• 16 Oct 2023
  • 4 Mins Read
  • 〜 by VELLUM TEAM

Week of October 16 


President William Ruto is in China to attend an event marking 10 years of the Belt and Road Initiative. Kenya is among 46 countries that signed on to the initiative at its start. The country went on to use Chinese loans and companies to develop key infrastructure projects – the Standard Gauge Railway, the Lamu port, and roads across the country. 

Resolving the funding dilemma. While President Ruto has adopted a stance against amassing more debt, he is acutely aware of the political and economic realities – that he has to deliver on the promises made before his election and on the Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda and the burden of debt cannot be wished away. The government’s plan is to push for Public-Private Partnerships. For this, the Nairobi Expressway is a flagship project that the administration will hope can work. 

Deals. President Ruto’s visit was preceded by that of Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen, who met the Chinese minister for Transport. The official report was they had discussions on infrastructure funding through the PPP model. The proposed new funding model would create a new way for those who show the foreigners around the corridors of power a new way to make money. It will therefore be worth watching the deals made during the trip. 



Important. The National Treasury has invited proposals on tax policy measures for consideration as it starts preparing the Finance Bill for 2024. The Cabinet Secretary, Prof Njuguna Ndung’u, says in the notice inviting Government Departments and Agencies, the private sector and non-governmental organisations that the proposals “should echo with the Economic Recovery Strategy and the country’s economic blueprint, Vision 2030.” 

Just to be clear, Prof Ndung’u has asked that the submissions be specific on the tax legislations and section to be amended, the objective to be achieved, and reinforced by a statement on the policy issue to be addressed as well as a clear justification for the proposed change.

Lobbying. The proposals mark the first opportunity for lobbying for the tax measures you would like to have in the Finance Bill next year. It’s an opportunity to start reversing the troublesome ones introduced in the Finance Act this year, like the one requiring alcohol manufacturers to pay excise duty in advance. 

It means that it is time to engage public policy and tax consultants to get the proposals going. The deadline to submit the proposals is November 10, which means that there are about 25 days to go. 



National Assembly. The loans contracted by the Government between May 2022 and April 2023 will come under scrutiny as MPs debate a motion on the report tabled by the Public Debt and Privatization Committee. President Ruto is reportedly keen on ensuring the KSh300-billion Eurobond debt due in June 2024. 



Johnson Sakaja has done what his predecessors were unable to do – increase the cost of parking in the city. He achieved this via a combination of measures in the county’s Finance Act assented to on Friday, October 13. There are direct increases, such as taking the cost of parking for private vehicles from KSh200 to KSh300 and the introduction of parking zones. Last year, the county struggled to meet its target for own-source revenue, collecting only 58.5% of the intended revenue and ranking 36th among all counties. Among the new strategies for increased revenue collection are: creating the Nairobi City Council Revenue Authority, implementing NairobiPay, an integrated Revenue Management System, mapping and geo-referencing premises for inspections, establishing a Chief Officer responsible for revenue, and providing tools for revenue collections, inspections, and enforcement.

Head of Public Service Felix Koskei is at the centre of the apparent fight over offices between Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi and Public Service Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria. Mr Koskei reallocated offices after President Ruto’s first reshuffle of his Cabinet. Mr Kuria has struck a conciliary tone in his remarks, suggesting it is a storm in a tea cup, but Kibisu Kabatesi, Mr Mudavadi’s long-time spokesman and now Secretary, Government Strategic Communications, was less diplomatic in a press statement. “Portfolio designation is the prerogative of the President and cannot be usurped by a civil servant,” he said, insisting that the President’s Executive Order Number One issued last year supersedes Mr Koskei’s letter. 



James Smart, host of With All Due Respect on NTV, sarcastically noted the size of Governor Sakaja’s entourage while on a visit to Paris. The governor’s delegation appeared to have gone beyond the limits advised by President Ruto. 

Mike Sonko, the former Nairobi Governor, took on Senior Counsel Ahmednassir Abdullahi on X, who castigated him for supporting Brian Mwenda, the man who has apparently been masquerading as a lawyer, and succeeding. 



Serah Mwikali Katusya is now the Chief Executive Officer at Belva Digital. She was previously the Managing Director at GroupM East and Central Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa Coordination Lead.

Clifford Machoka has joined Coca Cola as Head of Public Affairs, Communication, and Sustainability. Clifford was previously Head of External Affairs at Nation Media Group.

Sandra Suzanne Buyole has joined Bolt as the Regional PR Manager, Africa, where she will be leading communications and public relations for Bolt in Kenya Tanzania, South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria, and Tunisia. Before moving to Bolt, Sandra was an Account Director at APO Group.