If you thought the revelations in Kenya on the Social Media was about showing the sky-rocketing pockets and the super-soaked wealth of the highest ranking officials in the Country. Your wrong, this isn’t to show how they went from being petty civil servants, preachers and whatnots a decade ago. No, this is to show how murky the grounds and how they have swindled the state. To become extravagant and wealthy.
This is how key public officials in both the counties, in the ministries and as parliamentarians are using their positions, their knowledge of trade and also creating tenders to secure wealth for themselves and their close-knit family. This is how someone working as procurement manager and also as MCA suddenly has a palace, dozens of cars and owning plenty of land. Just mere a year ago, he couldn’t even splash out on the pub on a round of beers. Now he can buy the bar and build a garage for his SUVs. That is what this is about.
Because this is about how the likes of Deputy President William Ruto can own a mansion complex, dozens of houses, a car-park, choppers and earning measly millions. This is about how the family of Kenyatta can own more and more businesses, while the state is lacking funds. This is how other Cabinet Secretaries goes from being poor to suddenly become billionaires. They are all suddenly well fortunate and able to build houses made of dreams. They can own cars that only are in magazines, they can own local hotels, farms, industry and even media if they have enough cash. This is people that is supposed to represent the people and serve them.
Not take from them and later charge them, not only take the taxes, but they are also eating of the profits in the private sectors. Nothing is holy. The Cabinet Secretaries, the President and DP knows this, the local government politicians knows this. The people deserve to know how the ones humble fellow human beings becomes richer than God. They become so wealthy, they can take the bank on a trip to Dubai and rent Lexus in Las Vegas. This being brothers who couldn’t even afford to share a chicken as students.
That is why this is important. To show the disgrace this officials are, how they are eating of the public and have no scrutiny. How they are emptying the state reserves and taking the public for granted. That is why they run for office. Not to represent anyone, but to pocket the taxpayers money, use the position in the state and also get corporate deals with the state. All of this to enrich themselves on the office, not to serve the community. That is just something they say to look good. But when the measures and the end of the day is shown, the bills and the tab will be on the state, while the public see very little, but the official will have the cake, the coffee and the bride. While the public will have the bread-crumbs. Peace.
We can wonder and think, who in their right mind orders contaminated agricultural products, rebrand it and sell it on the open with a clear conscious. That is what should bugle us right now. That the Kenyan Authorities together with the Sugar Cartels are accepting this and profiting on it. If they hadn’t, they wouldn’t have ordered, imported and tried to sell it on the market to the consumers. That is what is up and happen as the minor stops of it. The people should be worried about the authorities and what they are exposed too on the daily basis. When they cannot even trust the white sugar they are consuming.
The Kenyan people should worry, that the illegal imports through Kismaayo of Somalia, the illegal cartels of Mombasa and other places are highly-connected has pocketed key figures of industry, ports and in the ministries. If it wasn’t so, they would have had more trouble with the law. They wouldn’t just take a load of contaminated sugar, they would have ceased more and banned this trade. However, the government are doing little except tough talk. Even Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i is supposed to die over this, but he will not stand-by his side-dish. So I doubt it.
It is like the Jubilee knows about the ill they are getting in, thinking of the profits and of the friendly owners of the millers. Without thinking about the citizens who possible consuming it and how it might hurt them. If it is contaminated, it might damage the body and even cause fatal ills for someone. Then someone dies over something as petty as illegal and deadly sugar. Has that even been considered? Wouldn’t that been an avoidable tragedy?
That the government, the agencies and the authorities in general haven’t delivered is obvious, while this is not only hurting the average citizen. Who could be worried about going to the market and supermarket to pick a kilo of sugar. But also the farmers who produce for the millers. They don’t know if the millers and the authorities is helping to sell second-level or third-level products from afar. While rebranding it with their labels, like the ones that comes from the local producers. Then the public will loose trust with the millers who makes this sugar.
This here is the proof of how not to run, how not to delegate and not to use the oversight role as government, as they are misusing power, being in bed with the cartels and not giving a fig about the population. Because if they know they are illegally importing through Mombasa and Kismaayo, the authorities should stop it and get rid of it. Not let it go, let it be rebranded and made ready for the market. Because then the suppliers, the supermarkets and the consumers all loose on it. Only the Sugar Cartels and the Importers earns on it.
They are spiking, they are playing and coming with a dangerous product that shouldn’t be consumed by people. It should be used for matters, if not just confiscated and destroyed at arrival. Than ask for reparation of damages and possible breaches of contract, as they we’re not given edible sugar. But dangerous ones, that shouldn’t be produced in the first place. Peace.
