Business highlights – Shelter Afrique MD resigns after report implicates him in staff harassment, fraud scandal


Shelter Afrique MD resigns after report implicates him in staff harassment, fraud scandal

  • James Mugerwa has stepped down from his position as Shelter Afrique Managing Director.
  • Mr Mugerwa’s exit comes after Tuesday’s board meeting where directors adopted a forensic audit report that fingered him over subprime lending and creative accounting.
  • Shelter Afrique said in a statement that Mr Mugerwa offered to resign in order to pursue other interests.

Femi Adewole, who has been serving as director in charge of business development, has been appointed acting Managing Director pending recruitment of a new boss.

Mr Mugerwa took office in August 2014 after the exit of Alassane Ba.

READ ALSO: Business highlights – You broke the rules, Deloitte tells whistleblower who exposed Shelter Afrique scandal

The Deloitte forensic audit report had recommended disciplinary action against Mr Mugerwa on grounds of conflict of interest, staff harassment, and blowing up US$7,845 (Ksh784,500) in advances he couldn’t account for.

Taxi operators call on MPs in fresh battle with Uber, Mondo Ride

  • Taxi drivers want laws amended as they move to protect their turf from cab-hailing service providers.
  • The Kenya Taxi Cabs Association has asked MPs to amend the Traffic Act to regulate fares so as to eliminate what they perceive as predatory pricing.
  • The segment has attracted a number of taxi-hailing firms, among them Safaricom-backed Little, California-based Uber, Dubai’s Mondo Ride and Estonia’s Taxify.

Conventional taxi service providers have accused ride-hailing firms of creating unfair competition by charging lower prices.

Through a public petition signed by Laban Maina, Peter Kuria Wanjama, Lawrence Kimani and Job Nzioka, the taxi drivers asked the National Assembly to enact laws for equitable and inclusive regulation of players in the taxi sub-sector.

READ ALSO: Why MPs will be spending less time in parliament as 2017 general election nears

They want the MPs to change the Traffic Act in order to put in place model traffic legislation for counties. The petitioners are concerned that the Traffic Act, Cap 103 Laws of Kenya lays ground for unfair competition by disproportionately regulating the taxi sub-sector, Deputy Speaker Joyce Laboso told MPs while communicating receipt of the petition.

The petitioners claimed that whereas sections 70 to 74 of the Act obligate taxicabs to be registered and among other requirements, bear a continuous yellow line for identification, the same law appears to confer inverse statutory liberty to corporate taxicabs and those contracted by Electronic Cab Hailing Applications.

The taxi drivers said their grievances had not been addressed despite raising them at both the national and county governments.

11 public universities are technically bankrupt

  • Eleven public universities are technically insolvent and cannot meet their financial obligations, Auditor-General Edward Ouko has said, painting a dire picture of the state of the country’s higher education.
  • The audit report says Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), Technical University of Kenya (TUK), the University of Nairobi (UoN), Laikipia University, Machakos University College and Masinde Muliro University were all in the red as of June 2015.
  • The audit also found that UoN had amassed a Ksh458.4 million deficit and eaten into its reserves to the tune of Ksh147.6 million.

Auditor-General Ouko says serious cash shortfalls have rendered the colleges unable to make statutory payments to the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and the pension and health schemes despite making deductions from employees.

The list also includes Nairobi-based Multimedia University, Murang’a University, Embu University, Pwani University and the University of Eldoret.

The audit also found that financial distress has left the universities with a string of stalled multi-billion shilling construction works, including new lecture rooms, office blocks and hostels, some of which were commissioned years ago. The institutions — which admit the majority of Kenya’s university students — have blamed under-funding by the government and poor collection of internal revenue for their troubles.

READ ALSO: Universities now put on notice

Kenya has 33 public and 35 private universities out of which 17 are fully chartered.

The poor state of the university’s finances was first made public last week in a report Mr Ouko submitted to Parliament showing that UoN was, at the time of the audit, unable to remit Ksh673.6 million in statutory deductions from staff salaries.

UoN, which is Kenya’s oldest public university, was found to have been in such a financial distress, it was forced to finance its daily operations using bank overdrafts.

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