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Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Ukranian best President by Country’s polls.

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Volodymyr Oleksandrovych Zelenskyy (Ukrainian: Володимир Олександрович Зеленський; Russian: Владимир Александрович Зеленский, romanized: Vladimir Aleksandrovich Zelenskyy was born 25 January 1978.

Also transliterated as Zelensky or Zelenskiy, is an Ukrainian politician and former comedic actor. He has served as the sixth and current president of Ukraine since 2019.

Born to a Jewish family, Zelenskyy grew up as a native Russian speaker in Kryvyi Rih. It is major city of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast in central Ukraine.

Acting Career

Prior to his acting career, Volodymyr obtained a degree in law from the Kyiv National Economic University.

He then pursued a career in comedy and created the production company Kvartal 95, which produced films.

Cartoons, and TV shows including the TV series Servant of the People, in which Zelenskyy played the role of the Ukrainian president.

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Immensely Popular

The series aired from 2015 to 2019 and was immensely popular. A political party bearing the same name as the television show was created in March 2018 by employees of Kvartal 95.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced his candidacy in the 2019 Ukrainian presidential election on the evening of 31 December 2018.

This was alongside the New Year’s Eve address of then-president Petro Poroshenko on the TV channel 1+1.

Political Outsider

A political outsider, he had already become one of the frontrunners in opinion polls for the election.

He won the election with 73.23 percent of the vote in the second round, defeating Poroshenko. He has positioned himself as an anti-establishment and anti-corruption figure.

As president, Zelenskyy has been a proponent of e-government and of unity between the Ukrainian- and Russian-speaking parts of the country’s population.

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Social Media dependent

His communication style heavily uses social media, particularly Instagram. His party won a landslide victory in the snap legislative election.

Held shortly after his inauguration as president. During his administration, Zelenskyy oversaw the lifting of legal immunity for members of parliament.

The country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic recession, and some progress in tackling corruption in Ukraine.

Campaign Promise

During his presidential campaign, Zelenskyy promised to end Ukraine’s protracted conflict with Russia.

And he has attempted to engage in dialogue with Russian president Vladimir Putin. His administration faced an escalation of tensions with Russia in 2021.

Culminating in the launch of the ongoing full-scale Russian invasion in February 2022. Zelenskyy’s strategy during the Russian military buildup was to calm the Ukrainian populace.

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International Community

And assure the international community that Ukraine was not seeking to retaliate. He initially distanced himself from warnings of an imminent war.

While also calling for security guarantees and military support from NATO to “withstand” the threat.

After the start of the invasion, Zelenskyy declared martial law across Ukraine and a general mobilisation of the armed forces.

Ukranian Crisis

His leadership during the crisis has won him widespread international praise. And he has been described as a symbol of the Ukrainian resistance.

Social polls have ranked Zelenskyy as one of Ukraine’s greatest presidents.

Read more at https://thebigissue.co.ke

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70% of MPs in Kenya never make it for a second term. Adan Keynan, the 5 term MP

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Hon Aden Keynan Wehliye is a National Assembly MP in Northern Kenya. He served Wajir West from 1997 to 2002, and then from 2007 to 2013. He then moved to Eldas constituency.

Which was curved from Wajir West. Keynan served as Eldas MP in the 11th Parliament. He was then re-elected to serve the same constituency in 12th parliament.

He represented the Orange Democratic Movement until 2017 when he switched to the Jubilee Party. He was re- elected to parliament in the 2022.

Education and Early Career

Keinan received a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree at Moi University and Kenyatta University, respectively.

He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Public Administration (honoris causa) by the Commonwealth University in collaboration with the London Graduate School.

Before joining politics Keinan was a Director at the National Housing Corporation between 1996 and 1997.

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Social and Parliamentary Responsibilities

In 2011, he formed a foundation, the Adan Keynan Foundation, to help afforestation, education and youth and women empowerment in Wajir county.

