Category Archives: Charterhouse

Political Moment: MP Salaries Performance & 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


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.

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, or good 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.

Bank Enforcement CYA

The Finance Act 2010 is now available at

It covers a lot of grey areas generated by the Central Banks of Kenya’s (CBK) handling of the Grand Regency sale and the Charterhouse Bank closure and gives powers and direction that provide some legal safe cover (but not retroactively).

It requires funds recovered by the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission to go to the Government’s Consolidated Fund (78) and gives CBK powers to (peek and) take action at a bank based on (a bank’s own) auditor report (66) and specifies harsher actions that may be taken against banks who violate share capital limits (67).

Other provisions:

  • Banks can lend up to 40% of their balance sheets to real estate (up from 25%).
  • Beer prices up 20%.
  • Copyright inspectors can summon police officers to arrest piracy offenders (77).
  • Abandoned vehicle number plates should be submitted to Government for cancelation (40).

Week on Twitter: September 22

Another re-cap of a week full of Twitter – @bankelele posts which included issues like Olympia prepares for shareholders then postpone AGM, a skunkworks forum and a fibre summit are coming to Nairobi this week, but how is the fibre being used in government? There’s a new newspaper from the government of Kenya and a new magazine from EAM. Charterhouse bank may re-open while PTA bank has a silent bond, Kenya Airways flies to Ndola while Emirates air starts selling world cup 2010 packages, and finally twitter matures by enabling medical advice for Kahenya, drawing in the US ambassador to Kenya and also by helping Stanbic Bank improve customer service

– East Africa Fibre Summit – in Kenya next week…
Emirates Air starts selling 2010 World Cup South Africa Packages (where’s SAA, @kenyaairways, Ethiopian?)
New GoK newspaper title Kenya Today; first issue has bullet trains, Brigadier Ali, SMEs, Idi Amin, MJ, and rants about parliamentary dictatorship & NYTimes writers – all at a cost of Kshs 30/=
– @SupremeGREAM I’d be very surprised if Charterhouse Bank reopens. It will be like re-licensing Triton; @kachwanya is correct, something is smoking at Charterhouse
– R/T @kaboro Skunkworks Tech & Entrepreneur Forum, 29Sep Speakers: Liko Agosta, Verviant, Joshua Wanyama, Pamoja, Alex Gakuru.
– Help @kahenya with medical advice #rhabdomyolysis
– @RookieKE CFA one very tough exam, it has driven some very bright professionals up the wall. CFA pass rates Level I: 46% Level II: 41% Level III: 49% @kainvestor i salute those who have tried it
Tiomin say they have made progress with Canadian and Chinese investors on #kwale. Wait till they get to environment minister #michuki
Kenya government has asked all ministries/agencies to email copies of procurement tenders – to be compiled at a portal ; also which is “all about Kenyan content” has NO KENYAN CONTENT! Just Anheuser Busch, French news, love in Warsaw…
– @kenyaairways 44th destination launch flight lands in Ndola #Zambia
– Barclays waives joining fee for gold (6K) & classic (3k) cards… #youllpaysomehow @coldtusker I have no credit card, I can usually tap family or friends #TIA
– R/t @joosi @davos World Economic Forum (WEF) to be in Tanzania May ’10. Nairobi star said Kofi Annan steered it away from Kenya’s bad leadership

#Newshot and #bullseye are not too funny: seems Marende may have banned use of parliamentary clips for satire. Did Njoki spell stakeholder as steakholder in her protest letter? #NTV
– Sunday nation writes about US ambassador on twitter @usamb4reform, but twitter yet to be taken up keenly in Kenya unlike facebook
– Nairobi water company appoints 4 debt collection agencies
PTA Bank has a $21 million 14% bond in Uganda closing Oct 2. Pity they stopped updating their website
– New women’s magazine called Move out this week from EAM, costs just Kshs. 80 ($1)… was true love too pricey for the ladies?
– Twitter improves bank service R/T @coldtusker Thanks to @StandardBankGrp I got a call from CFCStanbic Kenya re: my problems at the bank
– R/t @kainvestor Kenya Ministry of Water office connected to fibre cable! But nobody knows what do with it…just watching movies online.

