, Weru acquired part of the money while trading as Topend Investments and Tonga Investments Ltd.
He was convicted in January 2022 to a cumulative sentence of 12 years and a Sh900,762,248 fine for economic crimes.
The High Court threw out his application for review of the sentences last week.
Weru had complained that the sentences “were harsh and excessive, considering the circumstances of the case”.
He had been charged with conspiracy to defraud and ordered to pay a Sh1 million fine or two years in prison for default.
Weru was also found guilty of fraudulently acquiring public property and directed to pay Sh1 million as fine or three years imprisonment. He was told to pay two times the Sh1,201,143,372 loss occasioned to NSSF.
The loss was multiplied by two and then divided equally between the three people convicted on that count. It means he will pay Sh800,762,248 or serve nine years in prison for every charge.
Weru was convicted alongside former executive director of Discount Securities Ltd David Murungu Githaiga, former investment manager Isaac Nyakundi Nyamongo and former NSSF investment manager Francis Moturi Zuriels.
Weru’s attempts to have the sentences quashed hit a snag when the High Court dismissed his review application.
According to Weru, the trial magistrate did not state when the sentences would begin, thus making them unlawful.
He added that the lower court ignored the 2016 guidelines by directing that the sentences to run consecutively even though the offences arose from one transaction.
But Justice Esther Maina said the sentences given by the magistrate were in accordance with the law.
The High Court found no irregularity, illegality, impropriety or anything incorrect or unprocedural in the sentences imposed by the magistrate to warrant their dismissal.
“The loss occasioned on NSSF amounted to Sh1,201,143,372.40, which if doubled is Sh2,402,286,744.8. The magistrate took into account the loss but distributed it equally between the three accused persons. The sentence was therefore more on the lenient side than the excessive side,” Justice Maina said.
Sh721 million
“The apportionment of the fine equally was to ensure equity and unless the applicant can with precision disclose the extent to which he personally occasioned the loss to the NSSF, I see no justification to disturb the sentence”.
Justice Maina dismissed businessman Mukuria Ngamau’s appeal and upheld the decision to order him and Quorandum Ltd pay the government Sh180,364,789 they illegally acquired from the YEDF.
To be freed, the trader was required pay Sh721 million in fines and Sh180 million as compensation to the state.
Some of Ngamau’s wealth was surrendered to the government five years ago.
He was also found guilty of unlawful acquisition of public property and making false documents.
The properties Ngamau had bought using the illegally acquired money were seized by the Assets Recovery Agency after being flagged as proceeds of crime. They included a five-bedroom house on Hatheru Road.
Ngamau appeared in court alongside former YEDF officials Catherine Namuye (chief executive officer) and Bruce Odhiambo (board chairman).
The two died as the case proceeded.
The offences were committed in Nairobi between November 17, 2014 and May 4, 2015, the court heard.
The trail showed that Ngamau and his company received the money without rendering any ICT consultancy after forging contract documents.
Ngamau colluded with Namuye to transfer the money to Quorandum Ltd through the YEDF’s main account at Chase Bank.
The court said the prosecution proved its case, based on letters by Namuye as well as invoices and contract agreements.
The prosecution said Ngamau pitched the idea of an ICT consultancy tender to the Fund CEO and that they later discussed its implementation.
In the Sh468 million theft at the National Youth Service (NYS), a company called Arkroad Holdings on Friday had its Sh813,597 forfeited to the state.
The firm was at the centre of the NYS II scandal in 2018.
Arkroad Holdings directors are Anthony Makara Wamiti and Peter Wagura Kimani.
It was one of the 10 firms accused of getting millions of shillings from NYS without rendering any service. –


