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Archive for August 24th, 2011

Ruto unmoved as Raila acts on party rebels

Posted by Administrator on August 24, 2011

Prime Minister Raila Odinga at last got his way Wednesday and formally fired suspended Cabinet minister William Ruto. (Read: Reshuffle that never was stokes ODM wars)

In the move clearly aimed at kicking out rebellious MPs from the ODM half of the coalition Cabinet, Prof Hellen Sambili was also dropped as East African Community Minister.

They were replaced by Mr Odinga’s allies, with Prof Margaret Kamar taking over Mr Ruto’s Higher Education, Science & Technology docket and nominated MP Musa Sirma taking over leadership of the East African Community ministry.

President Kibaki’s side of the coalition also benefited from the reshuffle by reinstating suspended Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetang’ula.

The PM, who has several times hinted at the ejection of rebels who have declared allegiance to the United Democratic Movement from his party, however, spared suspended Industrialisation Minister Henry Kosgey, who is also ODM chairman.

Mr Ruto appeared unruffled by his ejection: “I am not surprised at all. I stopped serving a long time ago when I was suspended. I am a happy man because this was not because of incompetence but a result of political intrigue,” he said.

Sources said the mini-reshuffle, which has been long coming, was delayed by the reluctance of President Kibaki to let go Mr Ruto, who is closely linked to the political alliance plotting the presidential succession.

Other key members in the so-called G7 Alliance are Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka and Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta.

The final decision, Daily Nation learnt, was reached two days ago when the President and the PM held talks to agree on the nomination of lawyer Githu Muigai as Attorney General, Mrs Agnes Odhiambo as Controller of Budget and Mr Edward Ouko as Auditor General.

Mr Wetang’ula was forced to step aside pending investigations into the loss of funds at the Kenya embassy in Tokyo and five other foreign missions.

It emerged Wednesday that the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission had cleared him of any wrongdoing. Also recalled was Foreign Affairs permanent secretary Mwangi Thuita.

In his reorganisation, Mr Odinga went back to the Rift Valley to replace the sacked rebels.

Prof Kamar, who has been assistant minister for Environment, is a wife of former Moi era powerman Nicholas Biwott, whose influence waned with the emergence of Mr Ruto.

Prof Kamar said her appointment to the Higher Education ministry was “like going back home” as she has spent more than 21 years teaching.

Her elevation could, however, put her in political trouble, especially given that a majority of MPs from the Rift Valley region have decamped to the William Ruto faction.

“I don’t think it is political suicide since there is freedom of association and there are many parties in the Rift Valley, with ODM the most popular. There is also the provision for independent candidates,” she added.

A Key Raila ally in the Rift Valley, Mr Sirma, expressed his delight at the Cabinet appointment.

“I am excited and will serve with humility. I will use my experience from the Pan African Parliament to drive the integration of the region,” he said.

Mr Sirma said Prof Sambili, who was elected on the UDM ticket, had to go because her party had severed its relationship with the ODM.

“Cabinet positions are never meant for one person.(Prof Sambili) got the post because her party was in coalition with ODM, but the marriage is now over. I will up my campaign to popularise my party and the Prime Minister,” he said.

Mr Odinga handed over the Environment assistant minister post that was held by Prof Kamar to Kapenguria MP Julius Korir who has remained loyal to ODM.

The PM also fired Dujis MP Aden Duale as Livestock assistant minister and replaced him with Voi MP Dan Mwazo.

To appease North Eastern Kenya, he named Wajir North MP Mohammed Gabbow as Special Programmes assistant minister.

The fate of Moyale MP Mohamed Ali was not clear.

Ford People’s South Mugirango MP Manson Nyamweya was appointed Trade assistant minister to replace Kilome MP John Harun Mwau, who stepped aside last December after being targeted by US President Barack Obama for alleged drug trafficking.

Mr Ruto was suspended in October last year pending conclusion of a Sh96 million fraud case.

Even though he was acquitted, Mr Odinga was determined to keep him out in the wake of serious political rifts.

The Eldoret North MP has emerged as a political force in North Rift, and heads the group of anti-Odinga ODM legislators, who have teamed up with counterparts from President Kibaki’s central Kenya PNU bloc.

“I have performed everywhere I served. I am proud of my record at the Ministry of Agriculture and that of Higher Education,” he said.

Mr Ruto said he will now pay attention to his presidential campaign.

Source: http://www.nation.co.ke/News/politics/Ruto+unmoved+as+Raila+acts+on+party+rebels/-/1064/1224392/-/gbqfbl/-/index.html

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Family matters: When business is caught between husband and wife

Posted by Administrator on August 24, 2011

Suraya Property Limited CEO Pete Muraya (right) with Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi (second right) at the launch of the estate. File

Suraya Property Limited CEO Pete Muraya (right) with Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi (second right) at the launch of the estate. File

When Sue and Pete Muraya got into a deal with Dr and Mrs Gatabaki to form Muga Developers, they released the formerly coffee estate’s latent commercial value and pushed all players into the big money league.

Just as it is in our Grand Coalition Government, all was well so long as it was 50:50.

