Taxpayers’ burden of keeping Kenya Kwanza CASs in office
Kenyan taxpayers will spend more than half a billion shillings annually on salaries and benefits for the 50 Chief Administrative Secretaries (CAS) whose names were forwarded to Parliament for approval on Thursday, putting more strain on the Exchequer amid questions on their value for money.
The CASs, who were nominated by President William Ruto, will each earn a monthly salary of Sh765,188, bringing their cumulative monthly and annual remuneration to Sh38.26 million and Sh459.11 million respectively.
The amount, which excludes other benefits like car grants, mortgages and insurance will further balloon their wage bill amid high debt servicing obligations.
(Source: Business Daily)
Airtel launches first eSIM card services in Tanzania
Airtel Tanzania Thursday became the first telecom in Tanzania to launching eSIM (embedded SIM) – a digital SIM that enables customers to access the same functionality like physical SIM available in the market.
The eSIM is a form of programmable SIM card that is embedded directly onto the Universal Integrated Circuit Card chip permanently attached to your phone.
Speaking in Dar es Salaam during the launch, Airtel Tanzania’s director of communications Beatrice Singano said that Airtel has paved the way by becoming the first eSIM provider in Tanzania.
(Source: The Citizen)
Parliament sets conditions for Bujagali tax waiver
Bujagali Energy Limited (BEL) will refund US$342 million to the Ugandan government for overpaid fees subject to a forensic audit by the Attorney General.
This is after Parliament chaired by Speaker Anita Among on Wednesday, March 15, 2023, adopted the report of the Adhoc committee on Bujagali. The decision was made after a decade-long overpayment issue that resulted from incorrect calculations made during billing.
In 2007, the government entered into a shareholders agreement related to the operation of Bujagali Energy Limited with Bujagali Holding Power Company Limited, SG Bujagali Holdings Limited and Bujagali Energy Limited. The project’s total equity was US$199 million.
In May 2022, Parliament stayed the extension of a five year Corporate Income Tax (CIT) waiver and instead granted one year pending an investigation by the Ad-hoc Committee.
Presenting the report of the Adhoc committee, the Chairperson, Dickson Kateshumbwa said that the total payment to BEL between 2012 and 2022 should have been US$329 million but instead the government paid US$671 million resulting in an excess payment of US$342 million.
(Source: The Independent)
Blinken’s visit to Ethiopia will take Ethio-US diplomatic relations to new heights: MFA
US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken’s, visit to Ethiopia will take the diplomatic relations between the two countries to a new heights of cooperation, Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Meles Alem said.
Ambassador Meles Alem gave a weekly press briefing to journalists on the main diplomatic activities of Ethiopia. Anthony Blinken’s visit to Ethiopia will take the relations between Ethiopia and the US to a higher level, Ambassador Meles said. He also stated that the visit of the secretary of state is an indication that the relations between the two countries are growing.
During his stay in Ethiopia, the secretary of state held discussion with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, focusing on various domestic, regional and bilateral issues, Meles added. Blinken also held discussions with Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Demeke Mekonen on various issues.
The two sides held discussion based on mutual understanding and cooperation, ambassador Meles said, adding that the relations between the two countries have entered a new phase of cooperation. According to the spokesperson, successful diplomatic activities are being carried out, with particular focus on peace diplomacy.