Press Review: The day’s top stories at a glance

Welcome to the press review, where we bring you the top stories of the day from various sources.

Whether you are interested in news, politics, business, or sports, we have something for you. Read on and find out what’s happening.

Catch up with more at https://epaper.nation.africa/ke 

Telkom Kenya Acquisition Probe: Government purchase fails to give full control

The government’s acquisition of Telkom Kenya has been mired in controversy after it was revealed that the majority shareholder is still registered offshore, despite the government purchasing the shares seven months ago.

The government paid KES 6.091 billion to Jamhuri Holdings, owned by Helios Investment Partners, for the acquisition, but only has 37.9 percent ownership, while Jamhuri Holdings retains 56 percent.

The Solicitor General confirmed to a parliamentary committee that the government had not acquired full ownership of the company and did not know the owners of Jamhuri Holdings.

The Telkom Kenya acquisition probe is ongoing.

China Square denies sabotage claims, says it’s helping locals access affordable goods

China Square Director Lei Cheng, also known as Charlie, has rejected allegations of sabotaging local traders by selling goods at low prices.

Appearing before the National Assembly Committee on Trade, Industry, and Cooperatives, Cheng insisted that his intention is to make goods affordable for Kenyans.

He added that the retail shop imports goods from China and Turkey, and sources products from local manufacturers, who make up 30% of their suppliers. Cheng said that China Square has all the relevant licences, including a six-year lease agreement with Kenyatta University.

The retail shop has already contributed KES 100m in tax revenue since its launch in Kenya three months ago, but a section of legislators is demanding its closure, arguing that it has not fully complied with regulatory requirements.

Cereal Millers Association seeks KES 2.5B owed by government

The Cereal Millers Association (CMA) has appealed to the government to release the KES 2.5 billion owed to them for the Unga subsidy programme.

During the previous administration of former President Uhuru Kenyatta, the subsidy programme aimed to reduce the cost of maize flour to consumers.

CMA Chairperson, Mohammed Islam, said that the government’s failure to release the payment had led to small-scale millers being auctioned due to the debt they owed.

While appearing before the National Assembly Departmental Committee on Agriculture and Livestock, the CMA denied plans to hold the government to ransom for the payment.

The association also claimed they had no responsibility for the lack of subsidised unga on retail shelves.

KMTC students expelled over fake academic papers

Scores of Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC) students across the country have been expelled by the Ministry of Health after a major scandal involving fake academic papers was unearthed.

The students used fake Kenya Certificate Secondary Education (KCSE) certificates to gain admission to the colleges last September. The majority of the affected students are from the North Eastern region.

The Ministry of Health and the Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) conducted investigations after the students performed poorly in their tests. The scandal comes just days after KMTC announced that it is set to take in around 13,000 candidates who sat for the 2022 KCSE.

KMTC students serve over 450 health facilities during their training, contributing 85 percent of the middle-level workforce.

Six parties merge with UDA

Six political parties have agreed to dissolve and join Kenya’s ruling party, the United Democratic Alliance (UDA), with a vision of uniting the country and advancing its development.

The Secretary General of UDA, Cleophas Malalah, announced the move on Tuesday, congratulating the parties for their decision to work together towards a common goal.

The parties include Umoja na Maendeleo party, Farmers Party, Chama cha Kazi, Chama cha Mashinani, National Agenda Party of Kenya, and Economic Freedom Party.

Despite some Members of Parliament associated with ANC and Ford Kenya expressing reluctance to merge, the Political Parties Act allows for the Registrar of Political Parties to gazette the dissolution of political parties and transfer their records, assets, liabilities, rights, and obligations to UDA.

Road agencies owe KES 37B in unpaid compensation

Road agencies have evicted landowners using compulsory acquisition clauses in the law, but have failed to pay compensation within the 24-month deadline, resulting in KES 37 billion in unpaid bills.

The Kenya National Highways Authority is the biggest culprit, with KES 35 billion in unpaid compensation, according to government data. The Kenya Urban Roads Authority and the Kenya Rural Roads Authority also owe compensation worth KES 1.8 billion and KES 542.5 million, respectively.

KeNHA has cited budgetary constraints as the main reason for the delays. However, the unpaid bills have raised questions about why road agencies start the acquisition process without first securing funding.

The situation has made it more challenging for the government to acquire private land in the future.

Rubis Energy Kenya CEO returns to role after deportation controversy

Jean-Christian Bergeron, CEO of Rubis Energy Kenya, has returned to his executive role after being deported from the country in April 2021. The move came weeks after President William Ruto’s swearing-in ceremony.

The State Directorate of Immigration had revoked Bergeron’s work permit and ordered him to leave the country immediately following public outcry over fuel shortages. Bergeron’s return followed a fuel crisis that led to long queues at service stations and a spike in petrol and diesel prices, triggering a government clampdown.

The deportation was linked to Rubis Energy Kenya’s involvement in selling more petroleum products in neighbouring countries, which the government blamed for the shortage. Bergeron’s return risks triggering a diplomatic spat with France, which wants to deepen its economic ties with East Africa.


FIFA approves new format for 2026 World Cup

Football’s world governing body, FIFA, announced on Tuesday that the 2026 Men’s World Cup in North America will feature 12 groups of four teams instead of the originally planned 16 groups of three.

This decision will ensure that all teams play a minimum of three matches and mitigate the risk of collusion. The new format means that the top two in each group will go through to the knockout round, along with the eight best third-placed sides.

The finalists, and the teams finishing third and fourth, will play a total of eight games instead of the current seven.

The next men’s World Cup final will be played on Sunday, July 19, 2026. FIFA also confirmed plans for a new 32-team Club World Cup, starting in June 2025, and an annual tournament featuring six continental club champions.

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