Kenyan Banking Change, Point Blank with Asian Weekly 2nd September 2016

Kenyan Banking Change

Banking Courtesy Payment News

Banking Courtesy Payment News

The world’s first bank according to historical records was opened in the 15th Century in Barcelona.

Paper money first started in China in the 14th Century and reached Europe in Sweden in the 17th Century.

The concept of Central Banks started in Europe with England opening its Central Bank in the 17th Century.

According to Investopedia, an Interest Rate is:

“Interest rate is the amount charged, expressed as a percentage of principal, by a lender to a borrower for the use of assets. Interest rates are typically noted on an annual basis, known as the annual percentage rate (APR). The assets borrowed could include, cash, consumer goods, large assets, such as a vehicle or building. Interest is essentially a rental, or leasing charge to the borrower, for the asset’s use. In the case of a large asset, like a vehicle or building, the interest rate is sometimes known as the “lease rate”. When the borrower is a low-risk party, they will usually be charged a low interest rate; if the borrower is considered high risk, the interest rate that they are charged will be higher.”

In simple words, this is the “profit margin” for the banks on your money.

On 24th August, 2016 President Uhuru Kenyatta signed the 2015 Banking (Amendment) Bill into law.

According to a recent report by the Oxford Business Group, Kenya has over 40 commercial banks and over 10 microfinance banks serving a population of over 40million whereas Nigeria has about 22 banks serving 180million people.

Another significant change made recently before the Banking Bill was the introduction of the Kenya Banks Reference Rate (KBRR). This was created by the Central Bank of Kenya to replace the base-lending rate used by commercial banks to price their products.

While this Banking Bill is affecting the commercial banks in Kenya, it does not affect mobile bank loans or those from microfinance institutions, the interest rates will remain high.

While the share prices of a few top banks dipped to some of their lowest levels right after the signing of the Bill, the common Kenyan is going to benefit.

Also, bankers are yet to find out whether this change will also affect current loan contracts. The coming few weeks will surely determine the fate of many from existing borrowers to new loan applicants.

Kenyans will continue to borrow loans for cars and homes because these are significant milestones. But the rising cost of living, stagnant salaries, unemployment and less access to borrowing capital for entrepreneurship may prove to be a disaster in the making. If the interest rates on the existing loans do not drop then it will surely discourage them to borrow anything for a while to come. Borrowing is necessary sometimes to keep the business running, homes happy and lives fulfilled and for a very long time Kenyans have been strained in living under debt. Sometimes you are taking another loan to pay off another loan. Moneylenders will loose business but then again this is an opportunity for the common person not to get carried away and take more loans or continue to mismanage their money.

What you save today is a gain tomorrow. Bank executives may not feel the pinch of losing a gap in their salary but the average worker can invest in his or her future, clear a bill, pay a school fees and do more. The President’s decision was the only way to stop this long term almost mafia moneymaking pyramid by the banks. This is not a drastic move compared to other countries in Europe or Asia who also have their interest rates capped by the Government.

The key is to keep creating employment and provide financial and any other support to businesses so we become more self-reliant and when we are borrowing there is a more wholesome benefit than just the bank manager sitting in a corner office. This picture needs to get bigger for the average person.

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Posted by on September 2, 2016 in Uncategorized


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Nuclear Power: Death, Destruction, Dead-End, Point Blank with Asian Weekly 26th August, 2016

Nuclear Power: Death, Destruction, Dead-End



29th August is the International Day Against Nuclear Tests and it remains a significant day mostly because according to the UN since 1945 over 2000 nuclear weapons have been tested and more will continue to be tested.

Do we want to live in a world where the death and destruction can be brought to a real dead-end by the touch of a button?

One slight relief has been that since Hiroshima and Nagasaki, nuclear weapons have not been actively used in warfare.

According to the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, several treaties have been since to prevent nuclear proliferation and testing but the most important one- the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), which was signed in 1996 has not come into effect.

But then what is Nuclear Energy?

