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British Airways pilots begin strike, over 1500 flights cancelled

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British Airways has informed its customers not to turn up at airports as their pilots start a two-day strike.

The strike, which is the biggest in the airlines history, has led to the cancelling of over 1500 flights.

The disruption affecting hundreds of thousands of customers will also result in millions of dollars of lost revenue for the airline.

The The British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) rejected a 11.5% pay increase over three years proposed by the airline in July.

If the row remains unresolved, the pilots will again walk out on September 27th.

Both British Airways and BALPA are however confident that the impasse will be resolved soon.

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Many customers who were likely to be affected had gotten communication with the airline to make alternative arrangements. Nevertheless, this will still come as a major disappointment for the arline which transports over 145,000 passengers and operates over 800 flights daily.

Related:

British Airways Changes Commercial Team Heads In Kenya & East Africa

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24 health centres set for slums in Nairobi

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24 health centres set for slums in Nairobi

Nairobi Metropolitan Services
Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) is set to construct 24 new health facilities in Nairobi’s informal settlements at a cost of Sh2 billion, in the next three months. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) is set to construct 24 new health facilities in Nairobi’s informal settlements at a cost of Sh2 billion, in the next three months.

The health facilities will be put up in Viwandani, Majengo, Mathare, Kayole Soweto, Korogocho, Kawangware, Gitare Marigu, Mukuru kwa Njenga, Mukuru kwa Reuben, Kibra and Githurai.

This even as plans are also underway to elevate Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital to a Level Five health facility.

The new development comes at a time when Covid-19 cases in the country continue to soar having passed the 10,000 mark with Nairobi County bearing the worst burden, especially the informal settlements.

The capital has been the epicenter of coronavirus accounting for half of the total cases across the country.

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According to NMS Director General Mohammed Badi, the construction of the facilities is part of new targets his administration seeks to achieve in the next 100 days.

“In my next 100 days, I intend to achieve building 24 fully functional hospitals in Nairobi’s informal settlements. Development comes at a cost and we must ensure we do not go back to where we came from,” said Major General Badi.

NMS Health Services Director Dr Josephine Kibaru-Mbae said out of the 24 health facilities, 19 will be constructed from scratch while the remaining five will be rehabilitated.

Early this month, the new office said Sh300 million will be spent in the current financial year to rehabilitate health facilities across the 17 sub-counties in Nairobi.

She pointed out that 10 out of the targeted number will be Level Two health facilities while the rest will be Level Three.

This, the director pointed out, is in line with NMS’s vision in terms of health care in informal settlements, which is provision of comprehensive and quality health services to city residents living in these areas.

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Consolidated Bank barred from auctioning transport firm’s trailers

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Consolidated Bank barred from auctioning transport firm’s trailers

Consolidated Bank has been stopped from repossessing and auctioning 33 carrier trailers over more than Sh35 million debt that a transport company owes it.
Consolidated Bank has been stopped from repossessing and auctioning 33 carrier trailers over more than Sh35 million debt that a transport company owes it. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Consolidated Bank has been stopped from repossessing and auctioning 33 carrier trailers over more than Sh35 million debt that a transport company owes it.

A Mombasa court made the order after Exon Investment Ltd went to the court lamenting that its properties were likely to be auctioned by the financial institution which had instructed an auctioneer to sell the assets.

The company had borrowed Sh200 million and used some of its assets including the trucks as securities to the loan.

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The ruling by Mombasa High Court Judge Dorah Chepkwony has come as a relief for the company whose property faces auctioneers’ hammer for defaulting on the loan it borrowed in 2013.

“In the meantime, there will be no disposal of any of the motor vehicles that are the subject of these proceedings by either party pending the hearing and determination of the matter,” said the judge.

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The bank has been directed to file and furnish the company with a statement of accounts stating the outstanding arrears as well as documents they intend to rely on to prosecute their respective cases.

The company entered into a hire purchase agreement with the bank for the purchase of 33 carrier trailers, with the lender financing the purchase to the tune of Sh100million inclusive of interest.

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EAC Adopts New Measures to Shield Local Industries

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Countries in the East African Community have adopted new Common External Tariff (CET) import duty measures that seek to protect local industries from cheap imports. The new import taxes took effect on July 1, raising import duty for some products to shield domestic industries, while lowering import duty on critical inputs.

Currently, the CET stands at 25% for finished goods, 10% for intermediate products, and 0% for raw materials.

Categories of the import duty measures include the Duty Remission for Industrial Inputs, Stays of Applications, and Amendments of the East African Community Customs Management Act, 2004.

Under Duty remissions, local manufactures can import raw materials not available in the region at lower rates. According to the East African Business community CEO Dr. Peter Mathuki, this provision will only apply to gazetted manufacturers who will apply to import specific amounts of imports at lower rates.

“The duty remission measures adopted by the EAC Partner States will ensure that local manufacturers can import raw materials and inputs which are not available in the region at a lower rate,” Mathuki said in a Statement.

READ ALSO: EAC Trade Down by 40% Due to Movement Restrictions

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Stay of Application allows EAC partners to agree on a CET on the final product to stimulate local production. Countries can apply a higher rate than the CET on products like garments, leather shoes and belts, processed tea, coffee, cocoa, edible oil, iron sheets, and metal products to protect local production. In this case, Kenya will maintain an EAC CET 25% duty on margarine and edible mixtures for a year. However, the country will apply a 35% import duty for clothing apparel, both knitted and crocheted for a year as they are sensitive to the country. Most countries in the region have applied duty rates between 35% and 60%, showing a common need to protect industries, and therefore review the CET.

Noting that the EAC cannot manufacture everything, Stay of Application allows countries to set duties lower than the CET on products like mobile phones, wheat, and sugar.

Individual Country Import Duty Could Prevent Uniform Policy.

Nevertheless, Mathuki believes that different stays of application could prevent the region from developing a uniform policy governing imports into the region. Further, it will prevent products that benefit from a uniform EAC CET from accessing the area at a preferential tariff. Mathuki, therefore, recommends a review to fastrack a harmonized CET.

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