Magazetini Today, Monday 11th January

In the papers today: DP Ruto departs for the Hague, Treasury to reject pleas for non-essential funding from State offices, experts say Kenyans are overtaxed, El Nino rains fail to deliver promise of cheaper power. Read these stories plus more here. 

DP Ruto departs for the Hague

The Deputy President and former radio journalist Joshua Sang will attend the hearing of the no-case-to answer Motion at the International Criminal Court (ICC). The hearing of the Motion of no-case-to answer starts Monday after which the Trial Chamber judges Chile Eboe-Osuji (presiding judge), Olga Herrera Carbuccia and Robert Fremr will retire to decide whether or not he has a case to answer. Besides the decision on the no-case-to-answer Motion, Mr Ruto and Mr Sang will also be waiting for the ICC Appeal Chamber to pronounce its judgment on whether Ms Bensouda can rely on prior recorded testimony under the Rule 68 of the ICC Rules of Procedure and Evidence.

Read more HERE

Teacher appraisal set to start on Monday 

The Teachers Service Commission will from Monday start appraising more than 298,000 teachers for performance. The more than 30,000 school heads, 23,000 in primary and 7,000 in post-primary institutions, will be subjected to performance contracting while teachers would be subjected to performance appraisal and development.

Read more HERE 

Nairobi churns out 3,000 tonnes of rubbish daily, City Hall overwhelmed

The city of Nairobi is sitting on a monumental garbage problem, and that crisis is beginning to stink to high heavens. City Hall, which is in charge of Nairobi’s cleanliness, calls the current state of affairs “abnormal” while environmental experts call it “a hazard”. County executive committee member for environment, Mr Evans Ondieki, aptly used the description  “abnormal” when asked by the Nation last week why the city had become one messy stink pit. He added that the situation had “never been like this in the history of Nairobi, with garbage now being dumped in the CBD”.

Read more HERE

Treasury to reject pleas for non-essential funding from State offices

The National Treasury says it will chop off unnecessary expenditure requests from State offices. Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich said the government is finalising a review of proposals and revised estimates for additional funding by ministries and departments. These will then be presented to the National Assembly for approval through a supplementary budget when the House resumes. He said the allocations in the extra budget would be guided by prudence as Treasury continues to attempt to save on finances by cutting back on non-essential expenditure.

Read more HERE

Experts say Kenyans are overtaxed

A tax partner at audit firm Deloitte Fred Omondi is of the opinion that although the Government needs to fund its expansive budget, raiding the taxpayer’s purse should not be on the cards. “They need to fund the budget but taxpayers are looking at how efficient they can be,” he says, noting that despite giving a lot in terms of taxes, the taxpayer does not see the fruits of compliance. “The economy is under-performing but taxes are increasing,” stated Omondi, noting that in the three years that the Jubilee government has been in power, Kenyans have been slapped with more new tax measures than any other time. Omondi reckons that with this level of taxation, Kenyans need to see double-digit growth.

Read more HERE

Kenya sets new regulations for religious leaders, churches

New rules that require clerics to submit certificates of good conduct and their theological training certificates are now ready for implementation. The Religious Societies Rules published by the Attorney General‘s Office also require that all religious organisations submit their constitution showing statement of their doctrine of faith. The rules affect imams, pastors, rabbis and other religious leaders. According to the new rules, all religious societies must be registered and open to the registrar's inspection any time. All religious leaders must make a declaration of familial relations with other religious leaders and officers. In this case, officers include secretary, treasurer, trustees and committee members. They also demand that all pastors in Kenya must hold a theological certificate from an accredited theological institution. 

Read more HERE

El Nino rains fail to deliver promise of cheaper power

The heavy El Niño rains have had little impact on power bills amid expectations that rising water levels would increase injection of cheaper hydro-power to the nation grid. Data from the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) indicates that the fuel adjustment levy, which is linked to the amount of power generated from expensive diesel, for post-paid bills to be settled next month is at Sh2.31 per kilowatt hour (kWh) having remained unchanged at Sh2.51 over the past two months. The metrological department says Kenya should brace for a hot and dry weather, signalling a rise in fuel cost levy that will ultimately increase the cost of electricity.

Read more HERE

Freshers miss cash again as State holds Sh2.4bn Helb funds

First year university students will enter the second semester Monday without funding from the Higher Education Loans Board (Helb) after the Treasury failed to release Sh2.4 billion. The freshmen completed first semester without support from Helb, which promised to wire cash to the students’ accounts last week on the understanding that Treasury was to offer the agency cash. “The money is still not there. I talked to the Treasury on Monday over the issue and the PS said they have prioritised it. We don’t have a date when that would be,” Helb chief executive Charles Ringera told the Business Daily in a Friday phone interview.

Read more HERE