He was first elected into parliament in 1997, as an MP for the then Wajir West parliamentary seat.

He has held a seat on the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) for three parliamentary terms, serving as its Vice Chairman between 2011 and 2012.

Committees of Parliament

He was Chairman of the Defence and Foreign Relations Committee during the Tenth Parliament.

In the Eleventh Parliament he chaired the Public Investment Committee where he also investigated and audited state expenditure.

Which included at the defunct Kenya Petroleum Refineries Limited. He has also been a member of the House Business Committee of the Kenyan Parliament.

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1998 and 2002

He served in the Finance and Planning and Trade Committee and the Administration, National Security and Local Government Committees between 1998 and 2002.

Keinan is a member of the Parliamentary Network on the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

Also Parliamentarians for Global Action and Parliamentarians Against Corruption, and an Executive Committee.

Global Responsibilities and County Honors

Member of the Commonwealth Association of Public Accounts Committees. He is also a former member of the Kenya National Audit Commission.

Keynan is known as “kingmaker” of Wajir politics. In 2013, the relatively inexperienced politician Ahmed Abdullahi was encouraged by Keynan to challenge Mohamed Abdi Mohamud as Wajir Governor, and won the election.

In the 2017 general election Keynan, led all elected leaders in the Jubilee Party and offered his support for Amb Mohamed Abdi Mohamud as governor, which again was successful.

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Awards

Keynan has received the Spirit of Detroit Award at Michigan State University in 1999 in recognition of his dedication to improvement of quality of life in Kenya.

In 1999, he received an award in the Role of Legislatures in Governance, Washington DC, and in 2013 he was awarded the Chief Order of the Burning Economic.

This was with the First Class Spear commendation by the President of Kenya, for distinguished service to humanity and Kenya.

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Raila Odinga, the 1982 coup and multipartism achievement

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The Coup

At 3am on Sunday, 1 August 1982, a group of soldiers from the Kenya Air Force led by Senior Private Hezekiah Ochuka, attempted to overthrow the government.

The then president was Daniel Arap Moi. After the failed attempt to overthrow him, President Moi re-organized Kenya’s security architecture.

Staffing it with his loyalists. And then he ensured a law was passed in parliament that gave him emergency powers. Placing the provincial administration under the president’ office.

Odinga’s Arrest

Odinga was arrested and charged with treason after being accused of being among the masterminds of the 1982 coup.

He was released six years later in February 1988 but detained again in August of the same year to be released in June 1989.

Detention Without Trial

In an era of unrelenting human rights abuse by the Kenyan government, Odinga was placed under house arrest.

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For seven months after evidence seemed to implicate him along with his late father Oginga Odinga.

Accused for collaborating with the plotters of a failed coup attempt against President Daniel Arap Moi in 1982.

Death of Civilians and Soldiers

Hundreds of Kenyan civilians and thousands of rebel soldiers died in the coup. Several foreigners also died. Odinga was charged with treason and detained without trial for six years.

A biography released 14 years later in July 2006, apparently with Odinga’s approval, indicated that Odinga was far more involved in the attempted coup than he had previously admitted.

After its publication, some Members of Parliament in Kenya called for Odinga to be arrested and charged.

Statute of Limitations

But the statute of limitations had already passed and the information contained in the biography did not amount to an open confession on his part.

Among some of his most painful experiences was when his mother died in 1984 but the prison wardens took two months to inform him of her death.

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He was released on 6 February 1988 only to be rearrested in September 1988 for his pro-democracy and human rights agitation.

Poor Governance

At a time when the country continued to descend deep into the throes of poor governance. And the despotism of single-party rule.

Multi-party democracy Kenya, was then, by law, a one-party state. His encounters with the authoritarian government generated an aura of intrigue about him.

And it was probably due to this that his political followers christened him “Agwambo”, Luo for “The Mystery” or “Unpredictable” or “Jakom”, meaning chairman.

