BY MWAKERA MWAJEFA and PSCU
President Uhuru Kenyatta has signed the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill (2019) and the Insurance (Amendment) Bill into law at State House on July 5, 2019.
The Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill amends 11 Acts of Parliament including those on Merchant Shipping, Alcohol Control, Tourism, Public Finance Management, Prevention of Terrorism and the Insolvency Act.
The amended Prevention of Terrorism Act introduces other Government Agencies to the membership of the Counter-Terrorism Centre.
These agencies include the National Police Service, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Kenya Wildlife Service, the Kenya Prisons Service and the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority.
The amendment of this statute expands the responsibilities of the Counter Terrorism Centre to include analysis of all information and intelligence on terrorism and counterterrorism activities.
The Centre has also been empowered to act as an approving and reporting institution for all civil society organizations and international non-governmental organizations engaged in preventing and countering violent extremism and radicalisation.
The amended statute on Merchant Shipping seeks to exempt a shipping line owned or controlled by the Government from restrictions on ship owners from providing certain services related to crewing agencies, pilotage, clearing and forwarding agents and general ship contractor among other operations.
In line with the President’s recommendations, the restrictions will not apply to the Kenya National Shipping Line (KNSL) whose majority shareholding is held by the Government through the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA).
It is hoped that the exemption of these restrictions will support the government’s policy on employment creation for the youth within maritime catchment regions and also open up the sector for investment by other Kenyans.
At another event, President Kenyatta flagged off the 66th edition of the legendary Safari Rally which inches closer to rejoining the prestigious World Rally Championships next year.
“Today (July 5), the journey we began in 2013 to return the most iconic of motoring events, the Safari Rally, to the International Automobile Federation-World Rally Championship Series, has scaled to greater heights as we proudly host this World Rally Championship Candidate Event,” he said.
He assured motorsport stakeholders and enthusiasts that the government is fully committed to supporting the rally and expressed optimism that the Safari Rally project in Kenya will become a full series event.
The President acknowledged the support from FIA through its President Jean Todt in the ongoing efforts to ensure Kenya returns to the WRC.
He handed over a government sponsorship cheque of Sh449 million to the Kenya Motorsports Federation for use in the development of motorsport activities in the country.
On Thursday (July 4), Mr Kenyatta led the country in eulogising Safaricom chief executive officer Robert William Collymore during a memorial service at All Saints Cathedral (ACK) in Nairobi.
Describing him as a fallen business titan, the President said his death has robbed Kenya part of its ‘soul’. “Bob loved Kenya as his own country.
He loved Safaricom as his own company. We have lost part of our soul,” he said adding that even as ‘we celebrate his life; there is still so much pain in losing somebody we loved so much’.
The sombre memorial service attended by First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, Deputy President William Ruto, and former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair brought together tens of CEOs and Bob’s family led by his widow Mrs Wambui Collymore.
Former Vice Presidents Moody Awori, Kalonzo Musyoka, and Musalia Mudavadi attended the memorial service alongside a host of other political leaders.
Deputy President William Ruto said the late Collymore was a courageous leader, in a class of his own, who had become a great inspiration to many Kenyans.
During his tenure, Collymore rapidly grew the fortunes of Safaricom and in nine years of his stewardship, the company doubled its clientele from 15 million users in 2010 to over 32 million in 2019.
The telco’s annual returns, dividends, taxes and other obligations more than doubled during the same period.
It is also during his time that Safaricom strengthened its partnership with government leading to the joint implementation of mega projects in security, elections management and several other sectors of the economy.