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Thika highway Chinese-welded footbridges ready next month

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Thika highway Chinese-welded footbridges ready next month

Nairobians jostle for space on Ngara footbridge in the past. PHOTO | JAMES KARIUKI | NMG 

The Sh800 million Thika Superhighway footbridges being welded in China will be ready next month after close to two years of waiting.

The Kenya National Highways Authority now says the four structures, which have been in the plan for the highway since August 2017, will now be complete by August to boost pedestrian safety.

Bumps had to be erected to slow down traffic. KeNHA assistant director for corporate communications, Mr Charles Njogu, said the project will start next month with the first two to be located at Witeithie (around Thika) and the other near Mangu School.

“The first two will be done next month since most of the concrete work is done. They are coming already precast so fixing them should take a short time. There was no local firm with the capacity to weld that kind of metal work and that is why they were done in China,” Mr Njogu said.

The other two, to be set up around the Survey of Kenya (just before the junction to the Kenya School of Monetary Studies) and the Garden Estate Junction, will be ready in August.

Pedestrians have been facing a safety hazard since the concrete works meant to hold the footbridges have been fenced off with iron sheets, making the areas difficult to cross.

KeNHA revealed the plans to set up the footbridges in August 2017 after Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko promised city residents that he would remove all speed bumps on the road.

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The bumps, which were blamed for slowing down traffic on the highway, was the subject of a February 2017 High Court order that wanted them removed in 60 days. They were modified instead, to await the setting up of the footbridges.

Interways Works Limited, which was awarded the contract for the project in March last year, will put up the Witeithie and Mang’u footbridges at a cost of Sh430 million, while Fourway Construction Limited is building the Survey of Kenya and Garden City ones at a cost of Sh390 million.

The timelines for completing them have been shifting with KeNHA director-general, Peter Mundinia, having said they were to be ready in March.

The move will now see a smoother flow of traffic with the bumps at Survey of Kenya, Homeland, and Kenya Breweries set to be removed in compliance with the 2017 High Court Order.

Road accident deaths increased by eight per cent to 3,153 in 2018, while the number of persons who sustained serious injuries increased by 18.5 per cent over the same period, according to the Economic Survey Report 2019.

Pedestrians bear the worst impact in road accidents, according to statistics from the National Transport and Safety Authority.

As of Thursday last week, 453 pedestrians had died from road accidents compared to 410 over the same period last year.

The Kenya Urban Roads Authority is also racing against time to complete footbridges along the Sh8.5 billion Outering Road as pedestrians crossing the road have been blamed for slowing down traffic.

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Yatani’s tight options as he delivers first budget next Thursday: The Standard

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National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi told MPs that Mr Yatani has asked the House to be accommodated next week to deliver the budget.


National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani (pictured) will present his first Budget to Parliament on Thursday next week amid the economic turmoil occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Yesterday, National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi told MPs that Mr Yatani has asked the House to be accommodated next week to deliver the budget.
Yatani, who assumed the docket in July last year, will be on the spot on June 11 with the government facing challenges on how to raise revenue to finance its projects while shrouded in the coronavirus veil.

SEE ALSO: New excise duty proposals, virus spell doom for keg beer

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Mr Muturi revealed measures that will be observed on Thursday to ensure social distancing rules are observed.
He said only members of the Budget and Appropriations Committee, chairpersons of departmental committees and those chairing select committees will be accommodated in the chambers.
Other members have been asked to follow proceedings from designated areas.
“You are encouraged to be present during this important event,” said Muturi.
Eyes will be on how the government will seek to navigate through the adverse effects of the coronavirus that have greatly impacted the economy.

SEE ALSO: Farmers: The forgotten Covid-19 casualties

Majority Leader Aden Duale yesterday said the issue of the Budget was among those discussed during the Jubilee Party’s National Assembly Parliamentary Group meeting on Tuesday.
He said President Uhuru Kenyatta rallied MPs to support the government’s measures in combating the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The Chairman of the Budget and Appropriations Committee will today be tabling the estimates for MPs to go through before the Treasury Cabinet Secretary makes his pronouncements on Thursday,” Mr Duale said.

