Category Archives: Kenyaelection07

Kenya’s Money in the Past: TJRC

From reading the introduction to a new book (available on Amazon) by Ronald C. Slye,  a Commissioner with the defunct Kenya Truth, Justice, and Reconciliation Commission, he narrates how the Commission evolved and troubles it encountered as it sought to carry out  investigations, through to completing its report and handing it over to Kenya’s President. These included accusations again their Commission Chairman and delays to the release of their report so it did not clash with the 2012-13 Kenya electioneering period as well as demands that some clauses be deleted from the final report.

The foreword of the book written by Reverend Desmond Tutu is also available and he gives some more background to the Commission and Slye’s writing. Tutu writes that the Kenya Government did not support the report, and printed as few of them as possible and Parliament has not debated the TJRC report.

In a chapter, available online, Slye explains how he came to join the Commission and some to the things he went through. He thanks his university, the Seattle University School of Law,  for making the complete TJRC report, in sectors and versions, available online on its website as well as also hosting supporting documents that he researched as the basis for his book.

In terms of finance and budgets, there were allegations against that the commission was a waster of public funds and Slye has dedicated a separate page called “Financial Scandals” that contains documents and correspondence on the financial affairs of the Commission. .. includes the letters written by the Commission to the relevant Parliamentary Committee’s requesting an investigation into the handling of the Commission’s finances by the Ministry of Justice. It also includes the only document the Commission received from the Ministry of Justice in response to our inquiry concerning how our monies were being spent.

Excerpts from the documents;

  • The Commission, while independent, never really had control of its monies which was stipulated in the TJRC act; that was done by the (Justice) Ministry. The Ministry also communicated that the Commission would have no control of funds until much later.
  • Some trips Commissioners made e.g to hear facts at the Kenya Coast were paid for out of their pockets but were never reimbursed. Nor did they get reimbursed for some medical expenses, some local travel which were done out-of-pocket, as well as for moving expenses of foreign Commissioners.
  • Money was spent on their behalf for activities which the Commissioners were not aware of e.g. Kshs 16 million to host a “council of elders.”

TJRC financial report from the Justice Ministry

  • In October 2009,  the Ministry sent three different sets of papers to JTRC purporting to give a breakdown of usage of their funds and Slye writes that it included bulk payment for Ministry of Justice retreats and bulk payments for unidentified casual workers when the Commission had just a CEO and two consultants
  • In December 2009, the TJRC submitted a two-year budget request for Kshs 2.06 billion. It also submitted a supplementary request for Kshs 631 million. When no answer was received, it wrote, in January 2010, requesting for a lower amount Kshs 480 million. In March 2010, the Ministry wrote that, of this request, they had been allocated Kshs 30 million in the budget for the rest of the fiscal year. The Commissioners soldiered on and decided to pursue alternative means of funding.
  • The page also contains a press release the Commissioner put out that stated:  “The TJRC would like to emphasise the need for financial independence and to restate that at no time has the TJRC had control over any finances. The Ministry, which has seconded one of its finance officers to the Commission, controls all and every aspect of our budget.”

In July 2011 the Commission was accused of corruption through media reports. Slye writes that internal investigations concluded there was no foundation. In their first year (2009-10), their budget was controlled by the Ministry and they had no control of finances till their second financial year. They lacked financial independence, they had to seek Ministry approval of all activities (delayed processes), and had no authority to approve /disapprove expenditure incurred by the Ministry on behalf of TJRC with no knowledge the ministry expenditure beforehand and they were not given a true account of expenditure in the first year. 

During their second year (2010-11), they ran low on funds and had to seek advances from the Treasury for 44 million and 80 million from the Ministry of Justice. They requested supplementary funding which never came which allowed hearing in Mount Elgon, Upper Eastern and North Eastern. Eventually, 650 million of the 1.2 billion was released. There were recurrent delays, payments came in tranches, they had to seek loans, and were only able to visit two provinces and hold public hearings.

