Business highlights – ISK, real estate lobby urge government to enforce stricture measures protecting Kenyans from rogue developers

Consumer lobby group clashes with Beverages Association after COFEK says Kenya loses Ksh30 billion to illicit brews each year

  • Kenya loses Ksh30 billion every year in revenue due to illicit brews, the Consumers Federation (COFEK) has said
  • The lobby group has revealed that 50% of alcoholic outlets in the country sell counterfeited alcohol
  • COFEK Secretary General, Stephen Mutoro said that there are 900 unlicensed factories manufacturing the illicit brews
  • This has meant that the main players are genuinely being denied an opportunity to grow their businesses

The Alcohol Beverages Association of Kenya (ABAK) is disputing such actions by its members. ABAK Chairperson, Gordon Mutugi argues that most pubs, shops and retailers are completely legitimate businesses and would not get involved with the illegal business.

Mutugi has urged consumers to use the Kenya Revenue Authority’s Soma Label app, which enables them to know whether a product is genuine or not.

READ ALSO: Increasing number of illegal alcoholic beverages a threat to human health, consumer lobby says

He called on the government to deal with the menace that is robbing the country off 14,000 youths annually while denying genuine alcohol manufacturers an opportunity of growing their businesses.

Uber speaks out over row involving deactivation of drivers’ apps

  • Taxi hailing firm, Uber has responded to criticism over a move to suspend the accounts of some of its drivers
  • Drivers had raised concerns over the move, claiming that it was unfair
  • In a statement outlining the service provider’s Community Guidelines, Uber said its rules seek to keep standards high and ensure that drivers are making a profit.

Uber said the firm’s goal is to provide reliable, affordable and safe transportation. The taxi firm stated that its Community Guidelines are designed with the best interests of drivers and riders in mind. It covers, among other items, issues that relate to quality, fraud, safety and discrimination.

Uber said the company will not tolerate discrimination of any sort, against riders or drivers. That includes race, religion, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, sex, marital status, gender identity or age. On the side of the driver, this also includes respecting the transportation of people with disabilities, including service animals.

READ ALSO: Uber to raise fares six months after cutting prices by 35%

By maintaining high standards, riders will return time after time and drivers will keep as busy as they want. The Community Guidelines help to ensure the best possible experience for everyone, said Uber.

Construction sector big wigs urge government to enforce stricture measures protecting Kenyans from rogue developers

  • Construction industry big wigs have called on the government to enforce stringent measures to keep dubious housing development firms on a tight leash
  • The lobby groups want to protect Kenyans who risk losing cash while pursuing home ownership
  • Estate Agents Registration Board (EARB) Nelly Mbugua says that a Ksh100,000 fine provided in the law is too lenient

In a joint Press statement, the Estate Agents Registration Board (EARB) and the Institute of Surveyors of Kenya (ISK) said the government must fast-track the enactment of new regulations compelling all housing development firms to register as members of EARB to help root out ill-motivated housing development firms.

Mbugua said on Thursday, March 16, 2017 that the institution lacked adequate power to regulate the sector since out of the thousands of firms currently in operation, only 315 real-estate agents had been licensed to operate since the board was created in 1989.

She said the law needs to introduce stiff penalties for unregistered real estate agents.

ISK and EARB, which bring together land administration managers and surveyors working in land engineering, valuation and estate management, said mandatory registration will also require housing developers to possess at least a first degree in the building sector.

READ ALSO: Rich Kenyans move to Kitiruru for Ksh80M homes, buyers say Muthaiga is too expensive

The statement comes a week after a Nairobi-based housing firm shut down its offices, purportedly before it commenced construction of multi-million shilling project, despite receiving deposits of varying amounts from prospective house owners.

They urged Kenyans to scrutinise the past housing projects and completion records of developers before making any purchases.

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