The Central Organisation of Trade Unions has threatened industrial action over biting water crisis within the Export Processing Zones, Athi River.
COTU and Kenya Association of Manufactures (KAM) have separately written to government raising the red flag that over 20,000 jobs are at stake.
COTU claims the local provincial administration disconnected water in the EPZA zones that has now triggered a huge crisis with firms incurring huge losses.
“If these disruptions of water supply exercise in the zone is not stopped, then workers will be left with no alternative but to demonstrate to send a clear message to the public, the world and the government on what is going on,” COTU’s first Vice Chairman Joel Chebii told Interior PS Karanja Kibicho.
The letter is copied to Head of Civil Service Joseph Kinyua.
The COTU officials accused Irungu of lack of consultation and said no new investors can set base in Kenya under such difficult work environment.
Manufacturing is part of President Kenyatta’s legacy projects under the Big Four Agenda.
“Countries like Ethiopia, Lesotho, and Mauritius have a very favourable business environment as free water supply and low electricity tariffs which will attract them there,” the Cotu vice chair said
KAM CEO Phyllis Wakiaga wrote to Industrialization Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya protesting that the water crisis has compelled manufacturers to buy the commodity at five times the normal rate.
“We would like to bring to your attention a persistent water crisis within the Athi River EPZ zone that houses a significant number of export-oriented firms, with the majority being apparel manufacturers,” she said.
She added the water supply challenge is increasing the unit of manufacture within the companies and threatening the sustainability of manufacturing within the zones that is supposed to have a well-functioning utility supply to support export-oriented manufacturing.
The association has requested an urgent meeting with Munya.
The union says Water PS Joseph Iringu triggered the crisis.
Irungu has insisted that the mandate of giving water to Kenyans is vested with his ministry and cautioned EPZA against selling any water.
For years, the authority has been buying bulk water from the Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company for supply to factories and the rest the balance supplied to other customers, including those in Kitengela area.
“It’s by law, it’s by the Constitution and that is what we are reiterating,” Irungu said when he visited Kitengela.
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.