Evening news headlines

News highlights

Nairobi County officials accused of overspending on legal fees

According to a report by the County Public Accounts Committee, Nairobi County spent Ksh580 million for legal services contrary to the approved Ksh100 Million in the financial year ended June 30, 2017. These queries had been raised by the Auditor General in his report where it emerged that the County Treasury, under former Governor Evans Kidero, paid an excess of Ksh480 million for legal services; over-budget payments made without approval from the County Assembly.

“One of the areas that public funds were blatantly misappropriated during the period under review was expenditure on legal fees, the county illegally paid extra legal fees without seeking approval contrary to the Public Finance Management Act,2012,”reads part of the accounts committee report.

Communication Authority warns public over resurgence of phone scams

Kenya’s Communication Authority has issued a fresh warning on the resurgence of an international phone calls scam. A wave of scams hit Kenya in January when residents complained about receiving phone calls from strange numbers. People receive very brief calls, or find notifications for missed calls, from unknown numbers. Those who fall for the scheme usually call back and are unknowingly redirected to premium numbers that drain lines of credit.  CA Director General Francis Wangusi said today that the National Kenya Computer Incidence Response Team Coordination Centre had confirmed fresh reports of the aforementioned scams.

Government upgrades security protocols at JKIA, adopts stricter measures

Major security changes are expected at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport as the country gears up for a roll-out of direct flights to the United States in October. The entire security system has been overhauled and more strict measures adopted in a bid to seal any loopholes. Notably, National Youth Service personnel have been removed at the security checkpoints at the airport. Speaking after a security assessment during a dawn tour at the facility, Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi says anyone who is not supposed to be at the airport has been removed, while a section of the airport land that had been encroached has been recovered.

Business highlights

AfDB approves Ksh150 million for Jigiwa on-grid IPP solar power procurement program 

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank has approved a US$1.5 million (more than Ksh150 million) grant from the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) to support the Nigerian Government’s implementation of Phase 1 of the Jigawa 1-GW Independent Power Producer (IPP) Solar Procurement Program. This approval reaffirms the underpinning principles of the Bank’s New Deal on Energy for Africa and its commitment to developing renewable energy and increasing energy access on the continent. At full 1 GW capacity, the program will assist the government to achieve its national goals of reaching 75% electricity access by 2020 and electrifying unserved and underserved areas, particularly in northern Nigeria where access rates are lowest and increasing the share of renewable energy in the energy mix to 30% by 2030.

Kenyan farmers to benefit from free satellite images

The Africa Regional Data Cube has been launched in Kenya with the aim of providing accessible and relevant satellite imagery for researchers and farmers in five countries. The Africa Regional Data Cube will help Kenya, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Ghana, and Tanzania, address food security concerns as well as issues relating to agriculture, deforestation, and water access. The data cube was developed by the Committee on Earth Observation Satellite (CEOS), in partnership with the Group on Earth Observations, Amazon Web Services, the office of the Deputy President, Republic of Kenya and Strathmore University in Kenya.

Chamber of Commerce moves to support SMEs

The Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry has raised Ksh120 million in support of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The business lobby started the programme last year to enable SMEs stay in business after the long-drawn-out polls period that forced several businesses to close down.The KNCCI Nairobi chapter initiated the SME programme last year at the height of the election campaigns when small businesses started complaining of losses following the heated and prolonged electoral process.

Sports highlights

Crystal Palace join race for Garry Rodrigues

The race to sign Galatasaray winger Garry Rodrigues this summer is hotting up. Newcastle United have made bids to sign the Cape Verde international in each of the last two transfer windows, while Everton have also been tracking Rodrigues over the last few months. West Ham United reportedly made a £10 million (Ksh1.36 billion) for the 27-year-old. But there is now a fourth Premier League team in the race.

Leeds United boss defiant over Myanmar trip

Leeds United owner Andrea Radrizzani says he did not reconsider the decision to take the club on a controversial post-season trip to Myanmar, despite criticism from the city’s MPs. MPs Rachel Reeves, Hilary Benn, Richard Burgon, Fabian Hamilton and Alex Sobel said it was “deeply inappropriate”. United began their tour on Wednesday, losing 2-1 to the hosts’ National League All Stars in Yangon.

The trip continues to divide opinion because of the treatment of Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslim minority. Nearly 700,000 of the Rohingya minority have fled the country since August because of ongoing military operations in Rakhine. Myanmar’s government, which does not give the Rohingya citizenship and sees them as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, says it is fighting militants and has denied targeting civilians.

Klopp insists Liverpool’s final day clash with Brighton is most important of season

Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool’s final-day clash with Brighton is their most important game of the season. The Reds welcome Brighton to Anfield for their last game of the Premier League season with qualification for next season’s Champions League hinging on the result. Liverpool will secure a spot in Europe’s elite club competition if they avoid defeat to the Seagulls, although they will have a second chance to qualify as winners if they beat Real Madrid on May 26.

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