The High Court on Friday temporarily lifted the ban imposed by the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) on Rafiki film to allow it be considered for an award at the Oscars.
The film was banned for promoting lesbianism but Justice Wilfrida Okwany lifted it for seven days, during which she has allowed it to be screened to willing adults.
In making the ruling, Justice Okwany cited Kenyan artists who’ve had to flee the country and to seek asylum because their creations went against the grain of societal expectations.
Ms Wanuri Kahiu had sued KFCB and its boss Ezekiel Mutua over the ban since it was to be submitted to the 2019 Oscars Award as Kenya’s entry to the Best Foreign Language film category.
Rafiki is a love story of two teenage girls who develop a romantic relationship, which is opposed by their families and community.
In the film, directed, written and co-produced by Ms Kahiu, the girls are separated by their communities.
The film was adapted from the short story Jambula Tree by Uganda’s Monica Arac de Nyeko, which was awarded the prestigious Caine Prize for African Writing in 2007.
According to Ms Kahiu and the lobby, the ban on the film is contrary to the freedom of artistic creativity.
Following the high court ruling an angry CEO of KFCB Dr Ezekiel Mutua said that it would be a tragedy and a shame to have homosexual films defining the Kenyan culture. “That’s not who we are and homosexuality is not our way of life,” Mutua tweeted.
He also wondered what pleasure, pray, does a person of a sane mind find in watching girls having sex with other girls?
“Shame on those foreign NGOs who want to use gay content as a tool for marketing the film industry in Kenya. SHINDWE!,” he added.
He said that his commission was watching to see which public theatre will exhibit it without the Board’s approval, “If people want to screen the homosexual film in their houses that’s fine.”
In her law suit Wanuri also want the Kenya Films Classification guidelines 2012 to be declared illegal and that they should be awarded Sh8.5 million as compensation for projected sale from theatrical distribution of Rafiki as well as loss of sponsorship.
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.