Malawi court orders ex-ruling party to return donations

The Malawi high court has ordered the former ruling party to return money it received as gifts from public bodies within the next 30 days.

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) was ordered to pay back 14m Malawian kwacha ($1,400; £1,117) given to the party by public bodies during a fundraising event in 2019 in the run-up to elections that year.

The court on Thursday also ordered the former governing party to declare all the public financiers of the fundraising event which was held in July 2017.

The case was brought to court by civil society organisations which argued that political parties should not be receiving donations from public bodies.

Source: BBC

Office Of Data Protection Commissioner To Devolve Services To Counties

The Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (ODPC) will be rolling out its services to counties in a move to bring services closer to the people as it seeks to enhance greater awareness of the provisions of the Data Protection Act 2019.

According to the Deputy Data Director, Oscar Otieno, ODPC is set to devolve its services to Mombasa, Nakuru, and Kisumu cities by the end of June, with Eldoret, Garissa, and Nyeri Huduma centres expected to host their services in the first half of the financial year.

‘Under our 3-year strategic plan, we intend to roll out our services to all the counties,’ he added.

The Data Protection Act 2019 has the mandate to provide subjects with rights and remedies to protect their personal data from processing that is not in accordance with the Act.

The ODPC also has the mandate of registering Data Controllers and Data processors, receiving complaints from data subjects, investigating violations of the Data Protection Act, and carrying out public education on the right to privacy, among other activities.

According to Mr Otieno, the ODPC has only registered 2305 Data controllers and processors against the tens of thousands of others yet to register, saying failure to adhere to the Data Protection Act will attract sanctions.

‘We expect compliance from all data controllers and processors who must carry out a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA),’ he added.

Both Kenyan businesses and individuals are increasingly having to contend with emerging online threats, with Naivas supermarket and Kabarak University being the latest victims of cybercriminals.

Mr Otieno made the remarks in Kitale, Trans Nzoia County, where the Commission held an awareness outreach programme to over 100 Data Controllers and Processors drawn from both the public and private sectors.

He said so far, the Commission has received 2831 complaints, of which 922 were admitted, but 1895 were declined under preliminary review for not meeting the threshold.

‘ODPC, under the Act, encourages self-regulation and the settlement of disputes by way of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) either through facilitation, conciliation, mediation, or negotiation as opposed to court processes,’ he added.

Speaking at the forum, Kwanza Deputy County Commissioner Benedict Munyoki, who represented County Commissioner Gideon Oyagi, said increased collection of data by both government and private entities has fueled a threat to personal data by predators.

He raised concern that some agencies involved in data collection were misusing members’ data, hence the need to strengthen privacy mechanisms through the Data Protection Act.

‘Some agencies were misusing members’ data, and we have witnessed increased cases of cybercrime, characterized by blackmail, hacking of Facebook, or emails,’ he added.

Those sensitized on the Data Protection Act, 2019 included youth leaders, officials of boda boda operators, religious leaders, bank representatives, and both national and county officials, among others.

ODPC has launched a countrywide awareness campaign that seeks to inform members of their rights to data protection.

Source: Kenya News Agency

KRA To Raise Revenue From SMEs

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) is considering ways to collect more tax from Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), as the informal sector plays a critical role in the country’s economic growth.

KRA North Rift Regional Commissioner Moses Muia noted that KRA recognises all Kenyans who continue to remit taxes to the government of Kenya.

‘The taxes we pay generate revenues that enable our government to execute development projects, provide infrastructure, and provide various services like better health care, free and affordable primary and secondary education, among other initiatives for the citizens and businesses,’ Muia said.

He noted that taxation is therefore a key tool through which the government seeks to realise the economic objective.

‘We recognise the role played by SMES in the economic development of our country; an estimated 80 per cent of Kenya’s work force falls into this sector and are actively involved in generating income through various economic activities,’ he said.

Muia said that cumulatively, SMEs contribute approximately 40 per cent of the GDP, with the majority falling in the informal sector.

‘Despite the high numbers, SMEs contribute about 15 per cent of the Domestic tax collection and tax payers with an annual turnover of below Ksh 50million contribute an average of 6 per cent of the total domestic taxes we collect as a country,’ he noted.

The Regional Commissioner said KRA is therefore keen on educating tax payers in this category to enhance the level of awareness with their tax obligation through various forums such as informal engagement, webinars and round table meetings.

‘With increased awareness, we believe the SMES will become active tax payers and contribute significant revenues to the country’s development. I therefore encourage all players within the SMEs sector to come on board and contribute their equitable share of taxes to the government,’ said Muia.

He further noted that KRA is ready and willing to facilitate the citizens with knowledge and any other relevant support that they may need on the journey towards tax compliance as a country.

Muia added that KRA has adopted a facilitative approach with all customers to build cordial relationships to improve tax literacy and promote good will for payment of taxes.

Muia said that KRA has expanded its services by offering creation of SMEs desks at all tax service offices, this is a dedicated desk offering various services to taxpayers within the SMEs sector.

‘We are also expanding our services footprint in the region by opening additional offices country wide which will bring our services closer to the people of this nation and these new stations will be complimented by our service desks which are available at all Huduma centres within the country,’ he added.

‘Likewise we have enriched our ushuru mashinani initiative a programme that enables tax awareness and ushuru conversations at the grassroots and through that we are able to reach far flung areas to help our people understand the roles played by taxes in the country and how they can come on board and be active contributors to Kenya’s development agenda,’ he noted.

