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70pc of households struggle to pay rent

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Economy

70pc of households struggle to pay rent

Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani presents survey in Nairobi
Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani when he was presenting the survey in Nairobi July 9, 2020. PHOTO | SILA KIPLAGAT | NMG 

Nearly 70 per cent of households captured in a State survey had difficulties in paying their rent in May, highlighting the impact of Covid-19 hardships on the property market.

A national survey conducted by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) on the impact of the disease on households has revealed that 31.6 per cent of those interviewed paid rent on time compared to 41.7 per cent in April.

About 37 per cent of those who defaulted were unable to pay rent while 23 per cent paid partially and another 8.5 per cent of hopeful of meeting the landlord’s obligations, reflecting the impact of restrictions to curb the global Covid-19 pandemic on workers’ incomes.

In April, 30.5 per cent of those interviewed were unable to pay rent while 19.7 per cent paid partially, a pointer that the economy was hardest-hit in May. Of those who were unable to pay rent, 61 per cent blamed it on reduced income while 25.7 per cent attributed the challenges to temporary layoffs and closure of their businesses.

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“The majority of the households that were unable to pay rent cited reduced income or earnings as the main reason,” said Treasury Secretary Ukur Yatani Thursday.

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The government closed bars and schools to slow down the spread of the virus after Kenya reported its first coronavirus case on March 12.

The social distancing and closure of businesses like bars and restaurants have affected consumer spending, setting the stage for job cuts and unpaid leave for workers. The rent defaults emerged in a period when office and homes lease costs eased in the first three months of the year with effects of the pandemic expected to further hurt the property market due to low demand.

The number of households that got waivers or relief on their rent fell to 6.7 per cent in the period from 8.7 per cent in April as landlords shunned State calls to shield Kenyans from the coronavirus woes. President Uhuru Kenyatta in April implored landlords to reduce the rent to cushion Kenyans grappling with job losses, salary cuts and unpaid leave.

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Alcohol-delivery firm Dial a drink Kenya Providing Convenience amid pandemic

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NAIROBI, Kenya July 12 –  Founded two months after the corona virus outbreak in Kenya, Drinkup, an alcohol delivery firm has aligned itself to online delivery of alcohol in order to reduce unnecessary movements which is key in minimizing the risk of corona virus infections in the country.

The firm, which was founded in February but launched its operations in May is solely focused on alcoholic products ranging from wines, spirits, beer amongst others.

With a fixed Sh 100 delivery fee, Kenyans across Nairobi and its environs can order their favorite drinks through the multi vendor platform, a phone call or an SMS for a delivery within 30 minutes.

Speaking to Capital Business, Drinkup Director Charles Wagura noted that the launch of firm was inspired by the need to create convenience for Kenyans in the wake of the pandemic which has necessitated the need to avoid physical contact and unnecessary movements.

“The main inspiration behind the formation of this firm is the convenience brought by online delivery and our clients do not have to go the shop, they can either call, send a text or order the drink from our online platform,” he said.

The experience in the market so far, Wagura said, “has been immense” , with more people ordering through the application with variety of drink choices for the clients and convenient drivers who can deliver quickly.

“The industry is receptive to the business, most people prefer online deliveries, this is why you see most business are turning to e-commerce,” he said.

While the business has accrued profits since May, he said the profits from the business are currently being re-invested in the company to increase its growth.

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In the near future, the firm is planning to expand its services to Nakuru and Mombasa and also include the supply of drinking water to its clients.

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Like any other e-commerce platform, Drinkup has experienced its fair of challenges, key among them is delayed deliveries, insufficient drivers and payment mode with many clients still preferring cash  mode of payment which poses risk on transfer of the virus

“We are still learning, we are working to bring more drivers on board to increase the speed of delivery time,” he added.

Being a multi-vendor platform which hosts various shops, Wagura pointed out that the firm conducts thorough background checks on the liquor shops to ensure  they have valid liquor license, are compliant with law and abide by other necessary requirements to own such such a shop.

As part of his proposals, he urged the Government to further ease the ease of doing business especially on taxation noting that the planned imposition of taxes on  e-commerce will push away many Small and Micro Enterprises (SMEs).

“When the ease of conducting business for online business is sabotaged, the ripple effect will be felt by those in the lower cadre in the chain including riders who rely on online deliveriEs to reap their benefits,” he concluded.

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COVID-19 patient to sue Isiolo County for exposing him – KBC

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A 62-year-old man in Isiolo County who recovered from COVID-19 is seeking justice after health workers at Garbatula Hospital allegedly shared his photos and biodata on social media platforms.

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Osman Shariff who is a trader in the area is now decrying of immense stigma and massive losses in his businesses following the alleged move by the health workers at the hospital where he had been placed under isolation.

The businessman is seeking to sue the County Government even after Isiolo Governor Mohamed Kuti pleaded with him to put the matter to rest.

After recovering from COVID-19, Osman Shariff has now resolved to seek legal redress, to compel the county government to compensate him from what he terms as malicious damage to his business.

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The 62-year-old trader says he is undergoing immense psychological torture after his photos and biodata went viral on social media, the details he says were shared by health workers at Garbatula Hospital.

The stigma he says has been extended to his family posing an unfriendly environment as the trauma takes a toll on them.

His quest to seek justice coming days after Isiolo Governor Mohamed Kuti acknowledged the incident and further pleaded with the victim to put the matter to rest.

Individuals who recover from the dreaded coronavirus have continuously faced stigmatization from the community.

Some even from close relatives, this notwithstanding the Ministry of Health’s plea to the public not to discriminate any individual on such grounds.

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Nairobi County loses 400 parking bays at Telposta Towers

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Economy

Nairobi County loses 400 parking bays at Telposta Towers

Telposta Towers on Kenyatta avenue
Telposta Towers on Kenyatta avenue. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The Nairobi County government has lost control of more than 400 parking bays at Telposta Towers after a court found that it is private property belonging to Teleposta Pension Scheme Trustees.

Justice Samson Okong’o of the Environment and Lands Court found that the defunct City County Council had surrendered the property to the pension scheme in 2005 at a cost of Sh15 million.

Having handed over and received payment, the judge said the City government had relinquished its interest in the disputed property.

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After acquiring the property, the Scheme developed it resulting to creation of 408 parking bays at the basement and a recreational area. Other 45 parking bays that had been erected by the city council remained intact.

The Scheme moved to court in 2010 after City Hall attempted to evict the security personnel manning the parking bays.

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Nairobi also wanted to levy parking fees on the the Scheme’s customers and tenants, a move that Justice Okong’o said amounted to trespassing.

The County government had denied that it sold the property to the scheme adding that the title that was issued after the plot was amalgamated with another was illegal, null and void.

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