Office of the Auditor General (OAG): 

Meanwhile, the Office of the Auditor General of Kenya mentions the TJRC in some reports:

  • In the report for 2010/2011, reference was made to the Commission’s failure to deduct Pay As You Earn (PAYE) from the salaries of 304 statement takers totalling Kshs.13,077,033. A review of the position during the year under review revealed that no attempt was made to recover the amount.
  • The statement of financial position of the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) lacked opening balances. Further, the statement of management responsibilities was not signed by the officials as required. The whole financial statements were not dated and the necessary supporting documents and schedules including cash books and government ledgers, were not provided for audit review.
  • Although notes to the financial statements were provided, they were poorly numbered and arranged such that it was not easy to follow the financial statements. The financial statements also lacked numbered pages and headings.
  • In the circumstance, the accuracy and completeness of the financial statements could not be ascertained.
  • With regard to truth, justice and reconciliation activities, the Ministry reported to the OAG that it had facilitated the enactment of the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Act, 2008 and the appointment of the TJRC Commissioners. 

Kenya: We Are One

This morning, KEPSA – the Kenya Private Sector Alliance had a meeting with business and religious leaders to revive the  ‘We are One’ campaign for Kenya at a time when terror and insecurity appears to be a growing threat to the country. 

Excerpts 
  • Safaricom Bob Collymore spoke about an investment banker who was comfortable traveling to Abuja for the World Economic Forum, but not to Nairobi which is now considered insecure. He then said the perception of Kenya was not good out there, and that the recently launch Kenya EuroBond was oversubscribed because it had a nice yield. He urged Kenyans to focus, not on politics, but on addressing the youth bulge and insecurity.
  • KEPSA CEO Carole Kariuki urged Kenyans to help rebuild Mpeketoni, Baringo and Mandera by donating building materials or by channeling funds through the Kenya Red Cross.
  • Some disclosures & concerns discussed included political (and religious) leaders who speak carelessly on national TV or who engage in double speak before different tribal and religious audiences, arming of communities, and targeting of properties of some communities. 
  • University students are resisting pressure to demonstrate (throw stones) on behalf of politicians 
  • The police are doing their part but what are ordinary Kenyans doing to promote peace. They were urged not to speculate on facts, and not to re-send / share propaganda that is found on social media .
  • The morning ended with the national anthem, as a prayer. 

Political Moment: MP Salaries Perfomance & Debates

On Tuesday, after a day of street protests
@iGaddo cartoon in the Nation
and online petitions by Kenyans, upset over yet another initiative by members of Kenya’s parliamentarians (MP’s or MPigs – as they were called in the street) to raise their salaries, President Mwai Kibaki announced that he would not sign a bill into law and thus appearing to halt their greedy March.

@Mzalendowatch has the hansard (transcript) of the debate on the fateful night that the salary increase was discussed, and while there was a lively debate with lots of MP’s contributing on matters like hides & skins, capital gains tax on land & shares, reopening Charterhouse Bank mining rights,  and capping bank interest rates –  on the subject of their salaries, no questions were asked on the complex motion which seems to imply that it had been agreed on to pass without much fanfare.
Kenyan leaders are overpaid

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Turnover: These are interesting times in politics, and with Kenya’s 10thparliament  in its’ last few months, there appears to be in a grab & go mentality, given that many won’t be back in parliament. In the last election in 2007, about 70% of MP’s lost their seats, and with next year having  the first election under a new constitution, many current MP’s are gunning for other newly created seats such as senators and governors.
Despite their high salaries, many MP’s have a track record of not managing their salaries well hence the push for a bonus send-off.

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Performance Review: How can we judge how MP’s have performed over the last few years? There’s Mzalendo who have tracked key issues in parliament (publishing bills & hansards) and also rate all the current MP’s as either  bad, average, orgood for their online constituents to judge. 
Also the Data Science blog came up with a performance with a scorecard using recently available constituency data to determine how much value some MP’s who led the controversial have actually performed for their constituents.

Debate Season : The BBC are in Nairobi shooting a month long series of shows in Kenya including Hardtalk with leading Kenyan politicians and pieces on mobile communications and Lamu.
BBC Hardtalk anchor gets grilled in Nairobi
And yesterday, Kenya’s media owners announced that they would jointly produce and broadcast a series of U.S style presidential debates  in the coming months.

 So how will the presidential candidates perform in a debate? The APSEA blog analyzed the communication styles  of three of the likely contenders  – Musalia Mudavadi, Uhuru Kenyatta and Kalonzo Musyoka (who’s the current Vice President) and who are all likely to be on the debate stage in from November  with some interesting findings..

Serena Copes with Kenya Tourism Dip

TPSEA (Serena) the only listed Kenya tourism chain had sales of Kshs. 3.2 billion ($40 million) and profit of 223 million (~$3 million) for the year ended September 2008 both down 12% and 54% respectively from 3.7 billion and 416 million in 2007.