This is the energy released when nuclear reactions take place and then are used to generate electricity. Sometimes it can be referred to as Nuclear Power but then that can also mean “political power play” for nuclear weapons. So the appropriate language to describe “power” generated using nuclear materials is “nuclear energy”. The pros of using this energy include lesser emission of greenhouse gases compared to fossil fuels and higher energy output. However the cons outweigh because they include the dirty mining and use of uranium, radioactivity and accidents like the recent Fukushima in Japan have shown live effects of what can happen wrong. Also uranium is scarce and the battle between energy producers and weapon makers is so high that there is high-level smuggling going on. In fact all countries that have nuclear reactors also can easily use the plutonium being produced to make dozens of Hiroshima size bombs annually. Thus, the need for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) and its enforcement so as to prevent the creation and mostly the use of another hydrogen or atomic bomb. These also fall under the category what we may be familiar because of the Gulf War, Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Therefore, “The 64th session of the United Nations General Assembly declared 29 August the International Day against Nuclear Tests through the unanimous adoption of its resolution 64/35 on 2 December 2009. The Preamble of the resolution emphasizes that “every effort should be made to end nuclear tests in order to avert devastating and harmful effects on the lives and health of people” and that “the end of nuclear tests is one of the key means of achieving the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world.” (Source:

Is it then possible to have a world without these weapons and then of course no testing?

Yes and no.

Evil has no boundaries but goodness does. Evil has many more supporters, goodness lacks enough. It is easier to teach bad than good. It is easier to spread negativity than positivity. The world’s population is over 7 billion but how many are enlightened enough or are in the right position at the right time with the right power to do the right thing? Sure, one big change starts with one small step and that’s why nuclear tests have to stop, the ban has to come into place otherwise one small button will trigger the dead-end of mankind.


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Posted by on September 2, 2016 in Uncategorized


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Respect for Women in Danger, Point Blank with Asian Weekly 19th August, 16

Respect for Women in Danger

Men Ogling Women

Almost every week there is a video circulating showing how a man beat up his woman and she was killed or raped over a petty matter. The biggest crime between the lovers also is jealousy and it is driving them to cut off hands, burn each other or molest and violate their bodies. While these are signs of a burdened urban population finding space and mentally and physically, these are very dangerous signs too.

When Busia Women Representative Florence Mutua announced that she wants amendments in the Sexual Offenses Act to protect women from “ogling men” the Nation took notice. You have to understand each human being has their own personal space and even if you are family, relatives or friends, you will notice that not everyone allows you to shake their hands or give you a hug. Generally people are aware if they are being mishandled physically because that is obvious or sometimes not. But people are rarely aware if they are being looked at in a lustful manner, mostly because you are busy in your world or actions and not looking at the other person. Its close to the annoying stare down that happens in various parts of India that no matter what you wear or cover up you are stared upon at all times. However gentle mishandling like a brush on the buttocks or breasts is a violation of personal space.

The current environment is changing rapidly due to access to sexual activity through technology and if the society is not made aware of what is wrong or right then exercising the force of law will fail. There are more improvements needed in the Bill including to stop any person “who in order to conceal a sexual offence solicits for money, domestic animals or property as compensation or marries off the victim to the offender”. The Police and Counties need to create awareness on sexual offences and introduce further syllabuses to help the teachers and children identity and report.


Sexual education has become increasingly important, especially when the children can pick up your phone, end up on inappropriate photos or videos (you don’t need to be the one browsing or watching) they are just so smart in looking for things that they can end up accidentally with this material. Teenagers are at risk for proving their personality stars, to reach out and prove their success in the “sex talk” yet they are being misled or because of peer pressure, made to do and see things that they don’t need. As parents, have an immediate frank discussion and do not restrict or threaten, you will only drive them away. Approach with care and openness so that if they are being coaxed or are interested, yes sometimes some children may have a higher sexuality reaction than others, be their friend and help them respect their body and thoughts to experience naturally and safely.

Women are under threat and especially young girls who have no guardian taking care of them. But women are also each other’s strengths, so stand together and share and fight this ugly vice of lustful men who are predators. You are responsible for creating an enabling environment for yourself, your family, friends, colleagues at work and even the country.

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Posted by on August 19, 2016 in Uncategorized


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Doping Business Ain’t So Dope, with Asian Weekly 12th August 2016

Doping Business Ain’t So Dope


The Rio Olympics have been full of controversy from the very beginning, with everything from Zika Virus to Brazil’s political problems and then the doping scandals hitting the International Olympic Committee.

When Lance Armstrong’s case hit headlines and subsequently testimonies from his friends and confidantes corroborating the situation, the world was shocked. When the International Olympic Committee and the World Anti-Doping Agency found that Russia had cheated in their doping tests that apparently started in 2011, ran through the 2012 London Olympics and then into the 2014 Winter Sochi Olympics, where the term “state-sponsored-doping” was coined.

Almost 24 hours to the Rio Olympics Russia they still didn’t know how many of their athletes would be banned, considering that Russia had the second largest number of athletes compared to USA in the London Olympics.

Let’s come to Kenya and our dirty doping. When the Rio Team Athletics Olympics Manager Michael Rotich was sent back to Kenya after the start of the games and arrested and questioned for instigating athletes for doping warning tests and paying him, he denied it all. Kenyan athletes have been the envy of global competitors, colleagues, officials and fans, that how are they able to run some of the longest distances and win so easily, marathon, after steeplechase, after 800m races.

The World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) is keeping a check on anti-doping agency on all banned substances in athletics. Kenya has already got Francesca Manunga and Joyce Zakary suspended from the IAAF (International Athletics Federation); other athletes are Rael Kiyara, Mathew Kipkoech Kisorio, Francisca Koki, Benjamin Kipkurui, Simon Kemboi and Pauline Kahenya. Our national pride at stake when last year reports from the German Television Channel ARD and The Sunday Times of London revealed that Kenyan doctors were giving banned drugs to both Kenyan and Foreign athletes. Mostly since then the situation has spiralled on to a racetrack of allegations, checks, suspensions and then the Anti-Doping Bill 2016 so that the Kenyan athletes would be able to compete in the Rio Olympics, which stated:

(6) An athlete or athlete support personnel who commits any of the prohibited activities under section 26, commits an anti-doping rule violation and shall be handled in the manner set out under this Act.

  1. A person who contravenes any provision of this General Penalty.

Act for which no specific penalty is provided shall be liable to a fine of not less than one million shillings or to imprisonment for a term of not less than one year or to both such fine and imprisonment.

The CS Minister for Sports, Culture & Arts, Dr Hassan Wario Arero was one of the witnesses as President Uhuru Kenyatta signed this Act into Law on June as the deadline for WADA had to be met. The CS has said that after the Rio Olympics all related to sports and especially Kenyan athletes will get a rigorous Education programme on banned substances and doping. But are our athletes capable of going thus far? Yes they are and the names listed above have faced their penalties. While developing countries have been accused of underpaying, understaffing, under facilitating their sports set up, we have always had the pride that our athletes are natural-born winners. This is indeed a major setback to our name for a long time to come. More and more Kenyan athletes need to come out and support the game, be clean and if they are having problems they need to speak up. They can’t sit on the sides of the racetrack and watch their future run away. There has to be complete transparency, policies, penalties and rewards too for those who are winning for Kenyan in whichever support. The scandals of not having an air ticket or accommodation should be outdated issues, these must be resolved immediately. We need to support each other in reporting and assisting in the success of our sports. For example Kenyan Rugby 7s proved that if given the right environment and conditions especially financially they can achieve so much. So why wait for corrupt officials or managers or anybody standing in the way of the steeplechase to the success of Kenya?

Rise up and show the world we can be free of doping because we believe and prove our records by just, running.


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Posted by on August 12, 2016 in Uncategorized


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Evil Goes Up in Flames Not Seeds of Innocence with Asian Weekly 2nd August, 16

Evil Goes Up in Flames Not Seeds of Innocence

Kenyan Students Burning Schools Courtesy

Kenyan Students Burning Schools Courtesy

“In some parts of the world, students are going to school every day. It’s their normal life. But in other part of the world, we are starving for education… it’s like a precious gift. It’s like a diamond” Malala Yousafzai

Last year’s increasing in examinations cheating and irregularities saw over 2000 primary and 5000 secondary schools candidates results cancelled. Thus, drastic measures were required and the man in charge and initiative enough has been the Education CS Fred Matiang’i. In May this year he introduced immediate changes, which included:

  • Banned Prayer Days, Visiting, Half Term Breaks, Sports, Prize-Giving Ceremonies, and Annual General Meetings in the 3rd Term of School.
  • Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education exams were shortened from 6 to 4 weeks and all Head teachers put directly in charge of the tests. This is because it has been found that cheating is rampantly supported by teachers, police and the Kenyan National Examinations Council (Knec) officials.
  • To make up for these changes, 2nd Term will end on 12th August and 3rd Term will last only 9 weeks.
  • Kenya Certificate of Primary Education exams this year will start on November 1 and finish on November 3, while Form Four candidates will start on November 7 and finish on November 30.

