The Court of Appeal on Thursday dismissed an application by six directors of the Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) to be spared jail terms and fines after being found guilty of contempt.
Justices William Ouko, Fatuma Sichale and Otieno-Odek dismissed the application saying it lacked merit, accusing the directors of making multiple applications to delay the dispute in court.
The court at the same time directed the six, including KTDA managing director Lorioka Tiampati and company secretary Kennedy Omanga, to appear before them on April 4 for sentencing. “We note that the parties have taken deliberate steps to file application upon application in this matter whose practical consequence is to delay, derail and or scuttle substantive determination and conclusion of contempt proceedings,” the court said. The judges warned that they will not entertain manifold applications that delay substantive hearing of cases and applications on merit.
The directors had sought to overturn a High Court judgment of February that found them guilty of contempt.
“The applicants have not demonstrated that there is new and fresh evidence or points of law that would warrant rescission of the impugned ruling of this court dated February 22, 2017,” the court said.
They were to be sentenced yesterday but their lawyer Waweru Gatonye said the directors were not in court. He also said each director including Stephen Githiga and Eston Gakunju needs to file an affidavit as part of their mitigation.
The six directors were found guilty of contempt for interfering with the leadership and management of the 8,000-member Kiru Tea Factory in Murang’a.
The court found them guilty after proceeding with an election that had been stopped.
Dr Omanga was accused of convening an illegal AGM, yet he had ceased being a company secretary.
The tea factory has been plagued by incessant fights, with a group led by Mr Chege Kirundi and vice-chairman John Ngari Kariri and auditor Christopher Mwangi accusing their rivals of trying to paralyse the operations of the firm at the behest of powerful individuals who are seeking to control the tea industry in the region.
They accused KTDA directors of orchestrating the removal of Mr Kirundi and company secretary Bernard Kiragu on November 27, 2017, against express court orders.
Mr Kirundi and his group had obtained an injunction blocking the Kenya Tea Development Agency Holdings Ltd (KTDA-HL) and Kenya Tea Development Agency Management Services from interfering with the leadership of the factory.
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.