2008 was listed as one of the worst years for Kenya tourism with some smaller hotels going under receivership, laying off staff and shutting for prolonged periods

Saved by Tanzania?: Serena was a beneficiary of diversification as the group integrated its east Africa operations in 2006. For comparison, in 2007 Kenya accounted for 2/3 of sales and profit, but in 2008, Kenya provided 59% of revenue and just 25% of profit, while Tanzania had 41% of sales (1.34 billion) and 75% of profit (167m)

Unfortunately there’s no breakdown of income of properties they manage in Mozambique, Rwanda or Uganda. Serena owns or manages 8 properties in Kenya, 6 in Tanzania, 2 in Rwanda (Kigali serena, lake kivu serena), 1 each in Uganda (kampala serena), zanibar (serena inn) and mozambique (polana serena)

Invest in tough times: At a time when some banks have sworn off new tourism projects, Serena is using the downtime in the sector to expand. Serena will invest 400 million in Jaja Limited a to develop properties in Nanyuki and Elementaita once it gets shareholder approval. Shareholders will also get the same 1.25 shilling dividend as for the year 2007

Mt. Kenya seen from Nanyuki

No beef: The Farmer’s Choice chain, a related company, supplied 26 million shillings worth of meats & sausages to Serena in 2008, down from 33 million in 2007

Kutwa Tuesday: Sam’s Kids


They may be called Barack, Michelle, Obama, or other creative names, but many of these new kids born and given fabulous American
baby Obama names were conceived as a result of Uncle Sam’s bungled election debacle in December 2007.

Opportunities

Airbus University Challenge: the Airbus
Fly Your Ideas challenge is open to university students around the world with ideas on the future of aviation and improving its environmental position. Prizes are €30,000 and deadline is 1st December 2008

Georgetown Fellowships Apply for the Georgetown University Law Center’s Global Health Law Fellowship Program. D/L is February 16 2009

Kenya Content Conference Tandaa 08 a local content conference sponsored by the Kenya ICT Board takes place on November 14 2008.

Kenya’s Top Women The Business Daily invites you to nominate Kenya’s Top 40 women under 40. send their names, contracts and reasons why they are worthy (in less than 500 words) to top40under40@nation.co.ke by 30th November

Government of Kenya jobs:
– Judiciary 25 resident magistrates. D/L 21/11
– Electoral commission of Kenya – 39 district election coordinators

Biz brief’s

Co-Op IPO: is 1/3 of the way to target with just 3 days to go optimistic about the Co-Op IPO. transaction advisers have now released cash flow and share price projections that should have been in the Co-Op Prospectus. what happens if they fall short – will D&B pay C-op for the shortfall? Is there a last minute investor who will get preferential terms to bridge the gap? The prospectus states that in the event that this minimum amount is not attained, approval may be sought from the Authority to proceed with the listing of the existing shares and any Offer Shares that are subscribed under the Offer.

I got an SMS (as did other Co-op customers) inviting me to take part, but the application desks/tents still look rather forlorn

Equity – HF: November 4 was not just Obama day, but also the date when the Housing Finance and Equity Bank deals should have been completed

Foreign Investors Tough times for the former Rift Valley Railways and Tiomin who continue to flounder: Tiomin’s latest statement notes. …. the Government of Kenya has not completed the remaining bureaucratic steps required for the transaction to close…..Tiomin’s management shares our investors’ extreme frustration at this unreasonable delay….. Tiomin has acted in good faith and we are very disappointed….. If the closing continues to be delayed, we will consider terminating the MOU on the grounds of unreasonable delay….. Tiomin will issue another press release when further material information is available. Pity they have no local defenders

Geothermal prospects : two companies are scoping in Eburu (gilgil) and Menengai for geothermal energy

Brew turf Coca Cola launch minute maid juices in Kenya (what happens to 5 alive) as EABL launch Alvaro in Uganda

Sat-TV: DSTV will launch pre-paid scratch cards, following in the footsteps of rival GTV who are reaping from the ongoing English premier league

Insurance by M-Pesa: Madison Insurance now accepting insurance installment payments by M-Pesa following Old Mutual, which enabled investment, plan payments

Radio Standard Group prematurely possible radio investment worth Kshs 250 million as KISS FM parent Radio Africa rolls out their 4th radio station – XFM (rock music)