Olympia CEO comments South Africa has been a real challenge, but we still believe in the market M Matu ; later Olympiacapital muddle continues, now AGM postponed to 2nd-oct cause delayed fin statement dispatch

Wikileaks: Charterhouse

Charterhouse revealed
Fresh off the Kroll reports, Wikileaks moves on to another Kenyan financial saga – uncovering secrets of Charterhouse Bank.

The bank was placed under statutory management in 2006 after a long battle with the central bank governor, finance minister, amid allegations of money laundering and tax evasion that almost brought down Nakumatt supermarket who banked with them and hosted several Charterhouse branches.

Euro needs more marketing
The US Dollar keeps dipping lower, not just against the shilling, but is all over recording lows against the Euro and now achieving parity with the Canadian dollar (no more cheap buys from Canada).

I feel bad when I travel to another country with my Dollars and they don’t go as far as they used to, or as if I had carried Euros instead.

While the dollar is laid low, there is no other currency stepping up to grab its space. The pound is a colonial relic and the yen is too far & exotic.

The Euro needs to step up and lobby to become the currency of choice for hotels, shops, forex bureaus, Kenya airways, Somali & Sudanese businessmen, companies and most important the Kenya government

Family Bank gets cheques
After applying for a waiver (and getting it), Family Bank finally is now fully-fledged with cheque books for customers and access to the Central Bank clearinghouse. This meshes well with their growth plans – as a recent report found they had the highest new account growth among all banks last year.

IPO savings loan
From Transnational Bank, comes the Fanikisha enabling people to save money and buy IPO shares on the NSE – which TNBL will finance up to 2 ½ times what you have saved. The account is aimed at Kenyans abroad – but my question is with the fractional IPO applications yielded (1/4 or 1/3 of shares paid for) what gain is there in taking a loan for an IPO?

Story con or cover up?
KTN had a story this week about the Tesco supermarkets (local chain – not UK-related) who just ended their Uchumi franchise partnership. KTN said they had seen documents showing that Tesco was insolvent with negative share capital, numerous bounced cheques, rent arrears of many months at its stores, and suppliers reclaiming their merchandise. The story ended there with no follow up in the Standard (KTN sister paper) or any other newspaper. So was it hushed up, or was it a case of more mudslinging in the supermarket wars?

Giving banks a legal hand

The judiciary has been the bane of banks, taking forever to get things cleared. You can apply for a case against a debtor today and be told the next hearing date available is in 2008.

Something is very wrong when a case can’t be heard for almost ten months. There’s enough blame to go round – complex cases heard using archaic processes, too few judges, judges who take too long to clear cases, lazy/crafty lawyers who seek a postponement for any reason to keep cases going on forever etc.

The Chief Justice tried to give a helping hand in his gazette notice to stop one delaying avenue where matters relating to a case are presented in different courtrooms around the country. The most visible case has been the ongoing Charterhouse Bank saga which has been in courthouses in Nairobi, Malindi and Eldoret leading to conflicting legal positions.


from the daily papers last week
– Accountant at Bakri international (oil company). Apply to by 25/3
– Senior associate at Creative Associates International. Apply to by 23/3
Ernst & Young: tax trainees and an accountant. Apply to by 30/3
Huawei: transmission engineer, wireless engineer, and intelligent network engineer. Apply to by 30/3
– Communications specialist at ILRI. Apply to b 30/3
– Property manager at international house limited. Apply to by 26/3
KPMG: audit manager (AM-07), senior internal auditor & internal auditors (IAS-07), tax manager (TM-07) and tax consultants (TC-07). Apply to by 30/3
– Cluster manager at millennium villages. Millennium Promise is a partnership of the Earth Institute (Columbia University) and the World Agroforestry center. Apply to by 30/3
National Oil Corp of Kenya: depot accountants (Nakuru & Eldoret), and a credit controller. Apply to by 29/3
– National coordinator – African peer review mechanism at NEPAD Kenya secretariat. Apply to by 23/3
– Business development manager at Savings & Loan (KCB subsidiary).
– Financial management specialist at the World Bank. Kenya. Details and apply online by 30/3. Also, financial management consultants (6 months and 12 months) – D/L is 11/4
World Vision: ICT manager at world vision, Manager – KUTER initiative, and (RMB/IMCI) program officer. Apply to by 30/3