That Bob Collymore has no returned to Safaricom is a sign of the state of affairs, the man whose through 2016 got the dirty laundry in the streets for everyone to see. That Safaricom and Vodaphone takes him back. Shows that the company is so big, it doesn’t care about public perception or their ordeal of the last two years. As they can get scratch free from the dirt and thinks people forget. Collymore is a shady character and runs a dirty business. However, it is profitable, that is why the leadership above him keeps him. They want the easy money and wants to run the market of telecom’s in Kenya. That is what Safaricom does so well.
That Collymore was directly involved in the General Elections, that his misuse of the company within the Results Transmissions, that doesn’t matter now. That the Safaricom used their backbone to support the Jubilee, by canceling and stopping the M-Pesa Paybill to the National Super Alliance (NASA). Shows the lack of tolerance and their political stance. They did that with passion, while fixing and making sure the fraud of an election went through with their back-channels with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, also with Cambridge Analytica and whatever else that was needed to secure the results into the famous undisclosed server. Collymore did this and fixed that with IEBC, while stopping the cash-flow to NASA. A clear indication of his works. That was the year after the damaging internal report from KPMG.
The KPMG agreement showed how the Safaricom misused their place, their tenders and the procurement of installations of 4G, M-Pesa software and direct dealing with third-parties. This was done in a fashion where the leadership was eating of the top and putting the bills on the consumers. At a rate that was insane. That the 18th February 2016 KPMG Report should mean the end of a career for a leader and CEO like Collymore. But Vodaphone doesn’t give a rats ass. They don’t care as long as their profits are souring in Kenya. They are oblivious and nurturing their pockets, nothing else matters. Even if they are within the pockets of cartels, election-rigging and midst of public outrage. As long as the pockets are filled with shillings, they don’t mind. They can still be proud-cock and be chiefs.
That Safaricom paid of the local-media houses with ad-revenue, that they used their place to keep themselves on top. That doesn’t matter, because the results are blindly positive, even if everyone know knows that the company is run like the mafia. Controlling everything it can, not only selling Mobil-Data, Mobile-Money and Communications, but they are also a FinTech company that has the information on the public that other doesn’t. Who knows how they are using that and misusing that to gain even more profits. When Facebook does it? Why shouldn’t Safaricom too?
That Collymore should be gone, that is the reality, there should be someone who could muster trust and show that its a decent company, not a pillar of power in Kenyan Politics. Which it has become and where it muster all capabilities with the funds to slash stories in the media and also to be directly involved in Results Transmission during the General Elections. Therefore, the importance of the company is beyond communications between the citizens and their data. But also the perception of the trust between them.
Collymore is now the epitome of what is wrong with businesses in Kenya. He is the significant prospect of someone who misuses his position for monetary gain. Instead of being there for just simple services and leave the office in the night. He has directed the company in the midst of public space, making sure his stories are portrayed and cleaning the dirt of his hands. Even if it doesn’t go off, it won’t, not this way.
So Vodaphone, I have one important question:
Where the no-one else on planet earth that have the capabilities to run Safaricom?
Seemingly there should be, but your still behind the man that are really involved in shady deals for you. Taking the dirt and eating it, so that the stakeholders can eat the profits without any questionable
The Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS) have had a study into the border trade and sugar exports through Somalia into Kenya. How it is used and how it gets to the market. Clearly, the market for sugar is there in Kenya. As the Sugar Industry is struggling to deliver enough sugar and the state has embargoed imports. Still, the same actors and the same politicians are doing behind closed doors agreements that put the sugar in stores through the porous borders of the Kenyan-Somalian border.
The paper itself paint the picture very well and show the importance of the export, since the magnitude on both economies are affected by it. It is also implicating big names and their organizations. As the politicians has another black-market cartel item to sell to the public. What was striking was that the importers together with local merchants are repacking the sugar into bags of the State Owned Entity (SOE) of Mumias. The Company that has been saved the state after devastating corruption and also lacking investment into the mills. Therefore, the politicians has used this name to trade illegal sugar with name. That they even used the stickers to prove it was of Kenyan quality while selling it to the public.
The quotes I have taken, is what see as important. But its compelling to show the this illegal imports into Kenya affects the politicians and the economy in general. Take a look!
