The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) Thursday ended a feud with chief executive Francis Wangusi after it signed an agreement not to interfere with his contract.
The deal, which was reached between Mr Wangusi and the CA board, has been given the stamp of legality with its filing in court.
Registration of the consent at the High Court was the final settlement of a dispute that started on January 12 last year after the board sent Mr Wangusi on a three-month compulsory leave, arguing that they needed him out of office to allow an independent audit of the regulator’s hiring processes.
As part of the settlement, Mr Wangusi has agreed to drop a contempt of court application he had filed against the CA board and the ICT ministry for defying a court directive that allowed him to return to office.
Employment and Labour Relations Court judge Hellen Wasilwa adopted the consent as an order of the court and marked the case as settled – ending one of the most protracted executive employment disputes in a State agency.
The consent dated September 20 was signed by Igeria and Ngugi Advocates on behalf of the CA and Prof Tom Ojienda and Associates for Mr Wangusi.
The development heals an acrimonious relationship that characterised the board’s engagement with Mr Wangusi, which also saw him sue his junior for insubordination.
Mr Wangusi moved to court shortly after his suspension and obtained an order reinstating him to the job pending determination of the suit.
He had described the decision to kick him out as unreasonable and illegal, arguing that it was the product of victimisation for disagreements on unrelated matters, including the parent ministry’s interference in the running of the authority.
Mr Wangusi claimed that the CA board wanted to interfere with the agency’s operations because of individual private interests, which he had resisted.
The dispute later turned dramatic when a standoff ensued with the blocking of Mr Wangusi from accessing the CA’s premises, leading to the filing of contempt proceedings.
Mr Wangusi was ultimately allowed back in office in February where he has since been performing his duties – initially with difficulty but things appeared to have smoothened out in recent months.
Earlier upon his return, Mr Wangusi claimed that his junior, Christopher Kemei, who had been appointed acting director-general following his suspension, had usurped his powers rendering him irrelevant despite his return to office by a court order.
Mr Kemei is the agency’s director of licensing, compliance and standards.
Mr Wangusi claimed that Mr Kemei continued to exercise executive authority – making decisions and approvals that are reserved for the director-general even after he was reinstated, which the board denied.
Mr Wangusi has been at the helm of the telecoms sector regulator since 2012 when he took over from Charles Njoroge.
World Bank pushes G-20 to extend debt relief to 2021
World Bank Group President David Malpass has urged the Group of 20 rich countries to extend the time frame of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative(DSSI) through the end of 2021, calling it one of the key factors in strengthening global recovery.
“I urge you to extend the time frame of the DSSI through the end of 2021 and commit to giving the initiative as broad a scope as possible,” said Malpass.
He made these remarks at last week’s virtual G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting.
The World Bank Chief said the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the deepest global recession in decades and what may turn out to be one of the most unequal in terms of impact.
People in developing countries are particularly hard hit by capital outflows, declines in remittances, the collapse of informal labor markets, and social safety nets that are much less robust than in the advanced economies.
For the poorest countries, poverty is rising rapidly, median incomes are falling and growth is deeply negative.
Debt burdens, already unsustainable for many countries, are rising to crisis levels.
“The situation in developing countries is increasingly desperate. Time is short. We need to take action quickly on debt suspension, debt reduction, debt resolution mechanisms and debt transparency,” said Malpass.
Kenya’s Central Bank Drafts New Laws to Regulate Non-Bank Digital Loans
The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) will regulate interest rates charged on mobile loans by digital lending platforms if amendments on the Central bank of Kenya Act pass to law. The amendments will require digital lenders to seek approval from CBK before launching new products or changing interest rates on loans among other charges, just like commercial banks.
“The principal objective of this bill is to amend the Central bank of Kenya Act to regulate the conduct of providers of digital financial products and services,” reads a notice on the bill. “CBK will have an obligation of ensuring that there is fair and non-discriminatory marketplace access to credit.”
According to Business Daily, the legislation will also enable the Central Bank to monitor non-performing loans, capping the limit at not twice the amount of the defaulted loan while protecting consumers from predatory lending by digital loan platforms.
Tighter Reins on Platforms for Mobile Loans
The legislation will boost efforts to protect customers, building upon a previous gazette notice that blocked lenders from blacklisting non-performing loans below Ksh 1000. The CBK also withdrew submissions of unregulated mobile loan platforms into Credit Reference Bureau. The withdrawal came after complaints of misuse over data in the Credit Information Sharing (CIS) System available for lenders.
Last year, Kenya had over 49 platforms providing mobile loans, taking advantage of regulation gaps to charge obscene rates as high as 150% a year. While most platforms allow borrowers to prepay within a month, creditors still pay the full amount plus interest.
Amendments in the CBK Act will help shield consumers from high-interest rates as well as offer transparency on terms of digital loans.
Scope Markets Kenya customers to have instant access to global financial markets
NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 20 – Clients trading through the Scope Markets Kenya trading platform will get instant access to global financial markets and wider investment options.
This follows the launch of a new Scope Markets app, available on both the Google PlayStore and IOS Apple Store.
The Scope Markets app offers clients over 500 investment opportunities across global financial markets.
The Scope Markets app has a brand new user interface that is very user friendly, following feedback from customers.
The application offers real-time quotes; newsfeeds; research facilities, and a chat feature which enables a customer to make direct contact with the Customer Service Team during trading days (Monday to Friday).
The platform also offers an enhanced client interface including catering for those who trade at night.
The client will get instant access to several asset classes in the global financial markets including; Single Stocks CFDs (US, UK, EU) such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google, BP, Carrefour; Indices (Nasdaq, FTSE UK), Metals (Gold, Silver); Currencies (60+ Pairs), Commodities (Oil, Natural Gas).
The launch is part of Scope Markets Kenya strategy of enriching the customer experience while offering clients access to global trading opportunities.
Scope Markets Kenya CEO, Kevin Ng’ang’a observed, “the Sope Markets app is very easy to use especially when executing trades. Customers are at the heart of everything we do. We designed the Scope Markets app with the customer experience in mind as we seek to respond to feedback from our customers.”
He added that enhancing the client experience builds upon the robust trading platform, Meta Trader 5, unveiled in 2019, enabling Scope Markets Kenya to broaden the asset classes available on the trading platform.