Business News Highlights

Energy Ministry denies claims that cost of power is on the rise

The Energy ministry has disputed official data indicating that electricity prices have risen under President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration.

Data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) indicates that middle class homes are paying more for power under the Kenyatta administration compared to the previous Kibaki regime — which had been blamed for making Kenya uncompetitive through costly electricity.

But Joseph Njoroge, the Energy and Petroleum principal secretary, has termed the KNBS data false, insisting that power prices have dropped.

“The arguments therefore being floated around that the government’s pledge for cheap power has not been fulfilled and that households are paying more for electricity today compared to 2012 is not true,” said Dr Njoroge in a statement.

KNBS data shows households consuming 200 kilowatt hour (kWh) paid Sh3,497 last month compared to Sh3,094 in December 2012, five months before President Kenyatta assumed power.

Burger King says cut-back on antibiotics use will not affect Kenya

American fast food chain Burger King has said a pledge it made to cut down on usage of antibiotics in chicken in the US and Canada does not apply to the Kenyan market.

Restaurants Brands International, which owns Burger King, has committed to use chicken that are reared without antibiotics, but only for stores located in the two countries. The company will make the move in the US stores this year followed by Canada in 2018.

Heavy usage of antibiotics is blamed for increased cases of drug resistance in humans.

Burger King opened its first outlet at The Hub mall in Karen in November last year and is set to open more stores countrywide later in the year.

The new fast food restaurant is being operated through a franchise agreement with NAS Airport Services Limited, a subsidiary of French-based careering firm Servair.

Meridian Hotel owners barred from travel over Sh400 million debt

The owners of Meridian Court Hotel have been barred from travelling out of the country for failing to pay a Sh400 million debt owed to a catering company.

High Court deputy registrar Elizabeth Tanui issued the orders after finding that Meridian Court Hotel directors Sadrudin and Akbar Kurji have since 2007 failed to make a single payment to Saz Caterers Limited despite having the means to settle the debt.

Saz Caterers was in 2007 awarded Sh2.2 million by an arbitrator for services provided to the two Meridian Court Hotel directors, with 27 per cent interest. The interest has seen the award balloon to over Sh400 million.

Ms Tanui has ordered Sadrudin and Akbar to make a Sh40 million down payment to Saz Caterers and given them until January 25 to negotiate a disbursement plan for the Sh360 million balance.

She also confiscated passports of the two directors and ordered them to appear in court on January 25 to confirm whether they have complied with the court’s orders.

Coffee farmers start receiving advance payments

Nyeri coffee farmers have begun receiving advance payments for deliveries to cooperatives last season.

Already three cooperative societies in the county have paid farmers more than Sh65 million at between Sh20 and Sh10 per kilogramme delivered.

Cooperatives which have paid farmers include Othaya, Barichu and Gikanda. Officials at the co-operatives blamed decreased production on climate change.

Othaya Coffee Cooperative Society paid out Sh32 million for about 1.5 million kilogrammes of coffee delivered between June and December last year.

“Right now the coffee is still in the wet mills and is being processed as farmers continue with picking,” said Mr James Gathua, the chairman.

Farmers in Othaya received the highest pay of Sh20 per kilogramme.

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