Teachers are set to go on strike from January 2, the giant teachers’ union, Knut, has announced.
The Kenya National Union of Teachers on Wednesday issued a strike notice over alleged violation of labour rights by their employer.
Knut said the job boycott, which may see all public schools fail to re-open, will start on January 2, 2019.
“Merry Christmas… but we can’t promise you that the new year will start well… parents should adjust their budgets very well because Christmas will be extended into the new year,” Knut Secretary-General Wilson Sossion said as he announced the industrial action in Nairobi.
Mr Sossion, in a televised press conference, accused the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) of “de-professionalising the teaching profession”.
He cited TSC’s failure to promote teachers as one of the four reasons for the strike notice addressed to Labour Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani.
TSC, he said, had refused to move teachers up the the job-grade ladder based on merit, qualifications, long service and exceptional performance in their work.
Mr Sossion said Knut was also angered by TSC CEO Nancy Macharia’s decision to transfer more than 3,000 head-teachers “irregularly”.
“The transfers, Knut can authoritatively reveal, were effected without the approval of the TSC appointment board,” he claimed.
The Nation could not independently verify the claim, which brings into question the execution of TSC’s teacher de-localisation policy that seeks to uproot head-teachers from their home counties.
“This policy has broken families,” Mr Sossion said as he vowed to not to call off the strike until the transfers are reversed.
Those affected by the transfers are head teachers of primary and secondary schools who have stayed in one station for more than nine years.
They have until December 28 to hand over.
TSC announced the transfers just a day after the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) wrote a protest letter to the commission, asking it to stop transfers of the head teachers.
The transfers come a year after 1,065 principals were shuffled in a controversial delocalisation programme by the commission, leading to protests from education stakeholders who attracted the attention of President Kenyatta.
The Head of State asked for a review of the policy to ensure it does not break up families.
“TSC is disrespecting the president,” M r Sossion said.
The union is also unhappy with the commission’s failure to fully implement the 2021 Collective Bargaining Agreement that ended one of the longest teachers’ strike last year.
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.