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Friday, August 10th, 2018

 

Ensure return on investment in all youth training programmes

By KELLEN KIAMBATI
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By ANNE KARIUKI
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The youth policy in Kenya advocates for a society in which young people have an equal opportunity to realise their full potential and actively participate in economic, social and political life.

In the last ten years, the National Treasury has been allocating substantial amounts of money to youth affairs, part of it geared towards training programmes to enable them absorb the money allocated to youth-owned enterprises in the hope that this will enable them live meaningful lives.

When youth training programmes are executed, it is common to see evaluation of those trainings done at four levels: Reaction, which measures youth responses to the training programme; Learning — which measures skills, knowledge and attitude change among youth; Application — which measures changes in the behaviour and application of skills acquired and; Impact — which measures the extent to which we can attribute outcome change to the intervention by the training programme.

TANGIBLE VALUE

We are yet to see a programme that clearly shows the return on investment by comparing the monetary value of the results with the costs of the programme. Perhaps this partly explains the number of corruption scandals in many youth programmes. It is important that young people are sure that taxpayers’ money spent on these programmes is producing tangible value.

Measuring return on investment is a global issue, not a fad. Government institutions and development partners the world over are concerned about the accountability of training programmes.

Progress made so far underscores the need for evaluation to shift from activity-based processes to a results-based processes so that there is accountability of training, education and development programmes that focus on bottom-line results.

APPROPRIATE TECHNIQUES

All institutions and development partners involved in the programmes should understand that building a comprehensive measurement and evaluation process is like a puzzle where the pieces put in place over time. It is important to consider how data is collected, processed, analysed and reported to various target audiences with appropriate techniques and procedures consistently used to address almost all situations.

Implementation of return-on-investment methodology takes a systematic, logical and planned approach in order to make it an integral part of the programme and, consequently, present inbuilt accountability.

For any return on investment evaluation to be successful, a variety of issues and events should be addressed.

MONETARY BENEFITS

There is need to have a clear policy concerning results-based training and development; procedures and guidelines for different techniques of the evaluation process; sessions to develop concerned staff skills with the return on investment process, strategies to improve leadership commitment, special techniques to place more attention on results and technical capability to support this level of evaluation.

Government institutions and development partners should demand that the institutions they fund adequately demonstrate return on investment in their trainings in order to qualify for further funding.

There should be a clear distinction between impact and return on investment evaluation. The latter focuses on comparing a programme’s monetary benefits to its cost. It is no longer enough to undertake a youth training programme for the sake of it.


Raila unifies Joho, Kingi in bid to solidify Coast base

By MOHAMED AHMED
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ODM leader Raila Odinga has initiated moves to consolidate his political support base at the Coast after meeting with governors Hassan Joho and Amason Kingi.

Mr Odinga met Mr Joho and Mr Kingi, who have in recent weeks been pulling in different directions, and they all agreed that they should work together.

The two supported Mr Odinga’s bid for the presidency last year and both have already indicated that they are interested in the top office come 2022.

Whereas Mr Joho has remained firmly behind Mr Odinga, Mr Kingi has been seen to be gravitating towards Deputy President William Ruto, who is expected to be the Jubilee candidate in 2022.

Mombasa Governor Joho, Kilifi’s Kingi and Mr Odinga met on Wednesday at Mama Ashanti Restaurant in Lavington, Nairobi.

During the talks, Mr Joho agreed to reschedule Friday’s meeting with Coast MCAs to Wednesday.

According to Mr Joho’s handlers, the ODM deputy party leader and Mr Kingi met Mr Odinga for lunch after the governors had met Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala and resolved to work together.

“Boss (Mr Joho) was on Tuesday appearing before the Senate and that evening they met with Mr Kingi who was also in Nairobi and the following day met with Baba (Mr Odinga), where Mr Kingi also agreed to attend Mr Joho’s meeting with MCAs,” Mr Joho’s ally said.

