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Gamblers among losers in treasury’s Kshs. 3.03T budget – KBC

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The National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani while presenting FY2021/2022 budget before Parliament acknowledged prevailing revenue collection challenges owing to the effects of COVID-19.

In the coming financial year which begins on 1st July 2021, the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) is expected to collect ordinary revenues amounting to Kshs. 1.78 trillion in order to fund the Kshs. 3.03 trillion budget.

National Treasury expects to generate additional Kshs. 8.7 billion through custom measures agreed by East Africa Community partners states and proposed amendments in the Finance Bill 2021.

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CS Yatani who was cognizant of the effects coronavirus has had on overall cost of health proposed amendment to the Value Added Tax (VAT) Act, that will see medicament used in health facilities including decongestants and food supplements exempted from VAT.

“Further, I propose to provide VAT exemption to diagnostic and laboratory reagents, artificial respirators including therapeutic respiration apparatus, breathing appliances, gas masks as well as medical equipment and technologies used in the provision of medical services. It is my hope that the suppliers of these medicaments and medical equipment will reciprocate by making their prices affordable,” said CS Yatani.

With new covid variant still lurking in the country, CS Yatani has eased pressure on manufacturers of pharmaceutical products who will now enjoy exemptions on inputs used in the making of medical ventilators and breathing appliances in order to boost access among patients with covid complications.

Mining and exploration firms will also enjoy VAT exemptions on VAT goods used exclusively in geothermal or oil exploration and mining prospects which the government expected to expand development in the mining and exploration sector.

“Mr. Speaker, to boost Kenya’s effort on green energy, I propose to exempt from VAT equipment for generation of solar and wind energy.”

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Power producers who had signed a power purchase agreements with the government before April 2020 will also continue to enjoy VAT exemptions on taxable goods until the projects are finalized.

Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) Developers who transfer their developments such as affordable housing and special projects like students hostels will also qualify for VAT exemptions in order to deepen Capital Markets by encouraging investors to participate in REITs.

Manufacturers of f masks, sanitizers, ventilators and personal protective equipment will also enjoy duty-free importation on raw materials and inputs for another year to sustain the fight on COVID-19.

Parents of new born will also continue enjoy affordable baby diapers as treasury extended for another year, duty-free on inputs used to manufacture baby diapers under Duty Remission Scheme, a move also expected to boost manufacturing output.

Last year, we allowed manufacturers to access inputs for manufacture of baby diapers duty free, under Duty Remission Scheme.

Imported roofing tiles will also be accorded duty-free remission as the government seeks to support affordable housing programme.

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While betting craze has been subdued by the health pandemic, treasury has noted the effects gambling has had on society and proposed to reintroduce excise duty on betting at the rate of 20 percent of the amount wagered.

Importers of potatoes, peas, tomatoes among others will also be required to pay a duty rate of 30% for a year in order to protect local farmers from cheap imports.

Further imported iron and steel products, shall continue attracting a duty rate of 25% with the corresponding specific rates for a further one year.

Import duty on imported products for manufacture of leather and footwear products has also been retained at the rate of 25% to curb competition from cheap imports and undervaluation.

Local manufacturers of furniture have also been shielded from cheap as EAC Partner States agreed to extend the applicable import duty on furniture at the rate of 35% for a further one year.

To further fund the budget, the Digital Service Tax which is paid at the rate of 1% of gross turnover has also been extended to include income derived through internet and electronic network.

Treasury also targets to encourage non-registered persons to join the National Health Insurance Fund by amending the Income Tax Act to allow contributions to the National Health Insurance Fund qualify for tax relief at the rate of 15% of the contributed amount.

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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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