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Ex BCLB boss says excise tax on betting would undermine growth of the sports locally – KBC

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Former Chairman of Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) Kung’u Kimani
has joined other sports stakeholders in opposing the proposed reintroduction of 20 percent excise tax on betting firms in the 2021/22 budget, saying it will take a toll on the local sports industry.

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In his Thursday speech at Parliament buildings during the reading of the 2021/22 proposed budget, Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani recommended the reintroduction of the tax, which was scrapped by President Uhuru Kenyatta in July 2020.

According to Kimani,the move to reintroduce the excise duty which will see KRA take KSh 20 out of every KSh100 staked whether the punter wins or loses is punitive especially to the sports sector that heavily relies on funding from betting firms.

“That’s very unreasonable,first of all it’s not the prerogative of government to ban betting.It will drive the industry underground and people might decide to go to international platforms which are open in our space then the government loses tax yet they wouldn’t have tamed what they think is a ‘monster’ if that’s the point.

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“Our local teams like Gor Mahia and Kariobangi Sharks have managed to play Everton courtesy of betting firms.I mean who would have imagined our players getting to meet the great Wayne Rooney or lady darling Theo Walcott” he remarked.

He further rejected caps on winnings “The world over for instance, lottery winnings in the form of jackpots are progressive in that if it is not won within a set period of time it continues increasing until someone gets lucky.

“Kenya’s industry is benchmarked with global practice and this is simply how it works. If winnings are capped, it will kill the lottery business as practised worldwide” added Kimani

During his stint at BCLB,he formulated regulations and policy frameworks that required the firms to undertake public awareness programmes and advised all companies to ensure that at least five per cent of their advertising space is dedicated to messages dealing with responsible gambling and protection of the underage and vulnerable members of the society.

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Local top tier clubs and arch-rivals Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards have already rejected the move saying in a joint statement that it would be detrimental to the gains expected to be made through partnerships of local football and betting companies.

Currently, gaming firm – BetKing is sponsoring the top-flight league and Division One League for five years at a tune of Sh1.2billon and Sh100 million respectively. 

Betika is sponsoring the National Super League for three years at Sh90 million while Betsafe signed a three-year deal with Gor and Leopards in 2020. Under the partnership, Gor and Leopards are receiving Sh55 million and Sh40 million respectively per year.

Betmoto on the other hand is shifting base and priorities to supporting grassroot football in order to help unearth untapped potential upcountry.

Earlier this year they pumped Kshs 2 million into Kothbiro Soccer competition which was on the brink of collapsing over lack of a sponsor after the exit of their previous partner,Sportpesa.

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Sewage Menace in Pipeline, Residents Cry For Help

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By Milo George

Residents of Pipeline Transami area are decrying poor drainage system that has caused sewage water to overflow in their area of residence.

The residents claim that the overflowing sewage is not only putting their lives at risk but also causing air pollution.

They have called on Nairobi Metropolitan Services and Nairobi City Water and Sewage Company to come on board and expand the sewer lines before more areas are flooded with raw human wastes coming from the blocked pipes.
“We want Major Badi and our leaders to resolve this menace immediately. It’s terrible many have been forced to shift their businesses because of the foul smell,” they said.
Pastor Joe Ndivoh of Word Evangelistic Explosion Ministries says that they have been forced to call off the Sunday School Service to protect the children from the smelly sewage.
‘‘We now fear that if prompt action is not taken then we will have a bigger health problem than this because we fear there could be an outbreak of water-borne disease anytime,’’ Pastor Ndivoh added.


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Solberg Jnr replaces Pierre-Louis for WRC Safari – KBC

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Hyundai Motorsport World Rally Team has made a change to it’s WRC2 team for Safari replacing Pierre-Louis Loubet with 19 year old Oliver Solberg.

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The change of crew hands young Solberg an opportunity to resume his family dream on the fabled Safari which was first held from 27 May to 1 June 1953 as the East African Coronation Safari in Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika as a celebration of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

Solberg Senior finished the WRC Safari 5th on the 1999 and 2000 editions driving a Ford Focus and navigated by his eventual Championship- winning navigator Phil Mills. In 200 and 2002, Petter retired on Safari after he lost a wheel and suffering engine gremlins on both occasions.

Oliver was forced to withdraw from last week’s Rally Italia Sardegna after his father, 2003 WRC champion Petter Solberg, tested positive for coronavirus.

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Oliver was gearing up for his second top flight World Rally Championship outing with Hyundai at last weekend’s s Italian event.

However having been in contact with his father, Oliver was compelled to remain in quarantine in a hotel in Porto for 14 days as per the FIA Appendix S regulations.

The FIA’s Appendix S COVID-19 protocol and national government regulations offer clear quarantine instructions for those in close contact.

“You can imagine, I am more than disappointed by this news. I am a little bit devastated,” The 19-year-old Solberg told www.motorsport.com last week.

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WRC Safari Rally Event Secretary Helen Shiri confirmed Oliver’s Safari participation saying: “Hyundai WRC 2 team car number 7 has changed the crew from Driver Pierre-Lous and co-driver Florian Haut-labourdette both from France to Oliver Solberg (Swedish) and  Co-driver Aaron Johnston (Ireland). The car, a Hyundai i20 Coupé, remains intact.”

Meanwhile, it’s been a meteoric rise for the son of world champion Petter.

Less than two years after his maiden rally in a four-wheel drive car, the teenage sensation was competing at the WRC’s top level.

Aged just 17, Oliver became the youngest winner of a European Championship rally in 2019.

With a father and a mother from a well-known Swedish motorsport family and a former Production WRC competitor in her own right, there was a sense of inevitability that a career at the wheel was inevitable for Oliver Solberg. 

Solberg’s early years were spent racing in crosskarts.

In 2012 he won the Norwegian Championship before a step up to a higher class brought consecutive title wins in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

In 2019 Solberg stepped into R5 machinery, driving a Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 in the Latvian/Estonian/Baltic Rally Championship. He took to the increased power immediately and racked up five class wins on his way to the championship title.

He also followed in his father’s footsteps to join Subaru Motorsports USA. He drove a latest-spec Impreza STI, winning three of the six rounds

After making his WRC debut at the 2019 Rally GB, Solberg stepped into a full WRC campaign in 2020, driving his own Polo R5 alongside a partial campaign with Skoda Motorsport.

The WRC returns to Africa for the first time since 2002. The Safari of old has evolved to fit the modern-day WRC, but its character remains with challenging closed dirt roads, stunning picture-postcard scenery and exotic wildlife.

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Three more suspected robbers arrested along Southern by-pass – KBC

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Three more suspects have been arrested in connection with the recent spate of robberies targeting motorists along the Southern by-pass.

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The three were arrested in Kibra by detectives based in Langata.

Their arrest follows a detailed analysis and investigations of the robberies, with detectives employing cyber and forensic analysis techniques to identify the beneficiaries of the crimes.

Boniface Winjira Unganyi, the proprietor of Basement Crew mobile shop within Lindi in Kibra, was arrested as the key suspect after a total of 102 mobile phones suspected to have been stolen from victims were recovered from his shop.

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Also arrested were 35-year-old Alex Mboya, who was found in possession of a victim’s phone, and a 16-year-old minor, studying at a secondary school in Langata.

Five other suspects have been arraigned in recent weeks in connection with the violent robberies.

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