BREAKING! Embu Governor Reinstated By The High Court

The High Court of Kenya has reinstated impeached Governor Martin Wambora as Embu Governor pending the hearing & determination of a case challenging his impeachment.

The three bench judges reinstated Wambora pending determination of his case.

This comes a few hours after High Court Judge Mumbi Ngugi had earlier today stated that the Senate had no powers summon nine governors.

Kenya’s Safaricom Risks Being Thrown Out of Business

Kenya’s biggest mobile operator Safaricom risks thrown out of business if a position taken by the government is anything to go by.

ICT Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiangi has issued the hardline stance against the country’s biggestmobile operator, saying it will not negotiate after the telecom failed to meet the minimum Quality of Service (QoS) rating by the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK).

Dr. Matiangi, issued a statement saying Safaricom’s licence renewal, which is due in June, will take place in accordance with checks of its quality of service to consumers.

Safaricom had aired its displeasure at the terms laid down by the CCK, saying the fee for the operational licence for the next 10 years – which will cost the telecom KSh2.36 billion (US$27.6 million) – “could have been applied to improving coverage and network quality”.

Matiangi said it is the responsibility of the government and the CCK to ensure the Kenyan people receive quality service and it has nothing to do with “us loving or hating them and it is as clear as that.”

“I don’t understand why an operator would like to negotiate a licence condition. There are only two options here, either comply or step out of the business,” he said.

He said he was happy with what the CCK is doing and the ministry is in full support of efforts to ensure all operators comply with the rules.

“We are going to act according to the law to ensure that the operators meet licensing conditions,” said Matiangi.

According to HumanIPO, all four mobile operators in Kenya failed to meet their compliance target for Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for 2012-13.

All the operators however met the KPI targets in four different parameters, which include RX Level (signal strength), call set up time, handover success rate and call drop rate.


African Leaders Strive to End South Sudan’s Crisis


Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta and the ‪#‎Ethiopian‬ prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn have met with president Salva Kiir of ‪#‎SouthSudan‬ in the capital Juba, as part of the efforts to mediate between the country’s president Kiir and his political rivals. The president has indicated he is willing to talk, but his rival, the former deputy president Riek Machar, wants key allies freed before he enters negotiations. Fighting is continuing in the oil fields of the north of the country, where government forces have won back control of some towns.

Kenya’s State House official page reported,

“President Kenyatta arrives in Juba for talks with Kirr
Juba 26th December 2013 (PSCU) President Uhuru Kenyatta has arrived in Juba, South Sudan for a one day official visit.

The plane carrying the President and his delegation touched down at Juba International Airport shortly before 10.a.m.

On arrival, President Kenyatta was received by senior South Sudanese Government officials and Kenya’s Ambassador Cleland Leshore.

President Kenyatta, who is the current chair of East African Community (EAC), is leading a high powered delegation for talks with the host President Salva Kiir on the ongoing political crisis in the neighbouring country at State House, Juba.

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn is also attending the talks.

Mediation talks between the parties involved began earlier in the week with a ministerial delegation from the development agency IGAD. Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Ambassador Amina Mohammed was part of the team.


Most Kenyans Keen on Terrorism Insurance Cover

More insurance companies are keen in providing terrorism cover due to surging interest from customers following the Westgate siege that has left about 67 dead and 175 people injured.

According to Association of Kenya Insurers Chief Executive Officer Tom Gichuhi the current terror attack is likely to be a wakeup call especially for businesses with no terrorism cover and those who have terrorism cover to evaluate their current contract to make sure they are properly covered.

The chairman noted that, though with the increasing demand the price of the policy is not expected to increase.

Currently there are about 15 insurance companies offering terrorism covers out of 46 of them and more are planning to offer the cover.

”The insurance penetration as measured against GDP is 3.19 percent having increased from 2.7 percent in 2008 and that there still remains potential to raise this,” Said Commissioner of Insurance Sammy Makove, on Monday at the opening of the insurance village at the Nairobi International Trade Fair.

Makove revealed that the insurance industry posted a 15 percent growth in the first half of 2013 with the cumulative industry gross written insurance premium being at Sh63.3 billion.

