It is just about a week to the August 2023 payday if you are salaried, and especially if you are a civil servant, the news of a salary increase of between seven and 10% must be something positive to look forward to amid the high cost of living.
As always, in this week’s edition of Money Weekly, we take you through some of the top news about money in Kenya that may affect your pocket.
Barely a week after a petition was filed at the National Assembly asking Parliament to ban the massively popular social media platform, TikTok, talks between President William Ruto and the company’s CEO, Shou Zi Chew, have resulted in the company agreeing to open an office in Kenya.
A statement from the Office of the President on Thursday, August 24, says the short-form video hosting service will be working with Kenyan authorities to ensure content on the platform is moderated following concerns over explicit content.
The move, President William Ruto said, will ensure that content on the platform adheres to agreed guidelines.
“This new development means that inappropriate or offensive content will be expunged from the platform,” the statement reads in part while adding that Chew had pledged to hire more Kenyans to work for the platform.
The president had initially indicated that he would be pushing for the extension of monetisation channels to Kenyans but there was no mention of this in the statement.
Earlier last week while reacting to the petition to ban TikTok in Kenya filed by one Bob Ndolo, National Assembly Majority Leader Kimani Ichung’wah argued that an outright ban would deal a big blow to content creators earning a living from the platform.
"We cannot as a House preside over the banning of any app, we cannot fight with technology. Ndolo should have petitioned the house to look at ways to regulate the use of these apps, and how the ICT department will be able to regulate the content.”
"Outright banning would be killing careers. The government now appreciates this as an industry where we can raise revenues. We just need to regulate," he stated.
Currently Kenyan content creators earn money on TikTok through influencer and affiliate marketing, directly marketing their own goods and services or through gifts from viewers of their live broadcasts.
Investment, Trade and Industry Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria has revealed that the government is planning on introducing a 25% duty on imported garments including second-hand clothes popularly known as mitumba.
Kuria, who was speaking in Eldoret during a pre-devolution conference meeting with players in the textile industry, said the move was aimed at reviving the Kenyan textile industry.
“As a country, we have a rich textile industry but it has been stifled by imports. It should be expanded to benefit Kenyans and to encourage the sector to grow, we need to control imported fabrics,” said CS Kuria who argued that imported fabrics should be treated as luxury.
With the effect of the proposed tax being the increase in the cost of Mitumba clothes, the CS said the government had a plan to make sure that cheap local fabrics are available.
“One of the reasons that makes Kenyans flock to Mitumba is the perception that they are cheap. In the future, we will create an alternative for the Mitumba where they will have access to cheap and durable clothes for sale,” he asserted.
In an effort said to be aimed at lowering the escalating cost of cooking oil in Kenya, the government has launched oil dispensing machines in a project dubbed ‘Mama Pima’.
The initiative jointly launched between Kenya and Indonesia, Kenyans will be able to purchase cooking oil in small quantities for as low as Ksh10 mimicking already thriving edible oil dispensing businesses that have been mushrooming across the country.
“I have this afternoon launched the Mama pima, oil dispensers meant for hustlers in this country. Our people can now buy cooking oil at very affordable rates, from as low as 10 shillings to cook for a day,” Trade CS Kuria said on Tuesday, August 22.
The CS stated that the country imported edible oils worth Ksh100 Billion annually, a financial burden he said the government was keen on reversing in collaboration with governors from counties that can grow palm oil.
Under the initiative, traders will be sold edible oils at Ksh210 per litre from the government as compared to the prevailing market rate of about Ksh340 per litre.
Each machine will cost Ksh185,000 to purchase with a special focus on Homabay, Lamu and Tharaka Nithi counties. About 100 machines have so far been imported.
Interested traders are advised to visit the Kenya National Trading Corporation (KNTC) headquarters to make their purchase.
Interior CS Kithure Kindiki has promised to spearhead a crackdown at the Directorate of Immigration Services headquartered at Nyayo House in Nairobi over allegations of corruption.
The CS, appearing before the National Assembly’s Regional Integration Committee on Thursday, August 24, blamed corrupt officials at Nyayo House for the protracted delays in the issuance and processing of passport applications.
He alleged that there were offices at Nyayo House who were asking for bribes to provide services that the government was offering for fee vowing to clean up the issues at the Immigration Department “once and for all” .
“We will seal off Nyayo House and name it a scene of crime. How do Kenyans queue from 6am? It won’t be business as usual. We must clean up Nyayo House,” he stated.
Compare All Logbook Loans on Money254👇🏿👇🏿
With a backlog of passports standing at 58,000 according to the CS, the Immigration Department is currently processing about 5,000 daily. He added that there was a plan to issue passports in 7 days and eventually reduce the waiting period to 3 days and 24 hours for emergency cases.
On the issuance of identity cards, Kindiki stated that the 21-day waiting period was still in place pending the rollout of the Digital Maisha Number that will translate to a Death Certificate Number upon death.
Interior CS Kithure Kindiki, during the same meeting, revealed a plan to remove all roadblocks across the country by November 1, 2023.
While making this revelation which he said was a presidential directive, the CS said the roadblocks would be replaced by patrol security officers along major corridors and highways.
"Roadblocks are an old form of security. Roadblocks should be mounted on the request of the security operators to achieve a specific agenda and once it has served its purpose, it’s dismounted," he stated.
Members of the committee had raised concerns about the effect of roadblocks on the cost of doing business, specifically, on increasing delays in the transportation of goods and bribery.
Kenyan e-commerce food distribution company has revealed plans to lay off 20% of its workforce citing tough market conditions.
In the development first reported by TechCabal, the Peter Njonjo-led company refuted claims that it was shutting down its Uganda operations.
Compare All Car Financing Loans on Money254👇🏿👇🏿
“[Twiga has been] on a transformative path in the last few months to become a lean, agile, cost-efficient organisation, undertaking several interventions to adopt and sustain the business during these economic times,” Njonjo stated of the changes as quoted by the publication.
About 267 people who will be laid off, according to the CEO, will receive “ severance packages in full compliance with applicable labour laws.”
The Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) has rejected the proposed salary increase by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) that they say fell short of their expectations.
In the SRC proposal, the lowest-earning teacher will receive a 9% pay increase while the highest earning teachers would get a salary bump of just 2.5%.
“What our teachers expected out there for KUPPET was between 30 and 70%. So when the figures turned out to be between 9 and 2.5%, we realised that maybe it was the President lying to us or the SRC lying to us or TSC is not being genuine,” KUPPET Secretary General Akello Misori said.
Their primary counterparts under the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) stated that they would present the proposal to their members noting that it addressed differences by remuneration levels.
KNUT, on the other hand, says it will take the offer to its members, stating that although it is lower than what was expected, it addresses the balance between the highest and lowest earning of its members.
“Much as we thank the President, we want to tell the TSC that what we expected in the review is not what they brought us, and we ask them a question, suppose the President did not say the 7 to 10%, what were you going to bring us? So what we have deliberated on is nothing short of the presidential pronouncement,” KNUT Secretary General Collins Oyuu remarked.
The third remuneration review cycle for 2021-2025 presented by the National Police Service Commission (NPSC) shows that the salary of a newly-recruited police constable will be Ksh21,645.
The changes that affect both uniformed and civilian staff in the service show that salaries will be increased by between Ksh1,255 and Ksh9,439.
Below are the new monthly salaries for officers in the police service that Inspector-General of Police, Japeth Koome said will be reflected in the August payslip.