The Amount of Money:
“Raw sugar accounts for 10% of total Somali imports rated at US $188 billion (Observatory of Economic Complexity 2016). In other words, sugar importing is enormously lucrative and important for the local economy on both sides of the border. The sugar imported from Somalia is central for covering the production and import deficit in Kenya. Most sugar enters through Kismayu port where it is manually loaded onto trucks and driven to the Kenyan border. There it is re-loaded onto other trucks, four-wheel drive vehicles and even donkey carts to cross the border on the so-called ‘rat routes’ that circumvent the border posts to avoid the payment of bribes, random checks by the Kenyan Revenue Authority (KRA), and the occasional confiscation. Based on interviews and observation JFJ estimates that 150,000 tons of illegal sugar entered Kenya from Kismayu in 2014 (JFJ 2015). This amounts to US $400 million worth of annual revenue divided between KDF, Al-Shabaab, local businessmen and politicians, as well as local police and border patrols, including the KRA (though this is not formal revenue) (JFJ 2015)” (DIIS Working Paper, P: 10, 2017).
“The investigator explained how his unit, in collaboration with the Kenyan Revenue Authorities (KRA) and the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), had planned the raid of a warehouse in an industrial area of Nairobi. They had found tons of processed Brazilian sugar allegedly smuggled into Kenya via Somalia, and it was now being repackaged from 50 kilo sacks into 500 gram and 1 kilo bags bearing the Kenyan brand Mumias Sugar and with added stickers from KEBS showing that the product meets Kenyan standards of production and quality. The repackaged sugar is – when not confiscated by the authorities – sold to retailers as refined Kenyan sugar at a huge profit. In 2014 a one kilo sugar bag sold for KES 133 in Nairobi supermarkets, and by May 2017 prices had gone up to KES 170 with some supermarkets rationing it to one package per customer” (DIIS Working Paper, P: 12, 2017).
“Like the former Nairobi governor Evans Kidero, the Garissa governor Nathif Jama Adam, and the Garissa-born majority speaker of parliament Aden Duale are rumoured to be implicated in the sugar trade (Rawlence 2016: 236). These rumours reach all the way to Nairobi where they can be voiced more freely than in the north. The power of the people implicated by the rumours is more distant in Nairobi, whereas in the northern parts of Kenya the secrecy associated with the rumours points to the importance and power of those involved” (…) “With devolution, local government has become more powerful and more is at stake for locally elected officials due to their increased budget responsibilities and decision-making powers. Concomitantly, local government has become more vulnerable to pressures from local stakeholders like strong businessmen, militias and other state actors. The porous border, the circumvention of border patrols, and the implication of government officials ranging from KDF to KRA means that much of the sugar is not declared to Kenyan customs officials, making Garissa county one of the largest illicit markets in the country. The flow of goods across the border and further into Kenya formally falls under the responsibility of KRA and the national government. Yet the county government is responsible for local revenue collection and enforcement at local markets and car parks, and they also issue licenses for traders. In that sense the warehouses in the region fall under county administration. The latter thus plays an important role in the possibilities for the redistribution of smuggled goods” (DIIS Working Paper, P: 15, 18, 2017).
This here is evidence of cartels, illegal trade that is benefiting the political elites in Kenya and in Somalia. They are both having knowledge of it and its undermining the embargoes and also the activity itself. Since the politicians are the ones that has put in the provisions and the laws to stop imports to secure the local sugar industry.
This paper shows how much money that is involved. It is big business and the cartels are earning fortunes on lie, where they take foreign cheap sugar and trade it as Kenyan sugar with stickers of authenticity of KEBS. That is clearly a violation in itself, but combined with the illegal sugar, they are even using sophisticated methods to trade it to the public. To make the sugar seem like Kenya, when it isn’t.
That this money is shared by many different part of government officials was implicated int the trade from Kenya Defense Force Officials, Kenya Revenue Authority Officials, Border Patrol, Politicians and even Somali terrorist organization Al-Shabab. So the Kenyan are sending military to Somali to fight Al-Shabab, but at the same time giving them revenue with illegal sugar trade. That is a striking a fact considering the use of military to secure safety for Kenyans. Therefore, the cartels are also making sure the reason they are fighting inside Somalia are funded by the stakes into the illegal sugar industry. That should put some alarm bells on. That the politicians are playing with matches and should know that this cartel plus funding of Al-Shabab might hurt them in the long-run. Instead of being just a profitable business.
This is eye-opening and also a tale of corruption and sugar-cartels using the porous borders between the republics in favor of those dealing illegal sugar and selling it on the Kenyan market. Certainly, this sort of thing will implicate bigger names, than the ones mentioned in the paper. If investigated and looked through. You could certainly also find many bigger names who has created massive wealth within short amount of time. Peace.