Mr Joho called for the meeting with at least 200 MCAs from the six Coast counties a day after Mr Kingi met 21 MPs from the region.

Mr Joho’s move raised eyebrows on the unity of the two who appear to have had a falling-out since the March 9 peace deal between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Mr Odinga.

BUILDING BRIDGES

A week after they met Mr Balala, they are set to meet again in a public forum.

“The meeting will be held at Pride Hotel, Shanzu, where all the Coast MCAs have been invited,” Mombasa wards coordinator Idris Abdulrahman said, adding that Mr Kingi had confirmed his attendance.

Mr Abdulrahman said MCAs from Tana River, Lamu and Taita-Taveta had asked to be fully involved as the meeting had mostly focused on their colleagues from Mombasa, Kilifi and Kwale counties.

He said the Wednesday meeting aims at spearheading the President’s and Mr Odinga’s Building Bridges initiative at the grassroots.

A second meeting to bring together all elected Coast leaders, regardless of party affiliations, is scheduled for September.

Mr Joho’s decision to reach out to MCAs to penetrate the six Coast counties is seen as a reaction to a realisation that MPs from the Coast are now coalescing around Mr Ruto.

While Mr Joho has indicated that he will seek the ODM ticket for the presidency in 2022, Mr Kingi has said he will form his own party, but he has also shown interest in working with Mr Ruto.

Mr Odinga’s move is likely to complicate the political arithmetic in the Coast, especially if he gets Mr Joho and Mr Kingi to work as a team.


Choral verse a big deal at music festival

By ANTHONY NJAGI
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It might be unknown to those who might not have had the chance to attend, in person, the Kenya National Music Festival, but poetry is a big deal at the 92-year-old fete.

Referred to as elocution, there are many categories in this genre, for whose prowess one invests in vocal power and beautiful costumes. But the most important thing about elocution is the direct messaging inherent in the presentations.

So much so that many corporate organisations have targeted this category to bolster their public messaging strategies, by coming in as theme sponsors.

The Teachers Service Commission, Narisha Equatorial Nuts Processors, NSSF, Kenya commercial Bank, Unicef, National Environment Management Authority are among organisations that have supported this genre at the festival.

The festival entered its sixth day today (Saturday) at Dedan Kimathi University of Technology in Nyeri.

A number of schools made presentations in English and Kiswahili choral verses, pitching for top awards at the annual showcase.

The schools that excelled were Harambee Primary School, St Teresas Primary School, Kahuho Road Academy, Makini School, Machakos School, Kenvic School, St Joseph Kinango, Kibera School for Girls, Makueni School, Vitale HGM, Ziwa la Ng’ombe, Gachie Primary and Tenwek Boarding.

However, Harambee Primary School won most awards in the Kiswahili and English Choral verse.

PREPARATIONS

The school, which is based in Makadara, strides the national festival like the proverbial Colossus.

They presented 22 verses.

“We are not relenting and taking it easy though. We are working day and night to polish our items. We intend to bring the awards home by the end of the festival,” Mr Mutua says.

He was the teacher who directed all the poems, assisted by Felix Mugo and Annastacia Kingondu.

The school specialises in original choral verses and they have been riding high in the annual music festival for the last three years.

Mr Mutua says that the institution’s success is due to the dedication of the students and the school administration.


Florence Kajuju to ensure all Kenyans get justice

By DAVID MUCHUI
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Besides being ranked one of the most active MPs in Parliament in 2015, Ms Florence Kajuju, the new Ombudsman, is remembered for her fight to have miraa (khat) recognised as a cash crop.

The former Meru woman representative chaired a National Assembly ad-hoc committee that went round the country collecting views on miraa.

“Europeans who claim miraa chewers are impotent should consider bringing their women to Meru to establish the truth,” she said in defence of the stimulant.

Ms Kajuju becomes the second chairperson of the Commission for Administrative Justice after Rarieda MP Otiende Omollo.

