The Supreme Court has upheld the election of governors Alfred Mutua (Machakos) and Salim Mvurya (Kwale), rejecting petitions challenging their victories.
The judges on Friday ruled that the governors were validly elected.
Dr Mutua’s 2017 election win was challenged by his rival Wavinya Ndeti, who argued the process was marred by irregularities. Ms Ndeti said IEBC announced results that did not reflect the voting that took place.
High Court Judge Aggrey Muchelule dismissed Ms Ndeti’s petition but the appellate court overturned the decision, faulting the returning officer for using the wrong form.
While arguing before the Supreme Court, Dr Mutua through lawyer Kioko Kilukumi admitted that the returning officer made a “slight deviation” and used an excel spreadsheet to collate and announce the results.
However, he added, the deviation does not take away the constitutional test of verifiability of the results. “There was no finding by the trial court that the data was fraudulent, inflated or otherwise fictitious. All the forms were signed by among others, Wiper agents,” Mr Kilukumi.
Mr Kilukumi said the signing of the electoral forms is not an “idle exercise” but signifies adding that the returning officer only used the spreadsheet for efficiency and accuracy and that it was sanctioned by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
After the Supreme Court decision, Ms Ndeti issued a statement and said that the election did not meet the standards of verifiability as required by law.
“I continue to believe the elections of Machakos County did not meet the standards of verifiability, transparency and credibility. The Court of Appeal delivered a fair judgment on June 8. While I respect the Supreme Court’s decision, I maintain that my opponent was not validly elected and he has continued to force himself on the people of Machakos,” said Ms Ndeti.
She added that without a free and fair electoral process, there is neither the possibility for citizens to express their will nor the opportunity to change leaders, approve policies for the country, address wrongs or even protest the limitation of their rights.
“Through patriotism and diligence, I urge Machakos County Assembly under the leadership of Speaker Florence Mwangangi to unite and ensure that the people of Machakos are able to benefit from Devolution by getting quality services and being able to take part in Strategic decision making processes,” she said.
The verdict by the apex court was received with mixed reactions in Machakos County with some appreciating the need to put an end to politics for the sake of development while Ms Ndeti’s supporters expressed dismay at the decision saying the will of the people had been disregarded.
Former Machakos Deputy Governor Bernard Kiala said the judgement now gives the people of Machakos an opportunity to focus all their energies development matters.
“We have been in an election mood for too long and the Machakos cannot develop when some quarters are engaged in supremacy and legitimacy battles,” said Mr Kiala.
He urged both the Executive and the Legislative arm of the county to find a working formula in the spirit of the national handshake and reconciliation for the greater benefit of the people of Machakos.
Additional reporting Stephen Muthini.
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.