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Cooking Gas Price Hikes Over Coronavirus in Kenya Illegal

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The Energy and
Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) has warned that it will revoke licenses
of traders found to have hiked Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) prices as Kenya
battles with Covid-19 pandemic.

This follows reports
that a section of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) traders are arbitrarily hiking
prices at retail points.

“In the wake of the coronavirus (covid-19) outbreak and the financial strain it has caused majority of Kenyans, EPRA requires all LPG traders to behave responsibly and not result to any actions that will be construed as exploitative to consumers,” said Pavel Oimeke, Director General, EPRA

See: Poor left out of mining profits as ‘resource curse’ hits Kenya

“Additionally, in
order to ensure transparency in retail prices of LPG, EPRA requires traders to
issue receipts for all LPG transactions in compliance with Regulation 19(7) of
the Petroleum (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) Regulations of 2019. The receipt should
clearly indicate the name, address and telephone number of the retailer as well
as the name and telephone number of the consumer. The receipt should also
include the date of the transaction, the cylinder brand, the serial number of
the cylinder, the net weight of the cylinder in kilograms, the unit price and
the total price of the LPG sold,” he adds.

He also noted that
EPRA remains focused on protecting consumers against rogue traders in the
energy sector.

“Through our
enforcement and consumer protection framework, we will work closely with
relevant authorities to take firm action, including revocation of licenses,
against any LPG traders who will be found culpable of hiking prices of LPG and
generally not adhering to the guidelines issued,” he added.

Consumers are urged
to immediately report any cases of price hikes or non-compliance to EPRA.

Late last year, there
were fears that cooking gas prices would go up as LPG suppliers started
blacklisting illegal retailers.

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In June 2019, the regulator announced new rules which
abolished the exchange pool which was created in 2009. Through the pooling
agreement, consumers could get any brand at any outlet regardless of the
cylinder brand they had.

EPRA said that it was enforcing the regulations due to
what the regulator terms ‘increased public safety concerns.

Read: Subsidised cooking gas project kicks off

All LPG cylinder retailers, wholesalers and transporters
are required to possess licences from the authority for each business location
and the specific authorised cylinder brands only.

In addition, all those in the business shall not
undertake any business of retail, wholesale or transportation of different
cylinders without the prior consent of the brand owner. This consent should be
in written form against it shall be considered an offence as per the Petroleum
Act 2019.

Gas
cylinder authentication

Only Total Kenya currently has a mechanism for
authenticating an LPG cylinder bought from them.

The company is providing customers with a toll-free number to call or text, instilling a sense of security and trust in its cooking gas business. Total’s cylinders come with a code where the customer scratches the attached voucher and sends the number to the toll-free number for authentication.

Read >> Cooking Gas Shortage Likely as Regulations Hit Suppliers

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ONE ON ONE: Breeder LW opens up about his musical journey, the Gengetone wave and future projects

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I’m a big fan of Breeder LW. In my opinion, he is one of the fastest rising rappers in Kenya. His approach to music is very unique and the chances that you’ll love his songs the first time you listen to them are very high.

Also read: Breeder LW, a musical genius who is pushing the limits

I have always wanted to interview him so I reached out about a fortnight ago and he was kind enough to return my phone call.

Breeder LW

We spoke about a number of things including; his musical journey, the Gengetone wave, influences, future projects and whatnot.

You should have seen the shock on my face when I learnt that he has been doing music since 2013. The reason I was taken aback was because most people came to know him after he featured on Khali Cartel 3 in 2019.

Breeder also shared his thoughts on the Gengetone wave. People have been saying that the sound – which has ruled the airwaves  for the last two years – became boring and it’s now a thing of the past.

Breeder LW

Breeder LW

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However, Breeder does not share these sentiments. According to him, the sound is alive and what’s happening is that it’s evolving and during this phase some artists will be phased out while others will continue to shine.

I also asked the Inde hitmaker if he has ever considered joining a group and he told me that he was in a duo when he was starting off but it’s not something he would consider at the moment because it would limit him.

I am sure you are pondering how he got to feature on Khaligraph Jones’ Khali Cartel 3, the song that introduced him to Kenyans, and apparently, they met in 2019 and he promised to work with him in future.

Listen to the interview below.


in Interviews

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Number of medics infected with Covid-19 rises to 54 cases

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health care worker who have tested positive for covid-19

The number of health workers who have tested positive for Coronavirus in the country has risen to 54.

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Acting director-general for Health Dr. Patrick Amoth said Thursday that the toll represents 3.5% of the total infections in the country.

Gladly, no fatality has been recorded among the health care workers in the country.

On his part, health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe urged health workers to prioritize their own health and safety, even as they attend to Covid-19 patients.

Get breaking news on your Mobile as-it-happens. SMS ‘NEWS’ to 20153

He also praised them for being on the front line in fighting the virus.

Kagwe pledged more government support to improve their welfare during this pandemic period.

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At the same time, Kiambu governor James Nyoro called for the recruitment of more health workers to help boost efforts in addressing the Coronavirus pandemic at the county level.

Kagwe says the government is on course to ensure that the country achieves the envisaged Universal Health Coverage goal.

The Cabinet Secretary who spoke in Kiambu County said that the government is intent on making health more accessible to all by putting in place measures that make healthcare affordable.

Universal health coverage is a healthcare system in which all residents of a particular country or region are assured of access to healthcare.

UHC answers to Sustainable Development Goal number three which is Good Health and Well-being.

The CS called on Kenyans to register for the National Health Insurance Fund noting that it is through contribution to the fund that the government can ensure accessible healthcare to all.

Also read https://www.kbc.co.ke/kenyas-covid-19-cases-test-positive/

 

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At the End of June, It Will Be Life Support for Kenyan SMEs

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Seventy-five (75%) percent of Kenyan Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) will be running the risk of collapsing at the end of June as COVID-19 continues to ravage the business entities that form the bedrock of the country’s economy.

Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) Governor Dr. Patrick Njoroge in a Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) virtual briefing on Thursday expressed concern that three-quarters of small and medium Kenyan businesses do not have the wherewithal to withstand the pandemic stressing the urgent need for a formula to stop their imminent death.

According to Dr Njoroge, a survey conducted by the monetary policy regulator in April shows that SMEs are running on empty, struggling to sustain operations including paying suppliers.

“Whatever policy action put in place to help MSMEs needs to go beyond finance, into finance plus, including linkages to other markets, ” said Dr. Njoroge.

The CBK Governor also called on Kenyans not to hesitate sharing the challenges they are facing while servicing their loans adding that the regulator is working with banks to make sure that borrowers get the relief they need to to overcome the crisis.

As part of the measures to support businesses, Njoroge said, Kenyans should be ready to explain the challenges they are experiencing with their banks while servicing loans.

Thursday’s briefing was a follow up of a Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decision to maintain the base lending rate at 7.00%.

Worrying Times

SMEs form the cream of Kenya’s economy constituting 98% of all businesses in the country according to CBK statistics.

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Conversely, this boards gloom for the SMEs which employ approximately 14.9 million Kenyans.

As it stands, SMEs have already taken a beating from the restriction of movement within and outside the country compounded by the widespread loss of jobs in the country.

In the same vein, another survey by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) shows that a third of Kenyans are struggling to pay rent over the pandemic.

The survey dubbed Socio-Economic Impact of COVID-19 on Households Report, 30.5 percent of households were unable to pay rent on the agreed date in April citing reduced income.

All these factors combined are piling pressure on the government to reopen the economy to cushion Kenyans who are struggling to sustain their livelihoods without a source of income.

See Also>>> House Prices Dip For Fifth Consecutive Quarter

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