The mother of three is an advocate who served as the vice chairperson of the Law Society of Kenya while running her firm in Meru Town.

In 2013, Ms Kajuju ran against the tide to win the woman rep seat on a Jubilee ticket.

Despite her aggressive campaign in 2017, she garnered 231,687 votes against Ms Kawira Mwangaza’s 231,687 280,272.

In Parliament, Ms Kajuju was instrumental in pushing for the creation of the National Government Affirmative Action Fund.

Her interest in justice has seen her serve in the Power of Mercy Committee, the Parliamentary Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs as well as the Court Users Committee in Meru.

Having taken up the role of a public service watchdog, Ms Kajuju says it is an opportunity take services close to people.

In an interview with the Saturday Nation, Ms Kajuju said she would start by reaching out to Kenyans so that they make use of her office.

“There has maladministration in public and private sectors but few Kenyans have been seeking services from the Ombudsman. I am keen on enforcing constitutionalism and promoting alternative dispute resolution mechanisms,” she said.

“We want to encourage people to report any cases of maladministration from the government offices.”

She says her office will work closely with the Judiciary, the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and the Kenya National Commission for Human Rights.

“The Ombudsman has offices in only six counties. We will be seeking more resources to enable us reach other parts of Kenya.

“It is also important to address the human resource challenge because we only have 72 employees against the recommended 336,” she said.

Ms Kajuju added that she would work towards ensuring the mandate of the commission is felt across the country.

“Our rallying call is ‘Hata mnyonge ana haki’ (Even the weak has access to justice). We will help the President achieve his Big Four agenda,” she said.


Demolitions a sign end of impunity is nigh

By MICHAEL MUGWANG’A
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It is a sad feeling when one’s investment, however modest, is destroyed. It is sadder if the destruction is commissioned by another person who has been standing by watching as one puts up that kiosk or estate bar.

It is a familiar, and bitter, feeling when a malicious city council employee keeps disrupting that business, inconvenience one’s handful of loyal clients and extorting the investor with the never-ending licensing requirements. There will always be that irritating official who passes by from time to time seeking to reap where they have not sown.

GREATER DAYS

That is why many of us empathise with victims of the ongoing demolitions that have made headlines in this past week. We can easily identify with that pharmacist in Kileleshwa who broke down after losing millions of shillings as government bulldozers brought down the building that housed her chemist.

But there is a silver lining to this cloud of demolitions.

Other than what many agree is the “inhuman” way the Kibra residents were treated during the demolitions, everything else points to greater and happier days ahead for the country.

GOD’S FEAR

The Kibra traders and residents are more at peace when they finally see some equality in the way law and order is being applied. Unlike the old “normal” way things have always been done, where the poor are mistreated and abused in the process of implementation of official directives and policies while their better-to-do counterparts are massaged and pampered, the new normal seems to treat every transgressor equally, as it should.

The trend of equal application of the law that the country has witnessed this week cements hope that, finally, the beginning of the end to big man syndrome and its attendant impunity is here. The fear of God is finally being instilled among those with the tendency to bend the law in pursuit of personal greed, how else would one describe the urge to block a natural river just to get rent!

RESTORE HOPE

During one of the demolition sessions, a State agency official was quoted recounting how he had had to repulse efforts by owners of the offending structures to bribe him and have him spare their property. The motivation among public office bearers to return money sent to them as tokens is indeed rare.

That in the ongoing crackdown, the authorities have vowed to demolish more than 4,000 buildings erected on riparian land and road reserves in Nairobi alone, is reason enough for those who had lost hope of good governance to restore it.

But there is more. We have heard owners of structures affected argue that they have all the requisite licenses and paperwork for the construction. Some have blamed the concerned agencies for having stood by and watched as the construction went on only to turn up and take the action after billions have been invested. That may be true and reasonable, but it does not make it right.

