The government has intensified measures aimed at enforcing the famous ‘Michuki’ rules on traffic regulations. The late no nonsense minister John Michuki introduced very tough measures when he was in charge of the Transport docket at the onset of former president Mwai Kibaki’s reign.
These rules especially targeted at public transport sector more so the matatus on Kenyan roads almost brought sanity into our roads. That in 2004 Kenyans were ready to walk to work so that these regulations could come into force and ensure vehicles complied was an indicator of the resolve by the public that was also tired of the recklessness and the state of the industry.
That the matatus were a public transport mess was not and is still not in doubt. That it still went back to the same mess, is a big shame and an indicator of how our society quickly malfunctions when there is poor oversight.
That matatus are an important industry in Kenya is not in doubt as well. But the cartels and rogue nature of its operations makes it look like a bandit industry.
The sheer audacity to defy very sensible laws, reckless drivers endangering their own lives and those of their passengers (customers) and all other road users with a seemingly acquiescent law enforcement agencies entrusted to ensure discipline on the road (traffic police) and to the extent the public, shows how deep the rot has penetrated the society. Avarice is a glorified culture in Kenya and hence why corruption that destroys all the fabric of society thrives in abundance.
The question for now is how long the enforcement of these regulations will last. This question is valid as we have seen in the past where the regulations were abandoned or selectively enforced after the late Michuki left the transport ministry docket.
From there it was free fall to anarchy. Transport regulations aimed at protecting lives are important and should never be eased.
The problem in Kenya is the depths into which corruption has permeated the fabric of the society, which allows rogue behaviour to reign in many areas to the detriment of Kenyans while exposing innocent lives to unwarranted or preventable risks.
That said, there are numerous reforms that must be undertaken in the transport sector. Besides taming bad habits, the roads also need to be improved and some may have to be redesigned.
It is also well known that we have inadequate all-weather roads and it is also a tall order to manage to finance all this in our constrained economy.
Nonetheless, building new road infrastructure is necessity for the economy. But roads are not the only problem that bedevil our transport sector. Indiscipline and corruption have to be totally tamed to ensure that we have efficient and safe means of transportation.
If a society allows corruption to thrive, it consequently destroys everything and everyone in it.
The mess in the transport sector is a direct consequence of corruption that has thrived in the Kenyan society for long. Evil breeds more evil and quickly or systematically destroys everything.
We are all paying a price for a thriving corruption culture in the society. Decency and good structures that would protect the society has slowly been eaten over time.
The public transport industry is one that can help address the unemployment problem in the country. The problem remains the level of indiscipline and criminal behaviour in the sector.
Attracting modern ways of transport especially in big cities becomes a problem as sabotage and all manner of cartels curtail it.
At any rate rogue industries end up attracting more shadowy characters and behaviours. But as Cabinet Secretary for Interior Fred Matiang’i has shown with his resolve in the various dockets he has handled ‘where there is a will there is a way’
Harrison Mwirigi Ikunda, Nairobi.
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.