(Above source: )

This entire campaign has been to reduce any opportunities of interaction and the ugly corruption of cheating, so when schools are being burnt down things are not looking good for the students.

Over 100 schools countrywide have been burned and in most cases the fires started in the dormitories. Kenya has a large number of boarding schools and this has been one of the reasons for the leading causes of destruction and almost no loss of live, which also begs the question can this be a well-planned effort? Who are doing this and if the students did one of the first school burning such as the Itierio Boys School Kisii, then who made it a trend?

Education must not be burned down like this but maybe the innocence in the children is taken for granted and they really are the “arsonists”. Cheating is a transaction between two parties, in this case it definitely needs a student and the other party could be a teacher, exam official, school guard and absolutely anybody else who may have access to the exam paper. Therefore the student is guilty. Is the student under pressure from the parents or peer pressure or does the student have the selfish greedy desire to do this disgusting act of cheating? I believe it is a combination of all of them.

Where is the teacher in all of this? Money, money, money? Always the noise from the teachers, always strikes, always pay hikes and more nuisance. If 1% percent of the teachers are full of integrity and hard work then unfortunately their pleas have been falling on deaf ears. Dormitories shouldn’t be fired, but teachers should. Parents too need to be educated and be made to be more involved in the progress of their child. Parents too need to have sustainable incomes so they are not strained and resorting to desperate measures of earning that income. While the Education CS has ordered parents to foot the bills of these arsons, this whole matter needs to be investigated thoroughly. I would rather pay tax money for an investigation, results and implementation for change. This change should be all the way from Teachers Training, Schools Upgrade of Facilities and as much as is needed, because these students of today will be our leaders of tomorrow and how we bring them up will make all the difference to the country.



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Posted by on August 9, 2016 in Uncategorized


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Till Bank Money Runs Out with Asian Weekly 29th July, 16

Till Bank Money Runs Out


Money is very important and if anybody told you otherwise you need to look at him or her with shock. Money buys you materialistic joys or pains, and yes in increasing cases nowadays husbands and wives. The difference is in the type of person you and what is your attitude in life. You might be the adventurous, living out of whatever you have and experiencing life in a trance. You might be the hardworking, completely desk job worker and just making ends meet. You might be the courageous, entrepreneur, dreamer, risk taker and doer. You might be narcissist and here there are two categories- loves he/she and money, loves he/she but no money. But see money features in this situation somehow or the other. If you are living with your parents and they are paying the bills, get out otherwise you will never grow up and respect them. If you are not living with your parents and you are paying their bills, then you are a rare species. If you are not living with your parents and not paying their bills, then your wife is ruling your bank account.

Women have more ambition than ever before; they are creating more opportunities in their studies, education achievements and subsequently in the corporate world. More women are dabbling with a small business, unfortunately because they have no choice since the husband has lost the job and is too stubborn to change. But luckily there are more women who want to create jobs, want to run businesses, want to change the world. The price they are paying or the opportunity cost is marriage and children.

Let’s talk about marriage then. People get married because they love each other. People get married because they see a caregiver, baby bearer and provider. People get married because they want a companion or business partner. There are few unique reasons why people get married, but there are a billion reasons why you get married or not, or have children or not. These could be lack of partners, finances or sickness. Girls are growing up with knowledge that they too can earn, provide for themselves and enjoy their income. Thus, when they will meet a man who can’t fulfill their materialistic needs, they will turn away. Very few women will look at the personality traits and marry a man who earns less than them. You might say that the woman is being choosy. Being a feminist, I would say she shouldn’t settle for anybody less. But less can mean, he may not have the money or education status, but he makes you smile, respects you and your family and is willing to keep you happy. Don’t get me wrong I am not talking about a dog, because there are some highly educated women or high earning women who think they need to marry only a President, sorry ladies you are not the First Ladies either.