We cannot defend a wrong on the basis that we did not stop it when it was being committed. There is credible information that, other than getting rid of the illegal structures, the multi-agency team the President has put in place to restore public order will be following up public officers implicated, to have them personally account for the acts of commission and omission that allowed the buildings in the first place.

Speaking of crosses, it is encouraging to note that the war on corruption has been revived after a seeming lull, especially in public, and hitherto untouchables are being made to answer for their alleged impropriety while in office. The country hopes that soon, we will see those responsible for the illegal Mau Forest land allocation, the proverbial  big fish, made to answer and return the titles they hold against public good.


Mr Sonko train and put these' Kanjos' on a leash, they have all gone rogue

By NJOKI CHEGE
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In the hierarchy of my greatest phobias, nothing tops my fear of Nairobi City Council askaris, also known as kanjo. They are the reason I never buy anything off the streets no matter how cheap it is or how attractive it looks. I live in the fear that I might get caught up in a random melee between the Kanjo and hawkers and receive one of their famous resounding slaps or the concussion-inducing blow to the head. We have stories of hawkers losing limbs, wares, money and their lives in the hands of Kanjo. All who live or work in the CBD or visit the city centre share one thing in common: We fear Kanjo more than we fear thugs and the police. If asked to choose, I would rather face a battalion of filthy street urchins than face a single Kanjo askari. Don’t even get me started about being bundled into those unroadworthy contraptions they drive around. I would require truck-loads of prayer and therapy to recover from the trauma.

BLOOD-THIRSTY

In Nairobi, we do not have City County askaris, we have animals. What we have is a cabal of blood-thirsty beasts hopping over puddles of sewer to get from one miserable street to the other, hunting for hapless victims. They do not operate under any law and the concept of professionalism is foreign to them. Nairobi City County askaris are a law unto themselves and a dangerous clique of hooligans that needs to be contained. Governor Mike Sonko should halt everything else and put a leash on these criminals as a matter of urgency.

NATIONAL TREASURE

I was reminded of the brutality and viciousness of the Kanjo when I learnt that Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor had been assaulted and arrested by Kanjo while running her own errands in Lavington last week. Ms Owuor, who had just come from a shop in Lavington Mall where she had purchased some oil, was caught up in a scuffle between Kanjo and hawkers. When she refused to run like the rest of us would, she was attacked by a man from the back and she naturally screamed and pushed back, thinking she was being robbed. The burly man roughed her up, straining her wrist and in the process, she lost her glasses. One of the Kanjo also stole her phone. They bundled her up in one of those rickety jalopies and charged her with three counts; hawking fruits without a permit, using abusive language and dumping garbage on the streets. Ms Owuor is not a hawker. She is in fact an internationally-recognised author and the recipient of various prestigious awards, including the Caine Prize of African Writing.

HORRIFIC EXPERIENCES

Now I know that the Caine Prize is perhaps a concept too complex for the brawny numbskulls at city hall to comprehend, but Ms Owuor, by all accounts is special. She is a national treasure. We knew about her case because she is relatively famous within some elite circles of Nairobi but mostly due to the fact that the media and her sphere of influential friends tweeted about it and wrote lengthy Facebook posts in protest. But what of the innocent people who have been assaulted, robbed, shamed, inconvenienced, extorted, maimed and even killed but did not attract media attention or had no friends to tweet about their horrific experiences?

I can see a lot of chatter on social media about Ms. Owuor’s case but let us not lose this opportunity to put pressure on Governor Sonko to not just tame his boys, but also investigate the massive evils and injustices that Kanjo have metted out on innocent Kenyans.

BIG MISTAKE

I got arrested once by two traffic marshals for apparently jumping a red light in the CBD, which, for the record, I had not, since I am not dumb enough to put my life at risk and jump in front of unruly Citi Hoppas. The two demanded to get into my car and ordered me to drive towards City Hall. Big mistake, fellows. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I turn into a different woman when confronted by nonsense and that I can put up a really good fight. I told them off, and they soon let me go when they realised I was not cracking. I was lucky that day. I was lucky I could stand up for myself and argue my way out. But what of those who do not have the time or the chance to negotiate?