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SBM Kenya earnings drop 79pc: The Standard

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The earnings fell from the Sh310 million reported in 2019’s quarter one.

SBM Bank (Kenya) Ltd first quarter 2020 profits after tax shrunk by 79 per cent compared to a similar period last year to settle at Sh64 million.

The earnings fell from the Sh310 million reported in 2019’s quarter one.
In a statement to investors released yesterday, the lender attributed the drop in profits to an increase in loan loss provisions that went up by Sh280 million, against the backdrop of monitoring legacy loans acquired.
Net loans and advances increased 60 per cent from Sh13.04 billion to Sh20.87 billion in the period under review. Customer deposits rose 9 per cent from Sh51.3 billion to Sh55.7 billion.
The bank’s liquidity stood at 68.9 per cent evident from the Sh42.1 billion invested in government securities.
The bank, which entered the Kenyan market three years ago, saw assets rise 11 per cent from Sh70.2 billion to Sh78.1 billion as of the end of March.
SBM Chief Executive Moezz Mir anticipated growth even within the current environment.
“The bank has a strong capital and liquidity base to support the growth of business and our digital offering is strong and robust to support transactions that do not involve contact,’’ he said.
He added that the bank had proceeded to provide loan restructures and moratoriums from three months to twelve months, to allow its clients to effectively manage their cash flows during the covi-19 period.

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Firms delay release of results : The Standard

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CEO Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) Evans Kamuria (left) receiving a key to the mobile clinic from Transcentury CEO Nganga Njiru at KNH grounds, the clinic will be used for Covid-19 Mass Testing in Nairobi. May 26, 2020. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

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TransCentury, East African Cables and Crown Paints are the listed firms that have sought an extension from CMA to release results.

At least three publicly listed firms are yet to release their financial results, raising investors’ anxiety in a climate already worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic.

TransCentury, Crown Paints and East African Cables are some of the firms that have sought an extension from the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) to delay the release of their results.
Cash strapped TransCentury, East African Cables mother company, said a delay to complete the audit of its subsidiary has subsequently hindered it from releasing its results for the financial year ended December 2019 on time.
“This is due to the delay in completion of an audit in its subsidiary, East African Cables Plc, which consolidates into the Group’s audited financial statements,” Company Secretary Virginia Ndunge said in an announcement on behalf TransCentury’s board.

SEE ALSO: Hitching to trade in Forex? You need these golden tips

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“The company wishes to assure the public that the audited financial statements will be published not later than July 30.”
Struggling East African Cables attributed the delay to on-going discussions with lenders to end the remaining portion of the debt restructure transaction.
“The delay has been occasioned by ongoing discussions with the company lenders to complete the remaining portion of the debt restructure transaction. In addition, the social distancing measures and restricted working hours enforced by the government due to the covid-19 pandemic have significantly affected the audit timelines,” EA Cables said.
Liquidation petition
East African Cables recently reached a loan restructure agreement with SBM Bank Kenya over a Sh285 million loan with the lender withdrawing a liquidation petition.

SEE ALSO: Seven golden tips for aspiring forex retail traders in Kenya

Another lender owed by East African Cables is Ecobank. This is the second time the two companies are announcing a delay of the release of audited financial statements.
Crown Paints blamed the delay on the difficulties posed by the Covid-19 pandemic especially the restrictions in movement that have been put by regional governments.
“The delay has been occasioned by difficult circumstances brought by the Covid-19 pandemic especially the various measures put in place by the Kenya government as well as the total lockdown (now relaxed) by the Uganda and Rwanda government,” the manufacturer announced yesterday.
Multiple companies have already published their quarter one results and announced invitations for Annual General Meetings (AGMs).
The AGMs will be done virtually owing to social distancing rules.

SEE ALSO: Regulator approves dividend payout

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