‘To enhance all source revenue mobilisation we are collaborating with county government to enhance revenue collection at county level as KRA successfully supported Nairobi county government in coming up with cashless revenue collection system and we were able to collect over Ksh 3.81billion in taxes and levies from over 137 revenue streams,’ said Muia.

He called upon leaders to collaborate with KRA to ensure that taxes become part of day to day conversations at all engagements.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Volunteer Information To Combat Insecurity, Residents Told

Residents of Baringo County have been urged to volunteer crucial information to security apparatus that will help combat insecurity resulting from cattle rustling and banditry menace.

The clarion call was made by area County Commissioner (CC) Stephen Kutwa, who stated that they have in the past two months managed to arrest many criminal elements behind an escalating wave of livestock raids in the region.

Mr Kutwa added that the majority of the apprehended gangs have already been arraigned in court, noting that more criminals will be netted if residents support their efforts by passing on crucial information on the whereabouts of the perpetrators.

The county commissioner, who spoke at Moi Kabartonjo Primary School grounds in Baringo North on Thursday during the 60th Madaraka Day Celebrations, said restoration of peace and stability in the region is a collective effort of all stakeholders.

He asked the bandits to surrender all illegal firearms in their possession immediately, as the government would not relent in its pursuit to ensure all culprits were brought to book and made to face the law.

Mr Kutwa directed chiefs and their assistants to collaborate with security officers currently conducting operations across six affected counties to ensure 100 per cent recovery of all stolen livestock.

‘The new government directive is that whenever livestock is stolen, it should be returned to the rightful owners, and the criminals should be charged in a court,’ the CC said.

He noted that his office has teamed with other stakeholders, such as the county government, to eradicate the sale of second-generation liquor, which has affected youth in the region.

Kutwa warned individuals who have established liquor joints near institutions, churches, and public spaces that they risk closure since it poses a great risk to the young generation.

He at the same time called upon parents to make it a habit of following up on their children’s behaviour, now that the county has received reports of unsound doctrines that are spreading into schools, especially in Koibatek Sub County.

Governor Benjamin Cheboi, in his address, lauded the national governments which recently deployed 200 National Police Reservists (NPR) to support security agencies in repulsing armed criminals and aid in the recovery of stolen livestock in the area.

Cheboi noted that there is hope after the new officers were deployed but urged those who are still practicing such retrogressive cultural practices to desist and venture into other activities.

‘I want to urge those who are still engaging in cattle rustling and banditry to look for other ways. The county government is ready to support provisions for seeds or improved breeds that will boost your income and, in turn, improve your livelihoods,’ he said.

The county boss, who was accompanied by his deputy, Engineer Felix Kimaiyo, lamented that alcohol and drug abuse among youth is on the rise in the county.

He said the county administration has come up with measures to control the vice, which they will roll out in three days’ time, targeting unlicensed bars and joints in major towns like Kabartonjo, Marigat, Kabarnet, Eldama Ravine, Mogotio, and Chemolingot.

‘From this coming Monday, we will be closing all bars and restaurants within the county which are operating without a license,’ he said.

Baringo North Member of Parliament Joseph Makilap said local leaders have put in place concrete plans to combat banditry and cattle rustling, which have tormented residents for over four decades.

Makilap, accompanied by his Baringo Central counterpart Joshua Kandie, said the national government was in the process of opening up several security roads in the area, like the Oinobmoi-Barwesa-Kinyach-Kolowa road and the Kasoiyo-Seretunin-Kasisit-Kampi ya Samaki road, which will connect the highlands and lowlands.

Source: Kenya News Agency

HIV-Exposed Infants Celebrate HIV-Free Status

Over 70 HIV-exposed infants celebrated their HIV-free status at a graduation at Napetet, Turkana Central Sub-County.

The County Health and Sanitation Department supported the Catholic Diocese of Lodwar’s St. Catherine’s Dispensary in celebrating the graduation of 72 HIV-exposed infants (HEI) as virus-free.

The health facility, located on the outskirts of Lodwar town, has a Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT) program, and this latest graduation is a testament to the success of the program.

County Deputy Director of Family Health Gabriel Lopodo urged mothers to improve the uptake of maternal and child health services available at the healthcare facility.

By encouraging mothers to prioritize these services, he emphasized the significance of ensuring the well-being and proper development of their children from an early age.

During the ceremony, the Diocese’s Vicar General, Rev. Fr. Joseph Ekalimon, congratulated the parents and guardians of the graduates and encouraged them to prioritize the health of their children.

He also recognized the vital role parents play in shaping the well-being of the younger generation and emphasized the importance of investing in their healthcare needs.

Lopodo also commended the St. Catherine’s facility for maintaining mother-to-child transmission rates below the 5 per cent threshold recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Among the guests present were the Sub County Medical Officer of Health for Turkana Central, Amo Ekitela, partner representatives from Caritas Lodwar, and USAID’s Imarisha Jamii.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Nat’l Business Idea Competition to Be Held Next Month

Ministry of Labor and Skills announced that the national Bruh Business Idea Competition of the year will be held next Ethiopian month.

Some 200 contestants will participate in the competition, it added.

These competitors will undergo 15 days of training to turn their ideas into practice before the actual competition day.

Following the training, winners with better innovative ideas will be awarded, it was learned.

Bruh Entrepreneurship competition is a call to young entrepreneurs to bring innovative ideas to solve critical problems.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency