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Mumias Sugar Company Sacks All Employees Following the Receivership by KCB

Georgina Korir

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Just a month after the Mumias sugar company was placed under receivership by the Kenya Commercial Bank; all the employees working at the company have been sacked.

The company was placed under receivership by KCB owing to the numerous debts which the it owed the bank dating back to 1972. The company had borrowed Ksh10 million as loan from KCB and it took more between 1972 and 2014 which amounted to more than Ksh3 billion all together.

“Consequent to the company being placed in receivership, all employees’ contracts stand terminated from the date of receivership i.e. 20th September, 2019.” This, the company said in a letter dated November 5, 2019. The Mumias Sugar Company however said that all affected employees would be lawfully compensated.

“Any payment to the affected employees shall be dealt with in accordance with the provision of the law,” the letter read in part. New staff will be hired so as to keep the company operational and most of the priority will be given to the now former employees who have just been fired.

“Accordingly, the Receiver shall engage the services of any employee on a temporary basis on mutually agreeable terms until the time when the operations resume. Priority will however be given to the past employees while recruiting the staff on temporary basis until the time when the company’s operations are revived,” ended the letter.

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Banks

Co-Op Bank Profit Grows to Ksh 10.9B in Nine Months

Georgina Korir

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Cooperative Bank Group has reported a Ksh.10.9 billion profit for the third quarter in 2019 representing a 5.8 percent jump in earnings by the lender to the close of September.

The lender which is the third largest by assets in the region, said the growth was driven by its “soaring eagle” transformative agenda that has retooled and equipped the business with added competitive advantage.

The increased issuance of digital loans which serve to raise income derived from fees and commissions have played a major role in the growth in earnings by the bank. Digital loan issuance on MCo-op Cash is rising ahead of the bank’s traditional loan book to Ksh.27.6 billion as the lender’s non-funded income has surged forward by 33 percent to Ksh.14.1 billion

The group’s total operating income grew by 9% from KSh 32.3 billion to KSh 35.2 billion while its total assets grew 9% to KSh 440.8 billion compared to Ksh 404.2 billion in the same period last year.

Nevertheless, Co-op retained its likeness for the Treasury, a departure from observed exits by peers, to increase its investments in the portfolio by a further 13 percent to Ksh.94.6 billion from Ksh.83.2 billion last year.

In spite of the prolific growth of both net loans and advances to customers and deposits, Co-op’s net interest earnings slightly tumbled. While the lender has grown its neighborhood-based banking agents to 16,000, 90 percent of the bank’s customer transactions already sit outside branches.

As gross non-performing loans (NPLs) rose to Ksh.30 billion from Ksh.29 billion, the lender’s operating expenses picked up by a notable 11 percent on the back of higher loan loss provisions

The bank expects to keep by the diversification tune to strengthen its dominance on its core market segment encompassing retail banking and the cooperative movement.

Co-op Group Managing Director Gideon Muriuki reported that “the group continues to leverage on the benefits of the transformation agenda which has re-tooled and equipped the business with added competitive edge as reflected in the sustained growth in market share across all market segments.”

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Apps

Optiven Group Launches Kenya’s Inaugural Real Estate App at an Event in Nairobi

Inversk Review

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Kenya’s leading land developer, Optiven group, on Friday morning launched the inaugural Real Estate mobile app in Kenya. The event which was held at the Hotel Fairmont The Norfolk in Nairobi’s CBD gathered hundreds of land owners and real estate enthusiasts including Optiven group clients. The launch was led by the company’s Chief, Mr. George Wachiuri.

The app, which has already been availed at play store will allow prospective land owners to access all their investments solutions from the company at the comfort of their hands.

User with android phones can download the app available on play store through this link while their IOS counterparts and those using personal computers can visit plots.optiven.co.ke.

The mobile app will allow one to view properties on offer (satellite photos, maps, topography and even track the development your projects in real-time from any part of the world), make project selection and proceed to check out.  No brokers, no paperwork, no hassle.

As a multiple award-winning property development pacesetter in East Africa, Optiven Group has over 20 years’ experience in the real estate market.

Alongside its head office in the capital, the company also has offices in South Africa as well as satellite branches in the US and Europe.

The company offers flexible payments for everyone. Where clients are allowed to pay property in installments in up to 24 months through cash, bank financing, Wave, MPESA, PoaPay.

Now through the mobile app, Optiven is allowing everyone to partner with them (as an affiliate) and earn a commission between $200 – $500. Registration of affiliate partners is done through this link.

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Companies

South Africa’s City Lodge Hotel Group Opens its 61st Outlet at Two Rivers Mall, Nairobi!

Inversk Review

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The City Lodge Hotel at Two Rivers Mall in Nairobi, Kenya hosted a “welcome to the neighbourhood” and official opening event last Thursday (24 October 2019).

The hotel opened in phases and while it has been trading for the past two years, City Lodge Hotel Group was delighted to host this official event showcasing all of its facilities, presided over by Dr Chris Kirubi, Kenyan businessman, entrepreneur and leading industrialist.