Sonko should take this opportunity to score a quick win with Nairobians by ensuring that assaulting an innocent person is the last thing a lawless Kanjo will ever do as long as he is governor.

Have a safe weekend and week ahead. And try to stay out Kanjo’s way.


Europeans named sea out of ignorance

By PHILIP OCHIENG
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In English, the Latin prefix medi means “middle of”. We find it, say, in the term “Mediterranean Sea”, a water system which the Latins shared with certain African, Palestinian and other European peoples. The sea was thus called Mediterranean because the Europeans assumed that their continent was the human planet’s “Mediterra” (“middle land”).

But a question mark stares at you as doggedly as Medusa’s face. The “middle” of which land? The answer: The middle of the only land that the speakers of that language were so far familiar with. They and certain related languages assumed that the historic sea lay along a line that divided our planet into two parts, namely, into Europe and Africa.

OCCUPY MIDDLE

The only problem was that the European account had neatly left out such other important human habitats as Asia, Australasia, North America and South America, lands whose existence now makes even greater nonsense of the term “mediterranean”, though Caucasian map-makers continue to impose that term on humankind.

In English, the prefix medi is found in, say, the verb to mediate, literally meaning to occupy the middle. To mediate, then, is to try to assume a non-partisan attitude so as to be able to reconcile two squabbling parties. Terra, the middle part of mediterranean, is already well known as the Latin word for our planet.

ELEMENTARY LOGIC

The only reason that the great Afro-European sea is known by the European (Latin) word mediterranean is that, for a long time recently, human influence has travelled north-south. The Latins – the imperious classical Romans to the north – assumed that the Mediterranean, their sea, occupied the very middle of the entire human world.

Indeed, no authority lower than God was what had allotted the whole of the Mediterranean to the Latins – just as that same God (nowadays alleged to be “the lord of universal justice”) would allot to an eastern Mediterranean tribe called Israel a land that already belonged to the Canaanites, a Palestinian people with deep Nilotic African roots.

CLEAR PREJUDICE

But, from elementary logic, it should be clear that, if you are almighty, then, only in clear prejudice can you commit such injustice in favour of any tribe or race of your own choice and yet continue to allow even the African side to laud you for it even after the European side has subdued you both militarily, economically and in terms of ideas.

Yet, in today’s world, anybody fully familiar with humanity’s history the whole world over now knows that it depends on which one of any two peoples is the more powerful militarily, economically and in terms of ideas – the one who is, therefore, the louder and more systematic with its evangelistic words of praise for the powers above.

In this regard, then, there is no denying that the missionaries from the other side of the Mediterranean were loud and systematic about their promises of heavenly salvation that we could inherit if we allowed the Europeans a free run over our worldly property.


Create jobs, don’t just look for employment young people urged

By COLLINS OMULO
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Youth in Kenya have been challenged to be job creators rather than wait to seek for employment with focus on white collar jobs only.

The call was made during a youth forum dubbed “Safe Spaces for Youth” on Friday at the United Nations headquarters in Gigiri, Nairobi, which attracted participants from within and without the country.

This comes as the country is preparing to mark International Youth Day tomorrow in Kisii County to celebrate the youth and their contributions to development, which will be graced by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

It was recognised the youth have built a momentum, with the rise of social media and other forms of online communication, in exploring new opportunities for engagement and are using their innovations to create both virtual and physical spaces.

ECONOMIC INEQUALITIES

All these coming as the world experiences drastic changes, such as climate change, deepened social and economic inequalities, political and humanitarian crises, which have contributed in limiting safe spaces for the youth.

