A row is brewing over operations of the Turkwel hydro-power plant in West Pokot, with claims that it’s not benefiting locals.
Governor John Lonyangapuo (right) and Energy Chief Administrative Secretary Simon Kachapin have clashed over operations of the power plant.
Local leaders argue that despite power being produced in the area, there is no stable electricity supply.
They have alleged that residents affected during the construction of the plant in 1986 were not compensated. They also accused the plant of failing to offer corporate social responsibility.
The project first stalled eight years ago after the Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) management suspended some of its services due to bandit attacks.
The company moved a section of its staff that is now operating from Kitale town due to insecurity.
Speaking at Kapenguria Hospital while launching refrigerators distributed to health centres in the county last week, Prof Lonyangapuo threatened to close the plant if the government will not intervene.
Prof Lonyangapuo said he will write to the Ministry of Energy demanding electricity supply or else he stops operations of the power plant.
“I will close the power plant till the President comes here to give us electricity. There is no electricity in this county. Those moving around cheating locals that they are supplying electricity are lying. There is no way you can keep a cow and someone else milks it. This is an insult,” lamented Prof Lonyangapuo.
He accused the Ministry of Energy and Kenya Power of cheating locals that there is power in the county.
But Mr Kachapin said KenGen will soon resume operations at Turkwel and support various community development projects along the corridor.
He said the neighbouring Pokot and Turkana communities have been engaged in protracted armed raids that have impacted negatively on their livelihoods.
He observed that for the last five years peace and harmony has prevailed in the area thus making the company to move in and initiate projects that had stalled due to insecurity.
“Now that there is peace in the region, the power company will carry out corporate social responsibility in the area to uplift the lives of people within the power generating plant,” said Mr Kachapin.
He added that the technical team will be sent to the ground to ascertain the amount of funds needed for the renovation of various structures that were destroyed at the power plant.
The CAS said all employees of KenGen who had moved away from the area due to insecurity will returned to Turkwel.
“We are aware that many structures and equipment were vandalised during the time of insecurity and they require a large amount of money. The ministry will send a technical team to access the extent of destruction and the amount required for repair or renovation,” said Mr Kachapin.
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.