1989 Release and Incarceration in 1990

Odinga was released on 12 June 1989, only to be incarcerated again on 5 July 1990, together with Kenneth Matiba.

And former Nairobi mayor Charles Rubia, both multiparty system and human rights crusaders. Odinga was finally released on 21 June 1991.

And in October he fled the country to Norway amid indications that the increasingly corrupt Kenyan government, was attempting to assassinate him without success.

Multi-party politics

At the time of Odinga’s departure to Norway, the Forum for the Restoration of Democracy (FORD), a movement formed to agitate for the return of multi-party democracy to Kenya, was newly formed.

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In February 1992, Odinga returned to join FORD, then led by his father Jaramogi Oginga Odinga.

He was elected Vice Chairman of the General Purposes Committee of the party. In the months running up to the 1992 General Election, FORD split into Ford Kenya.

Raila’s father

Led by Odinga’s father Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, and FORD-Asili led by Kenneth Matiba. Odinga became Ford-Kenya’s Deputy Director of Elections.

Odinga won the Langata Constituency parliamentary seat, previously held by Philip Leakey of KANU. Odinga became the second father of multi-party democracy in Kenya after Kenneth Matiba.

When Jaramogi Oginga Odinga died in January 1994 and Michael Wamalwa Kijana succeeded him as FORD-Kenya chairman, Odinga challenged him for the party leadership.

Member of Parliament

The elections were marred by controversy after which Odinga resigned from FORD-Kenya to join the National Development Party (NDP).

In his first bid for the presidency in the 1997 General Election, Odinga finished third after President Moi, the incumbent, and Democratic Party candidate Mwai Kibaki.

He however retained his position as the Langata MP.

Read more at https://thebigissue.co.ke

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How KRA Earned Sh50bn From Banks, Despite Covid-19 Pandemic

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Despite the severe effects emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic, Kenyan commercial banks were reporting double-digit profitability growths resulting from the global crisis, earning huge dividends for their shareholders.

It can be noted that most government institutions discouraged cash transactions in order to contain the pandemic level. This directly promoted digital transactions like mpesa and m-banking.

Besides owners, a new survey has shown that Kenya Revenue Authority(KRA) was the second best beneficiary of the supernormal profits.

According to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report, more than a quarter of corporate taxes paid to KRA in the year to December 2021, came from banks.

Corporate taxes

On Wednesday, a report was released on behalf of the Kenya Bankers Association (KBA), indicating the corporate taxes paid to the KRA surpassed 22.82% to Sh50.7 billion. A year earlier, the sector’s corporation tax payment amounted to Sh41.28 billion.

Banks are among the most profitable institutions in Kenya. They are among the biggest revenue generators in a country where tax compliance among corporates is at a low level.

The taxation law requires local companies to pay 30% of their profits as corporate taxes.

A whooping Sh198.24 billion was the total corporate tax paid in Kenya last year, with banks accounting for 25.57% (Sh50.7 billion) of the amount.

“The increase in 2021 compared to 2020 was largely driven by increase in profits with the profit before tax of the banks increasing by 85.17 percent in 2021 relative to 2020,” said the report.

“The profit before a tax increase is aligned to increased economic activity in 2021 as reflected by the GDP growth which grew from a contraction of 0.3 percent in 2020 to 7.5 percent in 2021.”

Check out: Kenya Exits Top 10 UN World Suppliers

According to KRA, the banking sector includes 44 listed lenders, 7 micro financiers, 16 SACCOs, and 38 custodian banks, not forgetting international financiers and bureaus with local offices.

The study focused on both the corporate tax and Value Added Tax (VAT) that it is not able to recover (irrecoverable VAT). Also, the taxes that banks collect as an agent of government such as PAYE.

Overall, the banking industry contributed Sh129.52 billion in taxes accruing from day-to-day operations in the year under the review.

Documented filings from 38 banks which participated were relied on. This represents 97% of the market share.

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