Press Review; Top news at a glance

Today, Thursday, October 27, here is everything you need to know.

Ruto’s Cabinet to be sworn in today

President William Ruto officially appoints his first cabinet into office following approval by Parliament. The 22 Cabinet Secretaries as well as Attorney General appointee Justin Muturi and Secretary to Cabinet Mercy Wanjau are expected to be sworn in today, October 27.

Early on Wednesday morning, the National Assembly confirmed President Ruto’s nominations, clearing the way for their appointment to the highest executive offices in charge of formulating and carrying out policy and government initiatives.

Facebook amends its policies to allow sharing of  trading data with KRA and police

Starting January 2023, Meta Platforms Inc, the company that owns Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram, will share trading data with the Kenya Revenue Authority and the police giving the taxman a new tool to use against net enterprises that use its services to generate revenue.

Meta updated its terms and says entrepreneurs using the platform to advertise or sell their products will automatically offer their consent for sharing of dealings of the business persons to a governmental entity or body if it believes that disclosure would assist in a lawful investigation.

The dealings include the advertising contents and all information associated with the publicity placed on its platform.

KRA, which has in the recent past increased its surveillance on Kenyans displaying lavish lifestyles on social media but paying little or no taxes, plans to collect KES 13.9 billion from the digital tax over the next three years from firms using the Internet to market and sell products in Kenya.

Ruto to host Kenya Kwanza MPs

President Ruto will this morning host a National Assembly Parliamentary Group (PG) meeting at State House for the lawmakers to firm up the leadership and membership of key committees, which will be integral in the approval of government policies and expenditure plans.

According to sources, the MPs will discuss the proposed KES 50 billion Hustler’s Fund and the procedure for approving government spending and policy initiatives.

Additionally, the meeting is expected to resolve the impasse among MPs over who will lead four important House Committees: Administration and National Security, Energy, Blue Economy, Transport, and Mining.

KQ threatens to sack pilots after botched strike talks

Kenya Airways will sack pilots who will go on strike next week after talks with their union collapsed, in an escalation of the labour dispute at the airline.

At a meeting on Tuesday where Francis Atwoli, the head of the Central Organization of Trade Unions (Cotu), was present, the airline’s chief executive, Allan Kilavuka, claimed that attempts to negotiate with the pilots had failed.

Over the previous two years, Kenya Airways’ intentions to cut the number of pilots from over 400 to 207 over a three-year period have been put on hold by the aggressive employees’ union.

“We did have a meeting yesterday (Tuesday) with the Cotu secretary-general Francis Atwoli. He came to help chair the meeting and we had a discussion but that discussion did not yield the results we hoped it would yield on the way forward,” Mr Kilavuka told a media briefing Wednesday.

“In fact, the pilots said that they had come to demand not to negotiate… They said clearly that the strike will happen if we do not meet their demands. There comes a time of reckoning and I think this is that time. At one point yes we want to listen, but at the same time there’s a bigger mission to keep the airline alive.”

About 400 pilots are represented by the Kenya Airline Pilots Association (Kalpa), which last week announced a 14-day strike notice in protest of KQ’s decision to halt contributions to the provident fund, which they allege is a contractual obligation KQ has with all of its employees. The pilots claimed that since 2020, KQ has arbitrarily ceased both employer and employee contributions and has failed to restart the retirement programme.

Sports

Barcelona drops to Europa League after loss to Bayern

With a victory over Viktoria Plzen, Inter Milan qualified for the Champions League knockout round and advanced Barcelona into the Europa League.

Before Xavi’s team’s 3-0 defeat at the hands of Group C champions Bayern Munich at the Nou Camp, Barcelona’s destiny had already been decided.

Romelu Lukaku, a substitute, celebrated his injury comeback with a late goal for Inter as they easily won and advanced to the round of 16.

In the 4-0 victory, Edin Dzeko scored twice following Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s first goal.

Barcelona will compete in Europe’s second-tier tournament for the second straight season and will be guaranteed to finish third.

In their final home group match, the Spanish giants were unable to lift the spirits of the crowd as goals from Sadio Mane and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting in the first half kept Bayern on track to keep their flawless record in this season’s Champions League.

When Matthijs de Ligt’s challenge on former Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski was reviewed by referee Anthony Taylor on the pitchside monitor, Taylor reversed his earlier penalty judgement, giving Barcelona what they thought was a lifeline.

After the break, Serge Gnabry’s curling goal was disallowed for offside, but the German still finished the game with three assists, and in the fifth minute of stoppage time, substitute Benjamin Pavard made things even worse for Barcelona.

Atletico Madrid fails to progress to the Round of 16

After missing a penalty in extra time, Atletico Madrid lost the Champions League in spectacular way.

The La Liga team, which lost to Bayer Leverkusen, will now play in the Europa League, which they won in 2018.

Madrid was given hope in the 95th minute when VAR brought the referee to the pitchside monitor and he gave a penalty for a handball in the area.

Yannick Carrasco went forward, but Lukas Hradecky blocked his shot.

Moussa Diaby and Callum Hudson-goals Odoi’s allowed Diego Simeone’s team to come back from a two-goal deficit.

Madrid was kept in the game by Carrasco and the substitute Rodrigo de Paul, but ultimately a draw was insufficient for them to go past the group round.

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