The main thing is always remember to be you. Don’t put up with excuses or pressures. Technically you should get married by the age of 25 or 27 and have your children by the age of 30 or 32, this is for you ladies because the number of diseases or health complications in our age group is rising. However if you have not found the right partner for whatever personal reason, remember this that while society will look at you for being a frustrated, fussy, feminist, you know what you want and you go for it. This can be anything from owning a business, running a mega corporation, building a school, adopting a child or marrying the person who loves and accepts for who you are and not for what you are expected to be for others.

It is the society’s responsibility to encourage their children, both girls and boys that they must respect each other, they are here to take humanity forward with their values, whether it is religious, cultural or economical. They have a role to play and they are free to carve their own path as long as they are not hurting or disrespecting people. If women don’t want to get married because the men can’t earn or provide enough then that’s acceptable. Yes it is a cliché line but absolutely true, it is better than being in a bad marriage or divorced with children and you are struggling to make ends meet. Because when a marriage breaks, the first blame is on the woman and while there might be some unreasonable woman who does contribute to the breakup, the point is that we must assess the situation with complete honesty, accept the responsibilities and eventually forgive to move on.


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Posted by on August 9, 2016 in Uncategorized


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Pray for Humanity, Point Blank with Asian Weekly 22nd July, 2016

Pray for Humanity

Pray for Paris Courtesy AbduZeedo

Pray for Paris Courtesy AbduZeedo

From the Dallas shootings to the Nice lorry driver ruining Bastille Day, what is happening to the world? Almost every hour, some incident is happening and before we know it, hashtags such as #PrayForParis or #PrayForBeirut are popping up and we are sharing or not.

What is this all about?

Let’s begin with what is the mental state of mind of the world. It is in complete chaos and while there are several spiritual and religious leaders and activities going on to stabilize the situation there is too much to save. From the planet’s environment and wellbeing to the human beings needs, wants and emotions. Where do we start? Knowledge is information and information is knowledge.

The world is small because of the Internet and social media, and while it is easy to report facts, it is easier to distort reality and that’s where the problem lies. Once upon a time, we received news of progress or lack off through state media channels, but now it is at our fingertips and anything is possible. This is very dangerous. Incidents such as the Brussels attack or even close at home when the Westgate attack happened, they are unique in consequence but not in reason. Terrorism has taken over the world and is the new business or marketing tool for the terrorists, their organizations and unfortunately some politicians. The innocent citizens or civilians are dying in the line of fire. But while all that is not in our control, our reactions are.

Did you know that every 40 seconds a person is committing suicide and that 800,000 people die every year of suicide? So what is taking them to this breaking point, despite all the progress and technological and social advancements? Did you also know according to the Global Terrorism Index, produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace, that ISIS and Boko Haram where responsible for almost 51% of all claimed global fatalities in 2014? Citing more- The top 5 from among the list are Iraq, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Syria. It is believed that nearly 78 percent of global terrorism-related deaths occurred in these five countries alone, further emphasizing the alarming domestic situations in these places.

To worry about why we are supporting hashtags or sending our support via social media to Paris and not Beirut is petty.

For example as Asians living in Kenya, our roots are India or Pakistan but most have settled especially in the UK and so if anything happened in any of the four countries, we will react, otherwise not.

You have to understand that people on social media are not fully exercising their opinions or factions especially in the named countries above, mostly because of Government censorship. Thus, while media is reporting incidents, the people affected on the streets of Kabul are not expressing their grief and their hashtag is not coming out and receiving worldwide exposure and so we don’t support it easily. Very few people are concerned with worldwide health and will raise their voice or support, so unless something doesn’t happen at their doorstep they will not react. But that doesn’t mean that we are not affected or think or get concerned of our world. We do. Maybe we just don’t show it. So those who do, don’t judge them harshly for their choices.

Every individual is affected by his or her situations, experiences and people. To generalize is immature.


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Posted by on July 22, 2016 in Uncategorized


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