Among the many guests present at this auspicious occasion were members of government, diplomatic missions in Kenya, South Africa, Angola, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Argentina, Australia and Canada; representatives from the United Nations; members of the Kenya Tourism Board, Kenya Association of Hotel Keepers and Kenya Association of Women in Tourism; Two Rivers Mall management and tenants; corporates with offices or doing business in Kenya; travel agents, travel management companies and tour operators; and the media. It was a celebration of friendship, business relationships and hospitality opportunities.

The hotel’s restaurant was transformed into an elegant cocktail space, with canapes prepared by executive chef Kurt Pietersen and his team from sister property, the Fairview Hotel. Entertainment was provided by the Latapaza Band, which also delights guests several times a week on the pool deck of the Fairview Hotel. Master of ceremonies, Edgar Radoli, resplendent in a glittery jacket, opened the proceedings with a warm Kenyan welcome to guests.

Guest of honour Dr Chris Kirubi said in his opening address: “I am very proud of you and every South African who is here. I ask every Kenyan to welcome you with all our warmth because we are very hospitable people and we like visitors.” He noted the sophisticated security system protecting the 100 acres of land that make up the Two Rivers precinct, and the range of entertainment, retail and hospitality offerings available on site. He thanked the management of the City Lodge Hotel Group for having identified Kenya as being one of its principle investments, adding, “We are truly your partners. This hotel is part of the mall and the mall is part of you. We are proud of you.”

Chief guest, Kenya Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife’s secretary administration, Mr David Jakaiti, said, “On behalf of the Minister of Tourism and Wildlife, we are very happy to join City Lodge Hotel at this important occasion during the official opening, and to see such a wonderful facility in the heart of the city of Nairobi.” He went on to say, “As a ministry of tourism and wildlife, our major mandate and core values are to ensure we provide an enabling environment for investors to come and invest in our country to provide excellent facilities, like the one we’ve seen here today, so that we can see more bookings, more guests and tourists come to our beloved country.” He also congratulated the hotel on achieving four-star status, adding, “We want to encourage and assure you of our partnership and our support to see to it that you achieve your intended objectives. I congratulate you and wish you the very best with your endeavours.”

Representing the City Lodge Hotel Group (CLHG) from its central office in Johannesburg, South Africa, were chief executive officer Andrew Widegger, chief operating officer Lindiwe Sangweni-Siddo, divisional director of sales and marketing Zuki Jantjies, and general manager operations Morné Bester. Hosting a warm, welcome ceremony were the hotel’s general manager Miriam Obegi, assistant general manager Allan Kimani, junior assistant general manager Wycliffe Shavanga, and the full complement of staff, including front and back of house and the maintenance team. This is an all Kenyan team of 42 staff, a proud moment for the group.

Andrew Widegger, CEO of CLHG says,” We have been very satisfied investors in the Nairobi hotel market, with our first investment coming in 2012 with the purchase of 50% of Fairview Hotel and Town Lodge Upper Hill (formerly Country Lodge). We subsequently acquired the remaining 50% in 2014. City Lodge Hotel at Two Rivers Mall marks our newest investment. We provide direct employment to over 300 local Kenyans between the three hotels.”

Widegger adds, “Our foreign direct investment has been warmly welcomed in Kenya and we’re very excited to be able to make a contribution to the tourism sector, and we look forward to growing together.”

One of the hotel’s very first guests, Bishop Stanley Mwalili from the Green Pastures Tabernacle Church in Nairobi, gave the hotel a special blessing. He has been a regular since first booking a dinner for 80 people when the hotel partially opened on 15 January 2018.

The four-star City Lodge Hotel at Two Rivers is adjacent to the exciting Two Rivers Mall, East Africa’s largest shopping mall and mixed-use development, with international retail brands. The 171-room hotel is located in Runda, off Limuru Road, and close to the Karura Forest which is ideal for walks and trail-runs. It is within easy access of the United Nations local headquarters and has convenient road connections to the Nairobi CBD, Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, the National Museum of Kenya and Nairobi National Park.

The hotel offers two boardrooms and two meeting rooms, ideal for a wide range of corporate meetings and events. It also offers free and convenient parking, wireless internet access, #Cafe for breakfast, lunch and light evening meals, as well as a sundowner bar service. The sparkling swimming pool and deck are surrounded by lush palm trees and the fitness room is ideal for guests wanting to keep up with their exercise regimen. Same-day laundry and dry-cleaning services are offered, as well as photo-copying services. Guests have access to 24-hour reception and check-in facilities.

Bedrooms are spacious and air-conditioned bedrooms, with queen bed and twin bed options available, plus rooms adapted to meet the special needs of the physically disabled. Bathrooms feature showers, although selected rooms offer baths as well. All rooms offer televisions with selected M-Net and DStv channels, large electronic safe, tea and coffee making facilities, as well as a work desk with easy and convenient lighting and plug access points.

City Lodge Hotel Group’s other two properties in Nairobi include the 127-room four-star Fairview Hotel and the two-star 84-room Town Lodge Upper Hill, on the same grounds.

Chief operating officer Lindiwe Sangweni-Siddo, says in summary, “We look forward to the many feet that will walk into this precinct, drive into this precinct, need to go shopping, need to play in the casino, children on the Ferris Wheel, entertainment for families, and also to put their tired heads on our soft, fluffy pillows as they come and sleep here at the City Lodge Hotel at Two Rivers Mall.”

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