Suella Braverman tours a building site on the outskirts of Kigali – Stefan Rousseau
Suella Braverman was so impressed by the decor of the Rwanda homes being built for migrants deported from the UK that she joked she wanted the name of their interior designer.
On a two day visit to Rwanda, the Home Secretary was shown round the first houses already built for the migrants on an estate in Kigali that is designed to house a mix of asylum seekers flown from the UK and local Rwandans.
The two and three bedroomed homes – costing between £14,000 and more than £30,000 – are part of a 2,500-house “town” costing nearly £100 million for 15,000 people, of which a portion are to be earmarked for migrants deported from the UK.
Britain and Rwanda have claimed the African state has capacity to take tens of thousands of migrants. Even though the deportation plan has been suspended pending the outcome of legal action in the UK appeal court, ministers remain confident it will go ahead.
The houses provide families with off street car parking, fibre optic broadband, front and back gardens, an eco-design that also combats humidity and gases rising from the ground and decor that would not look out of place in a British town house.
Viewing the wooden panelled interior of one two-bedroomed home with its beige velvet sofa and floral pink scatter cushions, Mrs Braverman said: “These houses are really beautiful, high quality, welcoming and I quite like your interior designer. I need some advice myself.”
She added: “I am really impressed by the quality of the housing you are creating…what is impressive is the pace of your roll out. It takes two weeks to construct a house with a team of 10 people.”
The houses on the Riverside estate in Kigali will accommodate asylum seekers deported from the UK three to six months after arrival in Rwanda and once they have been processed at hostels and hotels.
The joint agreement under which the UK has paid Rwanda £140 million to take migrants removed from the UK is being used to help cover the costs of land purchase, infrastructure such as roads and services. The estate is due to be completed by June 2023.
Some £20 million of the £140 million has been earmarked to pay for subsistence and job training for the migrants. Once they achieve refugee status, they could be handed the title deed of the house or live in them rent free until they get a job.
One of the houses that could be used for migrants deported from the UK – Stefan Rousseau
One of the houses that could be used for migrants deported from the UK – Stefan Rousseau
A private developer, Hassan Hassan, a British national who owns property company ADHI ltd, has won the contract to build the houses in partnership with the Rwandan Government.
He said a quarter had already been sold off to private buyers but he was in discussions with the Rwanda Government about “holding back” a portion for migrants, if and when the deportation scheme became operational.
“I am a developer. It was easier to come and develop here. This is a good place to do business,” he said.
The houses are designed to be affordable with no-one earning more than £1,000 a month allowed to buy them.This will restrict them to buyers such as teachers, health service staff and civil servants.
Speaking on the eve of the visit, Mrs Braverman said the suggestion that Rwanda could only take 200 migrants was a “completely false narrative peddled by critics who want to scrap the deal.” This referred only to the initial reception accommodation which could also be scaled up.
“Rwanda has the capacity to accommodate tens of thousands of people, and can quickly stand this up once flights begin,” she said. –

Sex, fraud and super bike: Puzzling life of Briton who died in Diani with Kenyan lover