Rasmussen, Jacob – ‘SWEET SECRETS: SUGAR SMUGGLING AND STATE FORMATION IN THE KENYA–SOMALIA BORDERLANDS’ (December 2017) – DIIS Working Paper 2017:11
Today, I will write about how international businesses are using their power and their markets strategy, while people are giving up their private communications and other vital information for simple transactions between family and friends, also when borrowing micro-credit or buying solar-cells through credit. This is all based on the Privacy International recently released report and the quotes are taken from there. It shows vital information taken from citizens who uses apps and financial services in their daily lives. Clearly, they have accessed certain freedoms for the trade with these Kenyans. The business transactions and the trade is not only making direct profits for the corporations allowing direct transactions, but also delivering services like payday loans and buying equipment. Still, it has a special price and they have to sign-up to give away certain aspects of their lives to gain this. That is what is interesting because it says something of how much of the personal space these corporations are getting from the persons they are profiting from!
“The term ‘fintech’ has been defined by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) as: “a dynamic segment at the intersection of the financial services and technology sectors where technology-focused start-ups and new market entrants innovate the products and services currently provided by the traditional financial services industry.” (Privacy International, P: 10, 2017).
“Yet a change that has not been much explored is that M-Pesa also produces a vast amount of data for the telco Safaricom. Each of the millions of transactions that take place a year tell a story. They tell the story of how the small business is operating: the money they’re sending to their suppliers, the transactions that are taking place. But it tells other stories as well: the money that comes in and then is sent to the hospital. The school fees paid by the biological father, unknown to anyone except the mother, father and Safaricom. But there is also a way in which this data is known by third parties. The transmission of the content of the money transfers over M-Pesa is encrypted. However, the details of any transactions are sent, unencrypted, by plain SMS. Even if M-Pesa transactions themselves are sent via secure and encrypted means, the account information is not. The messages that someone sends for receiving or sending money include the name of the recipient (from the registration of the SIM), the amount sent, and their current balance. This facilitates the gathering of personal data by apps. The fact that the transactions can be tracked becomes a large part of the power of the lenders, as in the Kenyan example, leaves a trail via the M-Pesa SMS messages for both customer and retailer. As shall be illustrated, this is an aspect of M-Pesa of which fintechs are able to take advantage” (Privacy International, P: 29, 2017).
“From the data provided by the app, decisions are made about whether and how people repay their loans. One of the key pieces of data is to analyse the content of SMS messages for the records of M-Pesa payments. These are very valuable records to analyse; for example, if the person seeking a loan has a small business, it is a good measure of the health of the business and the money entering and leaving the business. But, according to Tala, it can also be used to analyse how people are actually using their loans, as frequently the money they receive from Tala will leave someone’s M-Pesa account immediately (for example, to pay school fees or a hospital loan, or an individual). But the analysis of the data by Tala extends beyond this, to make analyses based on data and information that are, at best, unexpected to be used for credit scoring. For example, Tala analyses call logs: their analysis has found that people who make regular calls to family are 4% more likely to repay their loan. To do this analysis, they need to know who your family is: from the content of text messages that call someone “mama”, and the pattern of calls” (Privacy International, P: 30, 2017).
“One difference from Tala is that Branch also makes use of Facebook for authentication; as discussed below, this is allowed under Facebook’s terms and conditions. Another factor that Branch uses for its decision-making is the behaviour of your friends, and their repayment patterns for Branch loans. How does Branch know who your friends are? They have a refer-a-friend feature (as does Tala), which is one source of this data. But they can also see your Facebook friends, and your call log to know who is contacted regularly” (Privacy International, P: 31, 2017).
“The data that M-Kopa gathers from the device via the SIM is information like location (using cell data, not GPS), the charge level in the battery, and what devices are plugged in. They will also soon be gathering data on the television programmes watched. This specific data on programming is not data that it is planning on selling, but rather to use to develop its own services in the future. M-Kopa’s website states that, “After completing payments, customers own the product outright.” However, the customer does not own their data. The terms and conditions of a M-Kopa loan make the company’s position on data clear: “M-KOPA shall have absolute and sole ownership of … the data which is obtained by the Customer’s use of the Device.” Customers have no right to even see their own
data, apart from the provisions under Credit Reference Bureau rules. For M-Kopa, it ultimately comes down to a business decision: “If data privacy was important for the Kenyan consumer, we would do it,” states Chad Larson, the Chief Credit Officer at M-Kopa. At the same time, both M-Kopa and its investors have a viewpoint that their use of data is ethical” (Privacy International, P: 32, 2017).
