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Kenya Faces Risk of Locust Invasion – FAO

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The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on Sunday warned that Kenya could face an imminent second wave of locust invasion, an official source said.

The UN agency said that control operations are underway against small hopper bands that were forming from local breeding in Samburu County, northern Kenya.

In a statement issued in Nairobi on Sunday, the FAO said some of the swarm-lets that arrived in Kenya might have already laid eggs in southern Somalia before their arrival.

“However, there remains a risk of further egg-laying in sandy areas of Northeastern Kenya where recent rains have fallen.

“Breeding continues in central Somalia and eastern Ethiopia where hopper bands are present,” the agency said, adding that a new generation of immature swarms will start forming by the end of this month.

”Swarm formation will continue throughout December because of widespread hatching and band formation that occurred this past week,” part of the statement read.

Further, the organization added that hatching and hopper band formation could be expected in early December, and called on the government to take measures to control the locusts.

The insects are harmful to crops and may interfere with food security.

Saturday, Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya said the government had plans in place to control the locusts once the swarms attacked the country.

In early March, Kenya and a number of countries in the horn of Africa, including Ethiopia, Somalia and Uganda, experienced the worst locust attack in seven years.

The invasion affected 28 counties.

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East Africa News

Ex-Judge, Hamuth, Appointed to Lead Mauritius Oil Spill Probe

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Mauritius has appointed Abdurraffeek Hamuth, a former judge, to lead an inquiry into the circumstances in which a Japanese-owned vessel, the Wakashio, entered its waters and spilled hundreds of tonnes of oil.

The MV Wakashio, owned by Nagashiki Shipping and chartered by Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL), ran aground on a coral reef off Mauritius on 25 July 2020. It was carrying 4,000 tonnes of oil before it split into two on 16 August.

Former Judge Hamuth and his assessors will investigate the cause and extent of the damage caused by the bulk carrier.

Testimonies at the inquiry are expected to reveal how the hull of the vessel cracked.

About 15 people have so far confirmed their participation, including opposition leader, Arvin Boolell, maritime safety expert and social activist, Bruneau Laurette, along with government officials and crew members.

Captain Sunil Kumar Nandeshwar and his assistant Hitihamillage Subodha Janendra Tilakaratna were arrested after the vessel sunk.

In September 2020, an expert witness told a court in Port Louis that the captain of the MV Wakashio, Nandeshwar, had been drinking before the accident.

According to the expert, the Voyage Data Recorder (VDR), which took an audio recording in the ship, confirmed suspicions of a birthday party a little more than an hour before the ship ran aground and that the Capt Sunil Kumar Nandeshwar, had consumed alcohol.

Capt Nandeshwar was also aware that the depth under the ship was decreasing considerably, the court heard.

The court heard that the ship’s voice recorder did not record any call with the Mauritius National Coast Guard.

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Kenya Revenue Authority Report KSh 2Billion Excess in December Revenue Collection

This is the first time since the onset of the Covid19 pandemic that the agency surpassed its revenue collection target.

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The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has reportedly collected KSh166 billion revenue in December 2020, which pointed to excess in revenue collection by KSh 2 billion.

The revenue collection signified 3.5% higher than the KSh160 billion collected in the corresponding period in 2019, according to a statement on KRA’s website.

This is the first time since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic that the agency surpassed its revenue collection target. The government agency attributed the increased revenue collection to enhanced economic conditions since the easing of covid-19 restrictions. Efforts by the agency to increase tax compliance also contributed to improved revenue collection.

KRA’s Customs & Border Control (C&BC) Department collected the highest ever monthly revenue collection of Ksh 60.777 billion in December, representing a 40.9% growth in the revenue collected from the same period in 2019.

Read Also: Kenya to Conduct Survey on Diaspora Remittances

Governments efforts to lower exemptions and remissions also yielded results as the tax exemptions and remissions in the customs department fell by 39.3% in December 2020, thereby boosting revenue collection by KSh3.34 billion.

Domestic Taxes had the best performance rate of 91.1% in December, since the onset of Covid-19 in Kenya in March 2020. KRA says that Pay As You Earn (PAYE) taxes hit 99.8% of the set target while Withholding Tax exceeded the target by Ksh 725 million. Corporate taxes also reached 93.5% of the set target.

The Revenue Authority is optimistic that the recovering economy and efforts to increase tax compliance will boost tax revenue collection in 2021. In addition, the introduction of the digital services tax, minimum alternative tax, and voluntary disclosure program will boost KRA’s revenue collection goals.

 

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Museveni Defeats Bobi Wine To Re-emerge Ugandan President

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Incumbent Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni has been announced as winner of the country’s Presidential election.

The electoral commission of Uganda announced the final results of the election on Saturday, 48 hours after the polls.

Museveni won 5,851,037 votes (58.64%) of the votes to emerge winner of the election. Robert Kyagulanyi (Bobi Wine) won more than 3 million votes and over 34% of he votes.

It is Museveni’s lowest votes tally in 6 elections and the lowest since he had 59% in 2006 against Kizza Besigye.

The Presidential election was marred with trouble-ridden campaigns with an opposition candidate, Bobi Wine having some of his supporters killed.

Prior to the election, internet was shut down in Uganda while CSOs and NGOs were not allowed to observe.

United States observers were also not granted accreditation.

More than half of the 18m people who registered to vote in Uganda participated in the election.

Bobi Wine has since rejected the results, as he accused Museveni of riggin the election.

Security operatives have since surrounded Bobi Wine’s house, as they failed to allow local and foreign journalists into his premises.

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