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EDITORIAL: Curb illicit fish imports

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The seizure in Eldoret of a truckload of fish illegally imported from China is the latest confirmation of some fishy business that has been going on for a while.

If properly imported, there would have been no reason for the clandestine handling of the consignment. This matter calls for scrutiny of the fish imports in line with the stringent rules on food handling.

The cargo raised suspicion because the fish was being offloaded into a container in a garage instead of a fish market or other hygienic places.

It raises a public health concern about its handling as it was obviously meant for consumption by locals.

It is, therefore, reassuring that police immediately launched investigations into the matter to ascertain whether the cargo had been approved for sale by the Kenya Bureau of Standards and the importation verified by the Kenya Revenue Authority.

But this incident raises many questions about Chinese fish imports. Who, for instance, are the authorised importers?

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How much are they allowed to bring in? What quality tests are done? And finally, are the handlers cleared by the public health regulators?

It is important that the public gets answers to these questions since doubts have been raised about the quality of the fish, with claims in some quarters that it could be contaminated and, therefore, unfit for human consumption.

That aside, the imports have also elicited concern because of the threat they pose to the local fishing industry.

Locals catch some 130,000 tonnes of fish every year. A shortfall of 37,000 tonnes is what importers are allowed to bring in.

Official statistics show that the fishing industry supports no less than 100,000 Kenyans directly and nearly 800,000 indirectly.

Opening the floodgates for Chinese fish imports will, without doubt, ruin the market for Kenyans, denying them a source of livelihood.



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200 homeless families seek Governments’ help to recover their land – KBC

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Hundreds of homeless families in Kinango Sub-county, Kwale County are appealing to the Government to help them repossess their land from a private developer.

The 200 families from Mwamdudu in Bonje area are accusing a private developer of colluding with top Government officials to grab their ancestral land.

Their houses were demolished with the residents saying they couldn’t salvage anything as the demolition caught them unprepared.

They condemned act saying it was inhumane and a violation of their human rights and access to justice.

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Mwamdudu secondary school, a dispensary and a children orphanage were also demolished.

Ramadhan Lewa Kalume a resident in the area dismissed claims that they had entered into a consent with the company associated with the private developer.

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 “I wish to insist that we were never consulted in the sale of the land to the private developer,” he pointed out.

The local resident allege that the demolition exercise was carried out by officers from the General Service Unit [GSU] and not regular police.

Ms. Salama Kenga, a single mother said they are spending nights in the cold with their children and appealed for Government’s intervention.

Mwanahamisi Ramadhan, a 24 years old mother of three said she only managed to rescue her three children including a one day child she had given birth to on the day the demolitions were conducted.

The distraught mother says she is surviving on handouts from well-wishers to feed her young family and is sleeping outside in the cold with her newborn baby.

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PwC lauds ease of Customs tax

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PwC has commended the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) for lifting restrictions on warehousing of goods in Customs bonded warehouses, noting that the action will enhance the competitiveness of Kenya as a global and regional logistics hub.
PWC said the policy will also boost to businesses that utilise Customs bonded warehouses to store goods, defer payment of duties and are involved in regional trade. It however called for consistency in tax law.
“We expect that with Customs having lifted restrictions on warehousing of goods will help contribute to the State’s agenda of reviving the economy in light of the ravages of Covid-19, improve cash flow and stock management for businesses,” said Indirect Taxes Associate Director at PwC Kenya Maurice Mwaniki.
“We expect this will once again enhance the competitiveness of Kenya as a global and regional logistics hub and assist attract inward investment into Kenya.”

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PWC

Kenya Revenue Authority

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Kenya: Court Cancels Former Rugby Player Alex Olaba’s Sh300,000 Bail

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Nairobi — A Nairobi Chief Magistrate’s Court has cancelled the Sh300,000 cash bail issued on former rugby player Alex Olaba, after the prosecution said he had committed an offense of conspiracy to murder while he was still face a change of gang rape.

Trial Magistrate Zainab Abdul said the accused committed the offense while he was out on bond and proceeded to threaten the complainant in the case.

Olaba will remain in custody until the two cases are heard and determined. He wull be back in court on June 3 for purposes of taking a hearing date.

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The former Kenya Sevens and Kenya Harlequins player was arrested last month by detectives for allegedly trying to hatch a plot to kill witnesses in the case.

At the same time, the Court has also barred the media from publishing images of the complainant and directed that the matter will be heard in camera.

Olaba was previously charged with Frank wanyama with an offense of gang rape in 2019. They had been found gulty and sentenced to 15 years in jail. They however appealed against the sentence and the same was quashed by the High Court on a technicality.

The duo was later arrested in 2020 and charged afresh

When the matter came up for mention in April 22nd the suspect mulamba did not appear virtually instead he told the court that he was away in Bungoma, but according to the investigating officer he lied to the court he was in Nairobi.

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