Public Service, Youths and Gender Affairs Cabinet Secretary Margaret Kobia said having a space that feels safe can empower both rural and urban youth by providing them with the opportunity to gather and participate in activities such as sport, or talk and engage in meaningful dialogue in light of thinning spaces to meet, interact and socialise outside of their family environment.

Prof Kobia challenged the youth to come up with youth-led and youth-focused organisations to utilise safe spaces to meaningfully engage with local, national and global decision makers on issues including youth civil rights, voting, democracy and governance.

BIG FOUR AGENDA

“Participation in civic engagements can engender a sense of belonging and provides opportunity for power sharing for many youth who often feel excluded from governance issues and civil matters,” said Prof Kobia.

The Youth CS called on those present to come out and grab opportunities provided for by the government. She said through the Big Four Agenda, particularly the one on manufacturing, employment opportunities are set to be created.

“Manufacturing agenda is set to create jobs as it will need 350,000 skilled people to achieve the agenda. Safe space for the youth can only be there when there is good health, food, affordable housing, environment, water and sanitation,” she said.

Prof Kobia said the government is committed to empowering the youth to get meaningful employment.

EDUCATION LOANS

The government, she added, has invested in technical and vocational training to equip the youth with the necessary job skills, noting the government is also giving the youth Sh30,000 as stipend when joining the vocational training institutes.

They are also given access to higher education loans and has also changed the curriculum to competence based, all aimed at equipping the young with requisite skills to be job creators.

“Participants will consider ways in which safe spaces can promote an inclusive youth engagement in the 2030 Agenda and also identify challenges and opportunities for using available spaces in their communities, including participating in decision making processes,” she said.

INCLUSIVE DEVELOPMENT

The CS said the global commemoration has been preceded by a National Youth Week (NYW) aimed at showcasing the contributions of youths in all sectors as well as creating awareness across the entire population on the need to bring young people to the centre of social-economic and political development in the country.

“On August 6, we launched a national tree planting in Makueni County and on August 8 held a peace caravan in Nairobi before holding a youth dialogue at the National Assembly on August 10,” she said.

She pointed out that this year’s theme is line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically Goal number 11 which emphasises the need to provide inclusive and sustainable development.

Prof Kobia said as the youth continue to grow in a technologically connected world, they aspire to engage deeper in political, civic and social matters, and the availability of spaces becomes even more crucial to make their aspirations a reality.

PARTICIPATE

“As a ministry, we have domesticated the global theme through the slogan “Nafasi Ni Safe – Husika”. We plan to focus our commemoration in order to build momentum on the creation of space for our youth to be involved in the attainment of the national priorities within the Big Four Agenda,” she said.

She appealed to the youth to take an active role in the activities in order to voice their concerns, learn and participate in matters that affect them, share examples of positive spaces and the role that they played in enhancing the lives of young people.

The CS urged partners and stakeholders, including county governments, to organise activities within their localities bearing in mind this year’s theme adding that the activities should be aligned to the Big Four Agenda and youth inclusion and participation.

ANTI-DISCRIMINATORY

“I want to also challenge the United Nations to give tools for measuring achievements so that we can see the progress we have made. To the county governments, they should integrate their development plans with the national government,” she said.

UN Habitat executive director Maimunah Sharif said the international agency is committed to working together with the youth to create liveable cities by giving them a chance to take part in their design saying that by 2030, 70 per cent of people will be living in urban area. She said youth friendly spaces can be planned in such a way to accommodate the needs of the youth, creating an open and accepting environment and ensuring that the spaces appeal to the youth from diverse backgrounds.

The executive director explained the physical space should be designed in a way to deter gender-based violence, harassment, and marginalisation, while the virtual space should adopt anti-discriminatory policies and identify norms and values to be respected.

JOB MARKET

“The design of such spaces should be inclusive and accommodate their various needs, interests and activities,” she said.

Meru County Youth Affairs and Sports executive Daniel Kiogora implored the government to make laws that take care of the youth while also setting aside finances to empower them to make sure they are also part of the economy.

