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Business

Betting Firms win tax row on bet Winnings

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It was a reprieve for betting firms after the court ruled against a punter’s stake in a bet being charged the 20 percent tax on winnings.

The ruling was made by Tax Appeals Tribunal sitting in Nairobi which ruled that the 20 percent tax should be charged on the positive difference between the payout made and stakes placed in a given month.

The verdict was a blow to the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has been demanding billions of shillings from betting firms based on the gross amount of the payout to the customers, including the staked amount.

A greater responsibility for payment of the tax was placed on the punters, partially shielding the betting firms from prosecution and aggressive pursuit of the 20 percent withholding tax.

The tribunal has now tilted the balance in favour gaming firms in the ongoing tax dispute between KRA and more than 20 betting firms.
The tax collector has been demanding Sh61 billion from the betting firms for the period between May 2014 and March 2019.

Some of the betting firms affected included Sportpesa which halted operations in Kenya due to a drastic hike in taxes on betting stakes and the unresolved disputes with KRA as Betin Kenya also closed shop, citing the heavy taxation as the main reason.

Sportpesa and Betin were among the betting companies whose licences were suspended in July, owing to, among other claims that they had not been presenting a true picture of their earnings and ended up grossly underpaying their taxes.

The move to shut operations has affected thousands of direct and indirect jobs together with various sponsorships of activities in the country.

The imposition of a 20 per cent excise duty on the entire amount staked appears to be what had pushed the company to consider exiting Kenya.
Kenya’s Parliament in mid-September passed the Finance Bill 2019, which has clauses that will introduce the 20 per cent excise duty on staked amounts.

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Business

Kenya Power Appoints Bernard Ngugi as Managing Director

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The Kenya Power Company’s General Manager in charge of Supply Chain Bernard Ngugi has been appointed as the Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of the Company.

Ngugi takes over from Eng. Jared Othieno who had been appointed Acting Managing Director and CEO in July 2018 following the exit of the former Ken Tarus led management team.

Prior to his appointment, Mr Ngugi was the Company’s General Manager in charge of Supply Chain.

Mr Ngugi has over 30 years’ experience in the Company with expertise in financial and revenue accounting, internal audit and supply chain management. He holds a Master of Business Administration in Finance and Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting.

He is a Certified Public Accountant of Kenya and a member of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya. He is also a Certified Public Secretary of Kenya and a member of the Institute of Certified Public Secretaries of Kenya.

Additionally, Mr Ngugi holds a Graduate Diploma from the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supplies and is a member of the Kenya Institute of Supplies Management.

“My immediate focus is to lead the Company towards improved profitability while ensuring the business fulfils its socio-economic purpose. This will be achieved by implementing our 5 Year Strategic Plan that broadly aims at delivering excellent customer service and ensuring our business sustainability,” Mr Ngugi said.

The Board of Directors of Kenya Power & Lighting Company Plc is confident that operations of the Company will run smoothly under the leadership of Mr Ngugi.

“We believe that Mr Ngugi will see the Company through an important stage of its development and growth as we work to diligently implement all our plans to strengthen the Company and the commercial aspects of our business,” said Kenya Power’s Chairman Amb (Eng) Mahboub Maalim.

He thanked the interim management team led by Eng. Othieno for stabilizing the Company after the crisis occasioned by the exit of the previous management team.

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Business

Fat Pay Deal In The Offing For Teachers, Lecturers

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Teachers and lecturers are starting a new week with good news on salary and allowances deals that will improve industrial harmony in the education sector. The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) will host the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) in Naivasha to polish the new salary agreement for its 315,000 staff.

The meeting will be a major win for all teachers and Kuppet, which now boasts a total membership of 125,00 teachers.

And at the universities, the 9,000 teaching staff will tomorrow sign a Sh10 billion salary contract with vice chancellors for the 2017-2021 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

The lecturers’ deal will be the culmination of back and forth meetings between University Academic Staff Union (Uasu) and the joint negotiations committee of the Inter Public Universities Councils Consultative Forum (IPUCCF).

“A joint technical committee of the joint negotiations committee is drafting the CBA, which shall be signed on Monday,” Constantine Wasonga, Uasu Secretary General said.

 

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