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KTDA chiefs ordered to pay Sh2.4m fine

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Disobeying court order earns KTDA chiefs Sh2.4m fine

Lerionka Tiampati
Kenya Tea Development Agency CEO Lerionka Tiampati. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Six directors of Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) were on Thursday ordered to pay a fine of Sh400,000 each for disobeying a court order two years ago.

Sentencing them, three Court of Appeal judges said the six including CEO Lerionka Tiampati, Francis Macharia and Company Secretary John Kennedy Omanga, will serve seven months in civil jail should they fail to pay the fine.

The court granted them seven days to pay after their lawyer Waweru Gatonye said they were not a flight risk. Stephen Githiga, Eston Gakunju and Mr Peter Kinyua were also fined.

Justices William Ouko, Fatuma Sichale and Otieno-Odek found the directors guilty of contempt of court after holding an annual general meeting for Kiru Tea Factory in Murang’a County despite a court order.

While sentencing them, the judges said obeying court orders is paramount and it is through it that justice and fairness is served and dignity of the court respected.

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The judges further said there are mechanisms in every company for removing directors and not resorting to uncivil procedures.

The judges had earlier rejected an application by the directors, seeking to stop the sentencing, arguing that they had filed an appeal to the Supreme Court. Through lawyer Benson Milimo, the directors said the appeal had been certified urgent and the file taken to the Chief Justice David Maraga for directions.

The judges, however, dismissed the application, saying they cannot sanction parallel proceedings and the Supreme Court had not issued orders stopping the proceedings. They said the application seems not to have been made in good faith, but with plans to stall the case.

The court faulted them for interfering with the leadership and management of the 8,000-member tea factory by going ahead with elections, yet they had been stopped and rival parties urged to maintain the status quo.

The tea factory has been plagued by fights.

The group led by Chege Kirundi and vice-chairman John Ngari Kariri and auditor Christopher Mwangi accused their rivals of trying to paralyse the operations of the firm at the behest of powerful individuals.

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 allies had obtained an injunction blocking the Kenya Tea Development Agency Holdings and KTDA Management Services from interfering with the leadership of the factory.

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World Bank pushes G-20 to extend debt relief to 2021

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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.

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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.

ALSO READ:Global Economy Plunges into Worst Recession – World Bank

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Kenya’s Central Bank Drafts New Laws to Regulate Non-Bank Digital Loans

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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.

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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.

SEE ALSO: Central Bank Unveils Measures to Tame Unregulated Digital Lenders

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Scope Markets Kenya customers to have instant access to global financial markets

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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.

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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.

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