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Betting Firms win tax row on bet Winnings



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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Co-operative Bank Scales Mount Kenya



The Co-operative Bank of Kenya has announced a KShs 2 million sponsorship for the forthcoming Mt. Kenya Mountain Running Championships which will be held in Meru County on February 22nd .

Speaking at Co-operative Bank House where the announcement was made, Co-operative Bank’s Group Managing Director and CEO, Dr.. Gideon Muriuki, said the sponsorship was a natural choice for the bank as it fits within the environment and health pillars of its Foundation.

“We are pleased to be part of this initiative as its objectives fit perfectly within our Foundation’s pillars on the environment and health. We look forward to being part of Meru County’s efforts to fight cancer and enhance the environment through the forthcoming run,” he said.

The Mt. Kenya Mountain Running Championships targets 5,000 participants to help raise funds to fight cancer, boost environmental conservation and promote the region as a tourist and investment hub.

The event will feature four race categories which are: the 2km family fun run; the 6km and 8km junior run and a 12km elites’ race through the challenging Mount Kenya forest tracks.

Proceeds from the Championships will be used to fund the establishment of the Meru Cancer Center at the local Level 5 Hospital and a sanctuary for the mountain bongo and rhinos.

The elite winner of the 12KM race category will take home KShs 500,000 while runner-up will take home KShs 250,000; while the second runner-up will take home KShs 100,000.

Speaking at the sponsorship event, Meru County Governor, Hon. Kiraitu Murungi, lauded the bank for its support saying that the funds will go a long way towards making the event a success.

“We are grateful to the Co-operative Bank of Kenya for their support of the upcoming inaugural Mt. Kenya Run. Their support will have a significant impact in making the event a success and we look forward to walking the journey to fight cancer and enhance our environment in Meru together with them,” he said.

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Microsoft appoints Kendi Ntwiga as country manager for Kenya’s operations



Microsoft has appointed Kendi Nywiga Nderitu as the manager of it’s operations in Kenya.

Kendi had previously served as the General Manager of the East, West and Central Africa Cluster for Check Point Software before joining Microsoft.

She appreciated Microsoft for her appointment.

“I am excited to join Microsoft at a time when digitisation is seen as a key driver of progress and transformation in Africa. Microsoft’s mission is to empower every person and organisation on the planet to achieve more and I feel privileged to be the custodian of that mission in Kenya,” Kendi said.

Her extensive resume includes roles at Oracle, HP and Intel, where she was tasked with leading and implementing business strategies across sub-Saharan Africa.

She has been instrumental in helping various organisations develop strategic digital road maps, ultimately enabling them to improve efficiencies and reduce costs.

Kendi is also the founder of She-Goes-Tech, an initiative created with the purpose of mentoring young girls and women who are pursuing STEM careers.

The new manager will be responsible for developing and maintaining effective relationships across the company’s subsidiaries, and regional sales and marketing departments.

The role also calls for the creation of strategies, the building of plans, allocation of resources and the establishment of priorities and supervising engagements – all with the ultimate goal of increasing Microsoft’s share of voice.

The Regional General Manager Middle East and Africa Multi-Country Region at Microsoft Ibrahim Youssry welcomed Kendi’s appointment.

“We are extremely excited to have Kendi join our dynamic team and are confident that her extensive experience will go a long way in contributing to our overall mission of helping the continent on its digital transformation journey, while also driving greater diversity and inclusion across STEM fields,” Youssry said

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How Nakumatt directors siphoned Sh1bn



Atul Shah, Nakumatt former CEO.

Nakumatt Holdings had lent its directors more than Sh1 billion in interest-free soft loans by the time it was placed under administration on January 22, 2018, according to a review of the company’s financial statements.

The related party transactions were recently disclosed in a report for the year ended February 2018 by Parker Randall Eastern Africa, the retailer’s independent auditor.

The auditor did not specify which individuals owe the company money, underlining the weak governance in the board of the former giant retail chain that owes banks, landlords and suppliers as much as Sh20 billion.

Nakumatt’s founder and former chief executive Atul Shah was among the two individuals listed as directors of the company as of the report date.

“Significant in this net balance is Sh948 million due from the directors. These receivables are not supportable based on the available evidence,” reads part of the report.

“The amounts due from a director are interest free. They relate to short-term advances through a current account.”


The loans to the company’s directors are among a series of related party transactions amounting to Sh2.8 billion, which are unlikely to be recovered.

Others include amounts claimed from subsidiaries in Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania, which ceased operations.

The administrator has written off Sh1.5 billion or 53 percent of the receivables, leaving a balance of Sh1.3 billion.

“There are no repayment plans for these balances; the companies frequently lend and borrow funds from each other,” the auditor said.

The report paints a picture of relatively loose governance at Nakumatt relative to other firms such as banks where insider dealings are more closely regulated.

There is a limit on the size of loans directors and employees of a bank can take in aggregate. The loans also typically attract interest charges, though sometimes at below market rates.

Revelations of Nakumatt’s insider loans come at a time when the retailer is closing most of its remaining branches, making compensation for creditors even less likely.

Mr Shah faces investigations over the loss of Sh18 billion worth of stock.

Nakumatt administrator Peter Kahi said a forensic investigator will probe why Mr Shah wrote off stock worth Sh18 billion in May 2018, before the company ground to a halt.

The High Court granted Nakumatt Supermarkets protection from its creditors, allowing the retailer to go into voluntary administration. The company sought protection using Kenya’s newly enacted company laws, which provide a path for distressed firms to avoid complete collapse. At its height, the company, which began life as Nakuru Mattresses, had more than 60 outlets across Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda.

But its financial problems have led to empty shelves and store closures, opening the way for foreign retailers like Carrefour and local rival, Naivas, to take over space being vacated by Nakumatt.



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