Adam James Stagg, 36, and Jackline Kendy
The two, Adam James Stagg, 36, and 21-year-old Jackline Kendy were reported to be riding a Suzuki sport motorcycle when the accident occurred.
It was supposed to be a routine ride on a quad bike through the scenic coast of Diani in Kwale County.
But what started out as a leisure ride ended in tragedy when Briton Adam James Stagg and a Kenyan woman, Jackline Kendi, died in a crash.
A police report said the bike hit a speed bump on Diani’s Beach Road at high speed, causing the rider to lose control and veer off the road, before crashing into a concrete wall. Mr Stagg was pronounced dead at the scene.
But as investigations got underway, the authorities soon discovered that this was no ordinary person. He had been one of the most wanted fugitives in the UK, having been previously arrested in the Philippines.
How had he managed to start a new life in Kenya, far away from the prying eyes of the authorities? And why had he chosen Diani, of all places? As the authorities delved deeper into the circumstances surrounding the man’s death, they began to uncover a web of lies and deceit that stretched years back.
In 2016, he was among the most wanted fugitives in the UK, investigations by Saturday Nation have revealed. According to UK media and intelligence reports, Mr Stagg was 2016 listed alongside nine others as the most wanted frauds in the UK.
Adam James Stagg, who died in a road accident in Diani, Kwale County, last week.
Adam James Stagg, who died in a road accident in Diani, Kwale County, last week.
He was accused of committing fraud between October 2013 and June 2014. The list was drawn up by City of London Police and the National Crime Agency as part of a new crackdown on fraud.
It is believed he set up a string of companies trading from the Philippines offering customers in the UK deals on watches costing upwards of £100 (Sh13,913). His victims, alleged to be 140, reported they never received a watch and some claimed they were threatened when they tried to find out why.
A year later, Stagg would be arrested in the Philippines where he went to seek refuge. While there, he was reported to be enjoying a life of luxury fully aware he was wanted by authorities for allegedly conning victims out of a total of £20,000 for luxury watches that were never delivered.
Unclear after arrest
It was not clear what happened after his arrest in the Philippines in 2017 or when he jetted into the country.
These are some of the gaps that detectives would be seeking to unravel.
In an email response, the United Kingdom National Crime Agency said: “We can’t provide updates on the status of wanted individuals when they’re wanted by a police force. From open source information, it appears he was previously on a most wanted list, but wanted by Avon & Somerset Police; therefore, it is best you contact them for any information.”
Close friends of Stagg confided in Saturday Nation he had been in the country for the last two years. “He was mainly into the cryptocurrency business. Stagg loved a luxurious life,” said one of them in an interview in Diani.
It is also believed Stagg came into the country as a tourist. Contacted for comment, his family asked for closure, noting he had been cleared of the charges and even jailed.
“People are talking about this…and it is quite unfortunate. That happened years ago, he was arrested and jailed for a year. When he was in England police allowed him to come to Kenya. The Embassy knew he was in the country…he even renewed his visa,” said his Kenyan wife, who declined to be named.
“If he was hiding in Kenya or was a criminal as people say, he would not be using his social media. But he had been online.”
“If he was hiding in Kenya or a criminal as people are talking about him, he would not be using his social media. But he has been online …and he was not a suspect anymore. People should let him rest in peace,” said his Kenyan wife who declined to be named.
Meanwhile, Kwale police boss Josphat Kinyua said Ms Kendi’s body is still preserved at the Msambweni Sub County Hospital mortuary.
He said police are trying to trace her next of kin.
“Mr Stagg’s case is to be handled by the UK Embassy in Kenya…. The two no postmortem could be conducted until their next of kin or family/relatives okay it…and for now, they are not available,” Mr Kinyua told the Nation.
The UK Embassy in Kenya did not confirm or deny Stagg’s case, only saying it is helping the family of the Briton who died in Kenya.
“We are supporting the family of a British man who has died in Kenya and is in contact with the local authorities,” the British High Commission office said in an email response.
When Nation visited the hospital mortuary, the bodies of Kendi and Stagg were still there unclaimed.
At the scene where the accident occurred blood stains were still visible a week later.
Flowers were also left behind by friends who visited the area as a condolence message.
Onlookers who were present the day of the incident said Stagg was not a new face to them and has been using the same route on a daily basis during evening hours.
The two are popular figures within the area and are known to have spent most of their leisure time at the Soul Breeze Resort in Diani.
Ms Kendi’s videos, as posted on her social media platforms, revealed an outgoing person who loved to live her life to the fullest with a caption on her Tiktok page ‘Live your life for you and not for the world’.
A day before the accident, she had posted on Tiktok a video of her and the Briton enjoying a motorcycle ride at an unidentified beach.
Most of her TikTok videos showed lovebirds at various beaches and others of her dancing. –

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Tucker Carlson, Donald Trump and the in-fighting at Fox News