According to the court documents (filed by Mrs Gatabaki) everything changed when the partnership arrangements  were reportedly altered resulting in new partners, dilution of the Gatabakis’ share in the firm and the fact that the venture had taken on debt without her knowledge or consent.

Whatever happened in the background between the partners, Suraya, the company that the Murayas own, is now caught in an uncomfortable  position between the hammer and the anvil of marital relationships.

Mrs Gatabaki is angry and has taken legal recourse. Strangely, it’s against her husband and their joint business partners.

There is nothing in the court documents to indicate that she is estranged from her husband.

For now this remains a purely — albeit surreal —   commercial dispute.

Whoever enters a business agreement, especially if it involves the highly emotive issue of land, must consider all the people with an interest in the property, even though they appear to be peripheral players.

These individuals, such as wives or children, may look unsophisticated, uneducated and under the spell or control of the principal negotiator, giving the impression that they will dutifully follow whatever their leader says.

This may be true to the extent that the deal involves relatively insignificant amounts of money or has limited material impact on their lives.

It is wise to remember at this stage that no figure is too low to be insignificant. Cases of people being killed over Sh20 debt are not unheard of.

While the Muga Developers deal released the 200-acre coffee estate’s vast commercial value, it also increased in equal measure the family’s expectations of their share of the resulting development.

Even if they did, it is unlikely that they imagined that they would be dealing with figures between Sh20 billion  and Sh30 billion.

This is obvious from their lack of preparation to deal with this scenario. Money, as it is wont to do, changes everything.

What may have started out as a peaceful venture between friends now threatens to turn ugly.

There is potential for the situation to deteriorate, which could lead to loss of investor confidence, strained relationships, which in the worst case may result in the collapse of family units.

What is most likely to have happened is that the men took it upon themselves to discuss the new venture and, in their wisdom, did what they deemed best for the project by involving partners with expertise or resources they did not have.

Since they believed that they were acting in the best interest of the project and shareholders, they may or may not have shared the details with their spouses. Now one spouse has discovered that the deal has morphed into something unrecognisable.

There are new players who she has never met who seem to have acquired equity for very low prices.

She may not say it out loud but she feels that her husband has been bamboozled, if you like. She is trying to save the family from the deal.

But there is an opportunity to reverse the downward spiral — deal with the issues at hand and reinvigorate the project.

The first onus falls on the Murayas and Dr Gatabaki. Resolve the problem. Mrs Gatabaki is not being irrational.

If they were confronted with the facts as they appear to her, they would come to the same conclusion.

Reintroduce her to the facts as they are now and explain the decisions taken. She may accept or reject your proposals.
The second one is on Mrs Gatabaki.

Should Suraya and your husband approach you with an explanation, actively listen to them with the intention of understanding their train of thought and more importantly, understanding your husband in this particular scenario.

All new knowledge you gain will serve both of you well in the future.

The third responsibility falls on Dr Gatabaki and all male family business owners. Listen to your wife.

She is a life partner with a contractual commitment to do you good so long as you live. She is seeing things from a different perspective.

Engage her in your dealings to save you from trouble (and lawsuits such as this).

You may not agree with her, but you must acknowledge her contribution and take it into account as you make a decision.

If the above steps are taken, this situation can be resolved and lead to many good relationships.

Source: http://www.businessdailyafrica.com/When+business+is+caught+between+husband+and+wife+/-/539444/1223492/-/ffegl4z/-/index.html

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Kenya’s diaspora remittances up 44pc

Posted by Administrator on August 24, 2011

A currency dealer counts Kenya shillings at a money exchange counter in Nairobi. Remittances to Kenya jumped by 44 percent in July from the same month a year ago to $72.8 million, up from $71.9 million in June, the central bank said on Wednesday. File

A currency dealer counts Kenya shillings at a money exchange counter in Nairobi. Remittances to Kenya jumped by 44 percent in July from the same month a year ago to $72.8 million, up from $71.9 million in June, the central bank said on Wednesday. File

Remittances to Kenya jumped by 44 percent in July from the same month a year ago to $72.8 million, up from $71.9 million in June, the central bank said on Wednesday.

Remittances are the fourth-largest source of foreign exchange in east Africa’s biggest economy after revenue from tea, horticulture and tourism.

The July figure topped that of June, which was already a five-year high for monthly remittances.

Kenyans sent home a total of $479.3 million in the first seven months of the year, compared with $350.9 million in the same period in 2010, the bank said in a statement.

Last year they sent home a record $641.9 million, a 5 percent increase from the previous year.

“The increase in remittances in 2011 continued to reflect economic recovery in source markets, and a favourable domestic economic environment,” Charles Gitari Koori, Central Bank of Kenya’s director of research, said on its website.

The bank said that, like in the previous month, the main source of money was from North America and Europe.

Typically, Kenyans living abroad send money home to help their families and for investment in various sectors, including real estate.

Source: http://www.businessdailyafrica.com/Kenya+diaspora+July+remittances+up+44pc/-/539552/1224396/-/ie3fq5z/-/index.html

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