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Daily Nation : January 31st 2014
34 | BUSINESS Transcentury in talks over possible rail company exit BY NATION CORRESPONDENT Investment firm, TransCen- tury, has entered into talks with Citadel, an Egyptian private equity firm that holds a majority stake in Rift Valley Railways in what analysts say could see its exit from the concession. In a notice to its shareholders, TransCentury said its wholly owned subsidiary Safari Rail Company Limited, has exercised an option that will result in a change of its ownership in KU Railways Holdings Limited (the lead investor in Rift Valley Railways). “The transaction is in line with the group’s overall strategy to maximise the value of its investments for its shareholders,” management said in a cautionary statement. Exercise caution The transaction is expected to be completed in March 31 this year upon “applicable regulatory notifications,” the firm said, warning its investors and the general public to exercise caution when dealing in the securities of the group. RVR won a 25-year contract to run the 2,352-kilometre Kenya – Uganda railway line in 2006. The firm’s management de- clined to disclose the nature of the discussion, with TransCentury chairman Zeph Mbugua saying “the discussion could take many different forms.” Analysts who spoke to the Na- tion, however, said the firm could be looking to exit the concession given the challenges facing the Rift Valley Railways with indications of underperforming. Parent ministry blames bureaucracies, slow approvals and long purchasing rules for the delay BY CHARLES WOKABI email@example.com anytime soon due to red tape in public procurement. Information Communication C and Technology Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i said the red tape prevents his ministry from spending the money allocated to the project. “Sometimes we feel that the public procurement process is unnecessarily punishing. But with a project of a magnitude such as this one, everything must be handled with utmost care,” said Mr Matiang’i yesterday. He was inaugurating a new board of the Information Communication and Technology Authority. Cash yet to be used The project was allocated about Sh793 million in the 2013/14 budget for basic infrastructure, but the money has not been spent due to the stringent procurement laws. Failure to get approvals from other government agencies has further delayed the city. “This is a multi-billion project The transaction is in line with the group’s overall strategy” Statement and has to follow a very painstaking, methodical and lengthy approvals at all levels. Our hope is that things will move faster” said Mr Matiang’i. He urged approving authori- ties within the government such as the National Environmental Management Agency and the Lands ministry to work faster. Last year, the government got a Sh8.7 billion ($100 million) loan from the African Development Bank to construct a dam to supply water to the proposed Konza city. Located in Makueni County, the reservoir will be the main source of water for the residents of Konza Technopolis in addition to generating power for use by industries in the multi-billion shilling city. Sitting on 5,000 acres of land spread across Makueni and Machakos counties about 60 kilometres South East of Nairobi, Konza city was launched in January last year and would be built in four, five-year phases under public-private-partnership financing. Its completion is expected to boost Business Process Outsourcing and propel growth in Information Technology Enabled Services for export to the region and the world. DIANA NGILA | NATION ICT Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i (left) talks with the new ICT Authority chairman Edwin Yinda at a press conference inaugurating the new board of directors yesterday. At the same time, an industry lobby group has threatened to block the appointments of the authority board terming it unconstitutional. The team has 10 members constituting the chairman, three representatives from the ministries of Lands, National Treasury and ICT. The other six are appointed from the public. The board will be chaired by former Alego MP Edwin Yinda with members including Prof Timothy Waema, Ms Esther Kibeere, Ms Bertha Dena, Prof Elijah Omwenga, Mr David Mugo and Mr Ugas Mohamed. However, Information 8.7 BY NATION CORRESPONDENT Jua kali organisations will take over 153 in- dustrial sheds out of 188 that were started in 2009 under the economic stimulus plan. Industrialisation and Enterprise Develop- ment Principal Secretary Wilson Songa (left) said the stalls would help in job creation and spur economic growth at the grassroots. The project cost Sh550 million, with Sh3.5 The anount of money in billions that Kenya got Communication Technology Association of Kenya, said the appointments were not done according to the law and gave the minister seven days to recall the board or they would sue. onstruction of the muchawaited Konza techno city will not be starting DAILY NATION Friday January 31, 2014 INDUSTRIAL UNREST South African mine workers jeer at return-to-work offer presented by employers P.37 TECHNOLOGY | Construction to take longer to start due to lengthy bureaucracy Don’t hold breath for Konza City coming up soon, says Matiang’i IN FIGURES What project consists of Estimated to cost over Sh850 billion and sits son a 5,000-acre piece of land To generate 17,000 direct jobs and host 30,000 resident by 2017 and 200,000 by 2030 Over 20 global and local companies have lined up to invest in the techno city. Big names include Safaricom, Craft Silicon, Toyota, Google and BlackBerry (Research in Motion). City is 60 kilometres away from Nairobi, on the Nairobi-Mombasa highway and 50 kilometres from Jomo Kenyatta airport The association said the min- ister bent the law by appointing more public service officials contrary to the law which requires that the appointees should not be in the public service. They accused the minister of making all the appointments at the same time while the law requires members to be appointed at different times for a smooth transition. Additionally, the lobby said the minister did not consult in selecting members. “Kindly provide us with your comments on the above observations before we proceed with our next course of action,” read a statement signed by secretary general Kamotho Njenga. Setting up of the board paves the way for the appointment of a substantive chief executive officer to the authority. PS counts on industrial sheds to spur growth million allocated to the 188 constituencies by President Uhuru Kenyatta when he was the Finance minister. Dr Songa said the government has iden- tified land where special economic zones are to be established in Mombasa, Lamu and Kisumu. “The next stage is the master plan for the project, and which we are already working on. The economic zones are supposed to be situated next to water bodies,” he said yesterday. The secretary said the setting up of the zones would transform investment in the sector will create more jobs in the country. Dr Songa also chairs the General, Eco- nomic and Commercial Affairs sector, which comprises ministries of East African Affairs, Commerce and Tourism and Industrialisation and Enterprise Development.
January 30th 2014
February 1st 2014