A $1.6bn defamation lawsuit against Fox News has pulled back the curtain on the inner workings of the powerful conservative cable network in the days after the 2020 US presidential election.
Dominion Voting Systems, a voting-machine manufacturer, alleges that Fox knowingly aired false allegations that their devices helped Joe Biden and the Democrats “steal” the election.
To make their case, the company has called dozens of Fox executives and journalists to testify in depositions and subpoenaed thousands of pages of their text messages and emails.
They show the often heated, and sometimes profane, conversations that took place behind closed doors as Fox News, from chairman Rupert Murdoch on down, grappled with Donald Trump’s ultimately futile attempt to overturn the 2020 election results.
They mocked ‘increasingly mad’ Donald Trump
Fox News has had a complicated relationship with Mr Trump over the years. He clashed with the network regularly during the early days of his 2016 presidential bid, but once he won the White House the network’s coverage was largely positive – particularly on its evening opinion shows hosted by Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham and others.
In the days after his 2020 presidential defeat, however, it’s emerged that many Fox executives and presenters disparaged him.
Mr Murdoch, the Fox News chairman, wrote in an email that the then-US president – and his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani – were going “increasingly mad” after election day.
Mr Carlson, host of the network’s top-rated programme, said he hated Mr Trump “passionately” and that his presidency had been a disaster. He predicted that soon his show would be able to ignore the soon-to-be former president.
He also mocked the former president’s business enterprises. “All of them fail,” he said in a text to his show’s producer.
It’s the kind of view echoed by Mr Trump’s critics – many who have frequently been the target of Mr Carlson’s ire on his evening programme.
The former president is known to take slights personally and unlikely to forget. It means the love-hate relationship Mr Trump has with Fox News may be veering back toward hate just as the 2024 presidential campaign heats up.
Murdoch doubted election claims from start
While Fox News presenters were giving Mr Trump and his supporters a platform to question the legitimacy of the 2020 election results, behind the scenes many on the network were dismissing the validity of the allegations and lamenting how the network covered the story.
In November, Mr Murdoch told New York Post editor Col Allan that half of what Mr Trump was saying after the election was both untrue and damaging.
It was a view echoed by others in the network, including some of the prominent evening opinion hosts who have been publicly outspoken in their support of Mr Trump. Mr Hannity, for instance, said in a deposition he did not believe the election claims by Trump legal adviser Sidney Powell “for one second”.
Mr Carlson, in a text message to fellow Fox evening hosts, wrote that her claim that Dominion voting machines stole the election “seems insane to me,” adding that Ms Powell was “making everyone paranoid and crazy, including me”.
These parallel opinions – critical in private, tolerant or even supportive in public – has opened Fox News up not only to legal jeopardy, but also to charges of hypocrisy.
Two years after Mr Carlson’s documented comments, during a programme that presented new footage from the 6 January attack on the US Capitol, he claimed that “the 2020 election was a grave betrayal of American democracy” and that “no honest person can deny it”.
His claims about 6 January prompted derision from the White House and outrage from some congressional Republicans.
Fox bosses obsessed with losing Trump supporters
As Mr Trump’s attempts to contest his election defeat continued, it became increasingly clear to Fox News executives that disputing his assertions risked a backlash from loyal viewers.
“We can’t make people think we’ve turned against Trump,” one Carlson producer texted a colleague.
In particular, Dominion’s filings show, Fox executives worried that sceptical coverage of the president’s election claims would drive conservative viewers to other right-wing news outlets, such as Newsmax.
Mr Carlson said Fox was “playing with fire”.
“Do the executives understand how much credibility and trust we’ve lost with our audience?” he asked in a text to a producer. “An alternative like Newsmax could be devastating to us.”
According to Dominion’s lawsuit, this was the financial motivation behind the network’s decision to continue to air election denialism that it knew to be untrue.
“It’s remarkable how weak ratings make good journalists do bad things,” Fox managing editor Bill Sammon wrote in an email lamenting the network’s focus on election fraud claims.
The Dominion court filings suggest that Fox News was rife with internal divisions.
Traditional news journalists were set against the network’s opinion-show presenters and vice-versa, with evening host Sean Hannity telling morning host Steve Doocy that “News” was destroying them.
“They don’t care,” Mr Doocy replied. “They are JOURNALISTS.”
In a group chat with Mr Hannity and fellow evening host Laura Ingraham, Mr Carlson wrote: “We are all officially working for an organisation that hates us.”
On the news side of Fox, the feeling was mutual.
“In my 22 years affiliated with Fox, this is the closest thing I’ve seen to an existential crisis – at least journalistically” Mr Sammon, the network’s managing editor at the time, wrote in a December email.
Mr Murdoch said he hated the network’s “decision desk”, which on election night was first to project that Mr Biden would win the key state of Arizona.
Two months later, the day after the US Capitol was attacked by Trump supporters, Mr Murdoch wondered whether some of his opinion hosts “went too far” in airing election claims.
“Still getting mud thrown at us,” he wrote in response to criticism from some Republican senators that his network was responsible for the violence.
What Fox News is saying in defence
The bar for proving a defamation case under US law is quite high. Dominion will have to prove that Fox News knew the election claims were false and that it caused meaningful damage to its reputation and business interests.
This is why what Fox executives and journalists were saying about the network’s coverage in private texts and emails – what they believed to be the truth versus what their aired publicly – is so pivotal.
Fox News, in a statement released after the Dominion filings were made public, said Dominion lawyers are painting an inaccurate picture.
The voting company, it said, had “mischaracterised the record, cherry-picked quotes stripped of key context and spilled considerable ink on facts that are irrelevant under black-letter principles of defamation law”.
Mr Murdoch, for his part, has expressed some regrets over how Fox covered the post-election disputes but said that his network was doing its job.
“We report the news, and we have dozens of people a day on the channels that are talking about the news,” Mr Murdoch said during his lawsuit deposition. “And this was big news. The president of the United States was making wild claims, but that is news.”
Whether Dominion is ultimately successful or not, the public-relations damage to Fox News from the lawsuit is already significant – and could contribute to what some of the network’s executives seemed to fear most – the loss of trust from their loyal conservative viewers. –

Samia Suluhu mocks East African country ‘without forex reserve to last a week’

Presidents Samia Suluhu (Tanzania), Yoweri Museveni Museveni (Uganda) and William Ruto (Kenya)
Presidents Samia Suluhu (Tanzania), Salva Kiir (South Sudan), Yoweri Museveni Museveni (Uganda), Felix Tshisekedi (DRC) William Ruto (Kenya) and Paul Kagame (Rwanda).
Tanzania President Samia Suluhu has said her country has the best-performing economy in East Africa.
Speaking on International Women’s Day, Ms Suluhu told Tanzanians to appreciate the state of their economy which was better compared to her neighbouring countries.
She cited an example of an unnamed country that she said does not have forex reserves to last a week.
She said the unnamed country has been seeking the help of Tanzania with the dollar to import petroleum products.
“Let no one lie to you (Tanzanians),” she said.
“We are at a better place compared to our neighbours. Their dollar reserves cannot last a week, our reserves can push us for four months. They are here begging us for guarantees so that they can buy fuel.”
The head of state said she, however, did not help the needy country because she feigned a dollar problem in Tanzania.
Ms Suluhu’s comments come weeks after Kenya’s Treasury Cabinet Secretary Prof. Njuguna Ndun’gu urged Kenyans to brace themselves for tougher times in 2023.
Her comments come days after The Citizen reported that commercial banks in Kenya had run out of dollars and had resorted to borrowing from Tanzania.
The report added that the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has directed commercial banks to ration dollars following a shortage of the currency and the race to protect reserves.
Scavenging for dollars
“We are now scavenging for dollars. Only half of every six banks we call daily for dollars will have something for us. Three of the banks will ask us to check later,” a top executive of a manufacturing firm who sought anonymity for fear of reprisals from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), was quoted by the paper saying.
“What is available at banks is between $5,000 and $10,000. One will be fortunate to get $20,000 and extremely lucky to get $50,000 from a single bank. This is crazy for a business that requires $1 million monthly for supplies and we are getting each dollar at Sh137,” the executive added.
Meanwhile, the Kenyan shilling has considerably depreciated in recent times.
Although it remains among the strongest currencies in the region, the shilling has depreciated by almost 10 percent to the dollar in the past month and is currently trading at Sh130.
The Kenyan shilling has also depreciated compared to the Uganda and Tanzania shillings, which have traditionally been weaker currencies.
This comes as President Ruto struggles to tame the surging cost of living with prices of maize flour and fuel at an all-time high amid pressure from the opposition. President Ruto has blamed the opposition for the poor economy. –