Control over the data:
“A significant issue with the fintech companies in Kenya, is that they keep access to the data. They keep the data—and, in some cases analyse it, even if the user has stopped being a customer of theirs, and has deleted their app. Branch is explicit that it keeps the data even after a user uninstalls the app, and admits it is possibly doing further analysis on it, “we have that right.” Tala encourages people, even if they have been rejected for a loan, to keep the app; if they do delete it, Tala retains their data. This is so that, if the customer returns later, they can reinstall the app, go through some simple KYC checks, and be able to borrow again. M-Kopa, on the other hand, continues to collect data from the device even after the loan has been repaid” (Privacy International, P: 33, 2017).
Just as this reveals that Safaricom, the partly owned Vodacom Telecom Business have no trouble through the M-Pesa, the Cellphone Mobile-Money Transactions, that they can hold onto all information between all parts of the transactions. Like how a person send the messages of giving money to friend/family and at what point they picking up the mobile-money. This personal data is all incorporated into their apps, as they provide the services and keeps this fintech data on each of their clients.
As we see with the Tala App, which is also used to get loans. Tala analyses the personal SMS’s from the client to either give or not accept proposals for loans from their services. Tala are looking into the M-Pesa messages given to the client and are scanned by the app. To see if the client can actually be able to repay the debt possible sign-off from Tala. This proves that the Tala App is checking the credit history done with the services of M-Pesa, which is Safaricom/Vodacom. Branch another Fintech app is taking it further, they are also analyzing your behavior and who is your refer-friend on Facebook. They are clearly entitled to the private information of your networks before you get a loan. So they know exactly, who and when you contact friends and family on social media before giving you a loan. It shows how personal and how much information on app can get before you get the services needed from them.
M-Kopa are another one, who is directly saying that all information collected from their costumers are their to own and to use for later costumers. It can also be used after the usage. More of these Apps seems to do so. They are keeping this personal data even after the transactions, the loans and the purchase. This can be used to further get clients and knowledge of when the costumers need it more. So they can get them “addicted” to the services. We have no idea how they store this personal data or who they trade it with after gathering it all.
This should all be scrutinized and questioned, as it breaches with personal space collected with marketing and simple ploy to generate enough information to be able to gain the services from the companies. These companies are vultures of the costumers private space and uses it as leverage for their trade.
It is worrying how far they are taking it and how much personal information they are gathering to give them these services. Peace.
Privacy International – ‘Fintech: Privacy and Identity in the New Data-intensive Financial Sector’ (November 2017)
President Uhuru Kenyatta finally found a solution to the rising the prices and inflation on basic foods. Therefore on the day there is 30,000 tons Sugar coming in at Mombasa this morning.
This after the first Executive Order of Kenyatta this year said: “That the drought and the famine in parts of Kenya is a national disaster, duty shall not be payable for the following items-
(a) Sugar imported by any person, with effect from the date of Notice to the 31st August, 2017; and
(b) nine thousand tonnes of milk powder imported by milk processors, with the authority of the Kenya Dairy Board, with effect from the date of this Notice to the 31st August, 2017 Dated the 11th May 2017” (The Kenya Gazette, Vol. CXIX – No. 62, Nairobi, 12th May 2017).
So as this happens, you can wonder if the Sugar millers and Sugar exporters are connected with the government. Since the 30,000 tons just appear on the day after the gazette. That means, someone knew about the plans of the government and let it happen. It isn’t just appearing from the sky, that a holy angel sends 30,000 tons of sugar to Kenya and the Port of Mombasa on the day after the Executive Order was signed and than relieved to the public by Cabinet Secretary for the National Treasury Henry Rotich. He is just a useful CS, who certainly will have his pieces of deliverance of all the duty free goods.
That the government, close connections with the Jubilee government and the Sugar cartels will surely gain profits on these exported foods. This been in a country where the tariffs has been a 100% on Sugar and added VAT 16 %. Therefore, this reactions seem to be a ploy to earn monies on gullible people and think that the people will take it as goodwill. This is happening at the same time, as the prices on sugar is still on a two year low worldwide. President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto, might think the Kenyans doesn’t see through this. But they should question the companies, the boats and who orders the duty free goods to Kenya from today and until 31st August.
Like who earns the profits on the sugar and the milk powder in these months. They are clearly planning it and not only for the famine and drought. But for sole purpose of gaining massive amount of funds in the period of campaigning. This just appearing and ordered in the critical time. The Jubilee government doesn’t know how to be subtle. Can wonder if any of the corporations and importing businesses owned by the Kenyatta’s or Ruto’s would benefit from this. I wouldn’t be shocked, neither if anyone else of the Jubilee government got a payday and huge amount of Bob’s in their accounts. Peace.