Three judges have given the go-ahead for the launch of fresh digital registration of all Kenyans set for today, but barred the State from collecting citizen’s DNA, forceful listing and locking out the unregistered from government services.
The three-judge bench comprising Justices Weldon Korir, Pauline Nyamweya and Mumbi Ngugi Monday ruled that the government should proceed with the digital listing for the unique identity known as “Huduma Namba” (Service Number).
The Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC), Nubian Rights Forum and the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNHCR) had opposed the launch of the National Integrated Identification Management System (NIIMS) for fear of hurting human rights.
“The petitioners have pointed out prima facie elements but we are not satisfied on the need for a conservatory order,” the High Court judges ruled.
The judges also said that even though it is in the public interest to have such a system for collection of data, it is however safe to have a platform that does not infringe on the rights of anyone.
This led to the attachment of conditions to the digital listing. The conditions include stopping the collection of DNA and GPS information, which have been the core issue of contention in the row over the start of NIIMS. The government was also ordered not to compel anyone to submit to collection of the data, bar any person from accessing services or facilities because of not submitting their information or put any restrictions on any person.
The government was further barred from sharing or disseminating the data collected with any international organisations.
“The respondents are at liberty to proceed with collection of data. However, they shall not go against these conditions,” the judges said.
Notice of the listing was preceded by a change in law that allowed the State to collect data on Kenyans’ DNA and physical location of their homes, including satellite details during registration of persons.
Adults applying for documents such as IDs will be required to provide additional information about their location, including land reference number, plot number or house number, says the new law.
The government is also seeking to introduce Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates in the registration of persons, enabling the tracking of their location via satellite.
Before the law change, the State required citizens to only provide information about their place of residence and postal address.
On personal identification, the State has widened the requirements to include Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) in digital form, voice waves and ear lobe pattern.
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.