“The increase can be attributed to the various consumer education activities that the Insurance Regulatory Authority and individual companies have engaged in,” he said.

“Majority of Kenyans still do not have insurance covers thus insurers should identify needs of consumers and address them through the development of suitable insurance products,” he said.


Kenyans to buy insurance through scratch cards

UAP Insurance in partnership with Uchumi Supermarket have launched an initiative in which customers will be able to buy insurance covers of upto Sh500 monthly from UAP Insurance in form of scratch cards from Uchumi’s outlets. The ‘Do It Yourself Insurance (DITY)’ policy is aimed at reducing the need to visit insurance offices or contact agents to get a cover.

During the initiative’s launch at The Hilton Hotel, UAP managing director James Wambugu said that this will give those who do not have cover an opportunity to be insured.

Mr Wambugu said the initiative is expected to increase the number of insured population in the country, and hence increase the firm’s market share.

The insurance policy is aimed at personal accident.

A consumer in need of a monthly cover will have to purchase a scratch card of any value, and after scratching it, he or she sends the displayed policy number to the SMS line 20875.

The cover will be activated in 24 hours.

More Bloodshed Expected In Egypt As Brotherhood calls for rallies

Egypt is on brink of anarchy as The Muslim Brotherhood defiantly called for a week of protests across Egypt starting on Saturday, a day after more than 100 people died in clashes between Islamists and the security forces.

Despite the ruthlessness and bloodshed experienced in which more that 700 lost their lives, the Brotherhood has told its supporters to fight to the last man to denounce the overthrow of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi and a crackdown on his followers.

The Brotherhood has accused Egypt’s military of plotting the downfall of Mursi last month to regain the levers of power.

The killings have been condemned by Western countries and the UN but there is nothing that has been done to save the situation. Saudi Arabia has though thrown it’s weight behind the military.

The Brotherhood announced a series of daily rallies over the next six days, starting on Saturday.

Mark Zuckerberg’s Net Worth Up $3.7 Billion As Facebook Shares Soar Following Earnings

On Wednesday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg kicked off his company’s second quarter earnings call by explaining the social network’s opportunity for “big changes… in the world.” While the extent to which Facebook can alter global connections is up for debate, there is no doubt that the company’s stock performance is changing Zuckerberg’s fortune–for the better.

On Thursday, Facebook’s shares closed at a one-year high of $34.36, following a strong earnings report in which the Menlo Park, Calif.-based firm handily beat analysts’ estimates. Shares were up about 29.6%, sending the Facebook chief’s net worth up nearly $3.7 billion in one day. FORBES estimates that as of Thursday, Zuckerberg is worth approximately $16.1 billion. In March, he was worth $13.3 billion on the World’s Billionaire List.

“We had a lot of progress in the last three months on growing our community engagement, releasing a successful major product and generating strong financial results,” Zuckerberg said yesterday.

Those strong financial results included earnings per share of 19 cents on revenue of $1.81 billion, countering analysts’ expectations of earnings per share of 14 cents on revenue of $1.62 billion. Those numbers sent Facebook shares shooting up more than 15% in after-hours trading on Wednesday, a trend that continued when stock markets opened on Thursday.

That’s likely a welcome sight for the 29-year-old Zuckerberg, whose company has had a tumultuous time on the markets in its first year as a public company. After debuting on the Nasdaq in May 2012, Facebook’s shares fell well below the $38 initial offering price, hitting an all-time low of $17.73 in September 2012. Thursday marks the first time since January that the stock has closed above $30.

For Zuckerberg, Facebook’s largest shareholder with more than 425 million shares, the social networking company’s gain is a major boost for his bank account. His net worth is at its highest ever since the week of his company’s IPO. Zuckerberg’s fortune peaked on the March 2012 World’s Billionaires List, when FORBES estimated that he was worth $17.5 billion, based on valuations of the then-private Facebook.

A Facebook spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.

Fellow Facebook cofounder Dustin Moskovitz also benefitted from the soaring share price on Thursday. Born a few days after Zuckerberg, the world’s youngest billionaire saw his net worth rise nearly $1 billion to about $4.5 billion.

Follow me on Twitter at @Nyk041