Thorny issue of tax residency for Kenyan expatriates and diaspora

The Kenyan tax laws that govern the taxation of individuals are based on residency status.
The Kenyan tax laws that govern the taxation of individuals are based on residency status. A resident is an individual who has a permanent home in Kenya and was present in the country for any period in a particular year of income.
The law was recently amended to define a permanent home. However, this has not addressed the concerns that have previously been raised.
Kenyans working abroad for extended periods have had a challenge determining their tax residency status.
The law also defines a permanent home as a place where an individual resides or is available to that individual for residential purposes in Kenya or where in the opinion of the commissioner, the individual’s personal or economic interests are closest.
This gives the commissioner leeway in interpreting a permanent home and may base it on many factors. For instance, an individual with any home available to them, ancestral or any family property to which they may have unrestricted access, could be considered to have a permanent home in Kenya.
Let us take the example of Sara. Sara is a Kenyan national based in country X. She started working in country X in 2019 and has been there ever since.
She has relatives in Kenya and occasionally travels back to Kenya to spend her holidays with them. She does not own or rent a home in Kenya. In 2022, she visited Kenya for the holidays for a short duration and stayed with one of her relatives.
Sara is working on filing her 2022 Kenyan tax return. Will she be considered to have a permanent home in Kenya and a resident for tax purposes in Kenya in 2022?
A person who has a permanent home in Kenya and visits the country even for a day in a tax year would be considered a resident for tax purposes and would be taxed on all the employment income they earn from any part of the world.
This means that they would be required to report all the employment income earned in a year irrespective of where they earned it from when filing their Kenyan tax returns for the year.
International best practice alludes that the concept of home may be taken to mean any form of a home such as a house or an apartment belonging to or rented by an individual. It may also include a furnished room.
The taxman may consider issuing clarifications if a Kenyan who has an ancestral home or relatives in Kenya and occasionally visits them, would be considered to have a permanent home in Kenya if they have unrestricted access to the family home.
The second clarification is if the rule on the permanent home applies to expatriate employees relocating to Kenya for short-term assignments.
Should they be considered tax residents from the onset of their assignments since they would be expected to rent a home in Kenya from the start of their assignment?
Read: Why firms are headed straight into tax storm
The clarifications can be done through guidelines on what constitutes a permanent home to assist taxpayers to understand their residency status and Kenyan tax obligations.
Would the duration of the assignment for the expatriates coming into Kenya be considered when determining if they have a permanent home in Kenya? –