Shamoy Hajare from Jamaica School for Social Entrepreneurship pointed out that youths face challenges rising from mismatch in education system where skills being trained for now are obsolete and not applicable in the current job market.

CLIMATE CHANGE

She said that youth entrepreneurship must be mainstreamed to encourage them to be job creators, stating that it is estimated that in 2030 at least 1 billion new jobs will need to be created to cater for youth coming out of school.

“The jobs will not only come from the private sector and the government but from the youth themselves,” she said.

Cassia Moraes of Youth Climate Leaders said that the organisation is building safe space for young entrepreneurs to give them the opportunity to lead the needed change while also giving them a chance to get training on climate change.


Presumptive tax will sort out revenue collection in jua kali

By LETTERS
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The informal sector has been commanding a substantial share of the Gross Domestic Product in most developing countries, including Kenya.

Compared to the formal sector, the informal sector has also been enabling more people to put food on the table than the former.

According to recent studies, the informal sector has been growing steadily over the years as more and more people venture into the sector.

More interestingly, most people in the formal sector have been investing in the informal sector to get additional income.

However, despite this remarkable growth, the informal sector has been a hard nut to crack for many tax administrations, owing largely to lack of defined structures.

While acknowledging that the sector is a high revenue generator, most governments have been grappling with the apt framework of putting informal sector players within the tax bracket.

In 2008, Kenya introduced a three per cent turnover tax targeting small and medium enterprises with a less than Sh5 million annual turnover.

PRESUMPTIVE TAX

Turnover tax has been payable and accounted for quarterly by the concerned sector players.

TOT was meant to simplify the taxation process for the target sector.

Ten years down the line, the tax head has not been performing according to the expectations of the brainchild behind the tax, a pointer that its introduction and subsequent implementation was still not the badly needed framework to streamline taxation of the sector.

This means that the government has still been losing colossal amounts of revenue to this self-declaration tax framework.

Nonetheless, all seems not to be lost in Caesar’s pursuit of what rightfully belongs to him following a brilliant proposal in the 2018/19 budget statement to introduce a presumptive tax, which shall replace TOT.

REVENUE KITTY

The implementation of the proposed tax, which will be charged at a low rate of 15 per cent on the business permit or trading fees, is slated to kick off on January 1, 2019.

If accorded the requisite support by all the concerned parties, the 15 per cent presumptive tax will bring on board more players within the tax bracket.

Eventually, there will be more in the national revenue kitty as the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) will be in a better position to collect more revenue.

That way, the country’s development agenda dream, as articulated in the Big Four Agenda, will receive a major boost.

DANIEL MUEMA, Kitui


Demolition of structures on wetlands welcome move

By LETTERS
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Environmental management and restoration is critical to our nation’s heritage.

The move by the government to evict illegal settlers living in the Mau Forest has been a long time coming.

Restoration of the Mau Forest, a critical water tower which nourishes the nation’s food basket, will go a long way to secure our nation’s future and food sustainability.

In light of these developments, the families affected should either be compensated or relocated, and not subjected to inhumane treatment.

As the ongoing demolitions by the National Environment Management Authority continue, thousands of Kenyans have been rendered jobless and property lost as landlords and employees rush to beat the eviction notice meant to reclaim and restore our wetlands.

CORRUPTION

As costly as the demolitions are, this means law and order will prevail and people who break the law through dubious land ownership have been put on notice.

Construction of buildings on or near wetlands will be a thing of the past.

There will be no more backdoor deals to obtain land titles, and if such dealings occur, the same fate shall befall the land owners.

These demolitions expose the levels of graft in our country.

How did individuals manage to purchase land that is on riparian territory and construct their buildings without some collusion with officials at the City County, Lands ministry and even Nema?

Despite the losses of those who have been affected by the demolitions, the bold move secures our future.

ROBERT MBEYA, Nairobi