A section of church leaders in Thika have vowed to continue shutting down their churches until the government relaxes the age limit measures, arguing they cannot entrust the youth with stewardship of places of worship.
They said the youth lacked leadership qualities to run the church and added if allowed, they would cripple church operations.
This comes after the government directed that all church congregants be above 13 years and below 58, an age limit which most of the pastors have surpassed.
Speaking during a thanksgiving prayer meeting attended by Thika MP Patrick Wainaina at Mugumo-ini Primary School in Thika town, the clerics said as founders of the churches, leaving their operations to the youth is not an option.
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Seventy-year-old Rev Joseph Mutunga of New Life church in Kiganjo village said as elders and founders of their churches, they are the custodians of the doctrines and vision of their churches and added it was wrong to prohibit them from attending church services.
Rev Mutunga said they rather wait for normalcy to resume when all members will be allowed to attend than rush into opening and affect operations.
He added most of his church committee members who are the backbone of the church are elderly hence have been automatically excluded from attending religious services.
“The age limit proposal will not only cripple out church operations, but will also erode the gains we as church leaders have made in offering leadership. To avert this, the government should relax the restrictive measures,” said Rev. Mutunga.
Others including Rev Simon Githiora of Makongeni Presbyterian church and Francis Kilango of Springs of Life Apostolic Ministries wondered why age restrictions were only slapped on church congregations.
“It beats common sense why elderly persons should be barred from attending church service yet they are not restricted from going to bars, supermarkets and other public places,” said Kilango.
The Inter-Religious Faith Council that was mandated to formulate guidelines for reopening of places of worship also imposed a limit on the number to attend worship to 100. It also locked out children under the age of 13 years.
The Thika clerics also called for inclusion of all church members so long as there will be observance of social distancing, washing of hands, wearing of masks and avoidance of greetings.
They said exemption of children from services will set the stage for deterioration of societal norms and erosion of morals among the youth.
Wainaina promised to donate hand-washing units to all churches in the constituency as a way of supporting the houses of worship resume operations.
The MP urged churches to adopt innovations such as disinfection booths to keep away the deadly virus and protect members.
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.