80 percent of pharmacists at hospitals not qualified

A drug shop in Nyandarua County. It costs more to hire a specialist but patients are also charged more at these hospitals.
A new survey has shown that 80 per cent of individuals charged with the responsibility of dispensing drugs at Level Four hospitals are not trained, pharmacists.
The survey also reveals that drugs in 70 per cent of Level Five hospitals are dispensed by people who are licensed but not qualified to do so.
The survey was conducted by the Young Pharmacists Group (YPG). Its findings were released last week.
The YPG team went through data from different hospitals. The survey was carried out at 535 Level Four and 80 Level Five hospitals listed on the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Council website.
It reveals that eight out of 10 Level Four hospitals are non-compliant.
Of the 535 hospitals surveyed, some 424 are non-compliant, and only 50 follow the required standards.
It also says 71 per cent of Level Five hospitals are not manned by qualified superintendent pharmacists.
Nairobi County has the highest number of such hospitals at 19.4 per cent, Kiambu (seven per cent), Nakuru and Kisumu (4.3 per cent), Kajiado and Mombasa (four per cent), Wajir (3.4 per cent), Machakos (2.4 per cent) and Nandi at 1.3 per cent.
Of the 80 Level Five hospitals, 56 do not comply, five do not have records while three are operating on expired licences.
A superintendent pharmacist is in charge of a pharmacy, including its professional and clinical management. He or she manages the administration of the sale and supply of medicines.
They should be licensed by the Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB).
Superintendent pharmacists are responsible for guiding hospitals on drug-related issues, including reviewing patient files and guiding senior consultants on therapy.
The superintendent can decline to administer drugs if he or she deems the medicines not appropriate or valuable for the indicated treatment.
However, most hospitals do not have a qualified superintendent pharmacist. They hire pharmacy technicians instead.
The absence of the superintendent pharmacist puts the lives of those purchasing drugs at risk as there is no professional input.
While pharmacy technicians are skilled, the law prohibits them from performing tasks meant for pharmacists.
A study in the US found that pharmacy technicians showed the need to be regulated.
“Given the complexity of prescriptions and their lack of formal training, pharmacy technicians are placed in a situation where serious mistakes could occur,” said a recommendation to the Virginia General Assembly in 1998.
Hospitals in Kenya ignore regulations by allowing pharmacy technicians to do a job that does not fit their bill.
“At most hospitals, the right professional for the role is not the one whose licence was used. Without professional input, patients are at risk,” said Dr Cohen Andove, the chairperson of the Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya and lead author of the survey.
The absence of pharmacists at Level Four, Five and Six hospitals also undermines the quality of care to patients. It increases the risk of medication errors.
“Drugs can turn into poison if mishandled. Medication mistakes are a leading cause of death, where patients – after proper diagnosis – receive wrong, inappropriate or inadequate medicines,” he said.
Dr Cohen said the study unearthed grave non-compliance on superintendent permits issued to hospitals and wholesale dealers.
“The absence of pharmacists at these hospitals is a disservice to patients who do not get the required care. In this time when medication-related problems contribute to a significant number of deaths, it is important to have the pharmacist at the core of services at hospitals and wholesale practice as required by the law,” he said
The survey also shows that hospitals do not recruit qualified pharmacists.
“It costs more to hire specialists but patients are also charged more at these hospitals. How do you expect someone without a certain understanding and knowledge level to add value, respond to queries, ask for clarity or even dispute treatment sheets?” he asked.
Dr Cohen adds that some hospitals deliberately weaken the pharmacy leadership, making it difficult for them to check on the prescribers.
“Some of these hospitals own the pharmacies as well. It is in their conflicted commercial interest to drive sales as high as possible,” he said.
“Unfortunately, some prescriptions are more commercial than medical. A weak compromised non-technically proficient team is tied and can barely push back.”
Pharmacists play a critical role by providing specialised knowledge and expertise related to medication management.
They help ensure patient safety by providing medication counselling and giving information on dosages, drug interactions and potential effects.
According to the law, a pharmacist is mandated to be the sole custodian of dangerous and controlled drugs and substances, including narcotics.
Narcotics are highly addictive drugs that require proper supervision and administration by registered pharmacists.
“It is unfortunate that negligence has led to a rise in the misuse of narcotics among the public, especially the youth,” Dr Cohen said.
“Without the proper licence of premises, the risk of the public being exposed to controlled drugs is very high.”
A recent study by Kemri indicates that many community drug sellers advise clients to take a fraction of the dose and get the other later. The other bits are often ignored. –

Gov’t Returns Goods Worth Ksh.50 Million Seized From China Square, Says Products Not Fake

Kenya government returns goods worth Ksh.50 million seized from China Square, says products not fake. The Authority said that a probe into the source of goods revealed that the products were produced and distributed by the international brand owner, Finder Merchandise who was also the complainant.
The Anti-Counterfeit Authority (ACA) has allayed fears that the Ksh. 50 million worth of goods seized last week from China Square along Thika Road were counterfeit.
In a statement by ACA’s CEO Robi Mbugua Njoroge on Thursday, the Authority said that a probe into the source of the goods revealed that the products were produced and distributed by the international brand owner, Finder Merchandise.
ACA has thus surrendered back the goods which were confiscated on February 16th 2023. –

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