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Kenya Power board confirms Ken Tarus as CEO

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Mr Ken Tarus has been Acting Managing Director and CEO since January 4, 2017 when he was appointed to the position following the exit of Dr Ben Chumo.

The Kenya Power Board of Directors has confirmed the appointment Dr Ken Tarus as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer  with effect from August 1, 2017.

Mr Tarus has been Acting Managing Director and CEO since January 4, 2017 when he was appointed to the position following the exit of Dr Ben Chumo at the end of his contract period. He brings with him over 20 years of corporate leadership and management experience, five of which are in the energy sector.

Prior to his appointment, he was the Company’s General Manager in charge of finance and a member of the executive management team for a period of two years.

Previously, Dr Tarus worked at the Rural Electrification Authority as the head of Finance between 2012 and 2014 prior to which he was the Deputy Vice Chancellor for Finance, Planning and Administration at KCA University.

He has held various leadership roles in the local banking sector as Head of Finance, IT and Administration at Bank of Africa, Financial Controller at Standard Chartered Bank and diverse positions at Kenya Commercial Bank.

He holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Business Administration (Finance) from Kabarak University, an MBA from the University of Nairobi and a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the same institution.

Dr Tarus is a Certified Public Accountant and a member of the Kenya Institute of Management. In a statement sent to newsrooms today, Kenya Power Chairman Kenneth Marende said the Board of Directors was confident that business operations of the Company will run smoothly under the leadership of Tarus.

New strategy

“With full responsibility for the leadership and development of the Kenya Power’s electricity distribution business, Dr Tarus will play a key role in entrenching the Company as a leader in electricity subsector by aggressively pursuing its business growth and diversification strategy,” Marende said.

Tarus comes to the leadership of Kenya Power shortly after the Company adopted a new strategy that will see operations focused on Infrastructure Development, Network Management, Loss Reduction and Customer Centricity.

“He will play a key role in leading the Company to successful implementation of this strategy and achievement of the government target to achieve universal access to power by 2020.” Marende said.

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Firms partner to offer financed solar solutions

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Businesses looking to purchase solar can now benefit simultaneously from the market leading competencies that both companies bring to the table.

Two energy firms have agreed to join forces to offer financed solar solutions to a select portfolio of commercial and industrial customers operating in Africa.

The move by Solar specialists Solarcentury and Energy investors CrossBoundary Energy means businesses looking to purchase solar can now benefit simultaneously from the market leading competencies that both companies bring to the table.

The firms say Solarcentury’s understanding of the technical challenges in integrating solar with an operating business and CrossBoundary’s experience of financing businesses operating in fast changing circumstances are set deliver a market ready viable solar solution to businesses in the region.

Dr Daniel Davies, Africa Director for Solarcentury commented: “Solarcentury have been at the forefront of designing and building commercial scale solar PV plants in Sub-Saharan Africa. We have built the majority of Commercial and Industrial Solar PV plants in East Africa and we have seen businesses make considerable savings from day 1 of energising the PV plant. We now bring our substantial technical expertise and in partnership with CrossBoundary Energy, are able to provide a unique financing offer for any business in Africa.”

ALSO SEE: Micro-finance partnership to enhance access to solar energy

Matt Tilleard, Managing Partner at CrossBoundary Energy explained that ‘Our objective at CrossBoundary Energy is to provide financing to the best solar developers in Africa who are serving corporate customers, so we’re excited to be working with Solarcentury to bring African businesses cheaper and cleaner power’.

He added that businesses are the major consumers of electricity in most African markets and by providing them cheaper power through a solar PPA they can actually save them money from day one while also reducing their carbon emissions.

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Nakumatt warehouse taken over unpaid taxes

URA’s decision is set to exacerbate Nakumatt’s troubles with other creditors who are already short on patience.

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The revenue agency later took over the retail chain’s three stores in Kampala as part of the revenue recovery effort.

The Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has taken control of Nakumatt Supermarkets main warehouse, seeking to recover $86,000 (Sh8.6 million) in unpaid taxes. Officials descended on Nakumatt’s Kampala-based warehouse, which is also the retail chain’s headquarters in Uganda, on Wednesday taking control of distribution of goods to its five stores.

The revenue agency later took over the retail chain’s three stores in Kampala as part of the revenue recovery effort. “The URA has sent several tax demands to Nakumatt in recent months with no success. Their officers have now moved in seeking to recover the outstanding amount,” a source familiar with the matter told the Business Daily.

URA said its action means it will appropriate all the income Nakumatt makes from the five outlets until the tax arrears are cleared. The unprecedented administrative action also saw the URA seize several Nakumatt trucks that had recently made deliveries to the Kampala warehouse from Kenya.

Doris Akol, the URA commissioner-general, declined to comment on the matter while Atul Shah, Nakumatt’s managing director, did not pick our calls or respond to text messages.

SEE ALSO: Nakumatt seeks courts protection as debt piles

Nakumatt, which is facing a crisis due to a mountain of debt and delays in securing an investor, has since the year closed several stores in Uganda and Kenya.  In Uganda, aggrieved suppliers and landlords have sued the retail chain seeking to recover about Sh515 million in unpaid invoices and rent arrears.

Uganda’s minster for veterans, Bright Rwamirama, in mid-June took Nakumatt to court seeking to be paid Sh58.6 million in rent arrears he, and other partners, are claiming from the retailer for use of their premises in Mbarara.

Nakumatt was expecting a six-week phased injection of Sh7.7 billion from an unnamed private equity fund beginning March.

 Knight Frank Uganda, the property manager of the Acacia Mall, Village Mall and Victoria Mall, where Nakumatt was a tenant, took over their space on June 28, saying the retailer was “not adding much value to the three shopping malls.”

The URA’s decision to take control of the retailer’s Ugandan operations, and give itself first priority on all income, is set to exacerbate Nakumatt’s troubles with other creditors who are already short on patience.

READ: Factory that turns maize cobs into gold

Nakumatt was expecting a six-week phased injection of Sh7.7 billion from an unnamed private equity fund beginning March.

Failure to secure the funding has caused widespread product stockouts and seen it delay employees’ pay, prompting demonstrations and court action from the financially-strained workers.

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Business News

Java to open Sh50m outlet in Machakos

New restaurant expected open in time for December holidays after Kericho and Eldoret branches, with a target of 8 new outlets by year-end.

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Group Chief Executive Officer Ken Kuguru says the expansion is in line with the corporate ambition to grow its national and regional footprint.

Java House has announced plans to set up an outlet in Machakos County, its latest branch outside Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. The outlet will be located at Crystal Rivers Mall and Residences in Athi River, bringing the total number of branches to 56.

Group Chief Executive Officer Ken Kuguru said the expansion is in line with the corporate ambition to grow its national and regional footprint.

Athi River and the wider Machakos County has a burgeoning residential and working population, Mr Kuguru said, adding that that the firm had already signed an agreement with Safaricom Staff Pension Scheme (SSPS), the developers of Crystal Rivers Mall and Residences to invest about Ksh 5o million in its new outlet that will occupy 2,800 square feet.

“We found Crystal Rivers to be a very strategic location for our new restaurant,” he said, “ideally positioned between Nairobi and Machakos, along Mombasa Road and right next to a rapidly expanding residential and commercial area.”

He said Java had sets its eyes on the emerging market which, while already positioned as a weekend outing destination, offered limited choices in Kitengela town. Java be seeking to plug the existing gap in the variety of restaurant offerings in the region.

RELATED: Kenyans drinking too much coffee? 

“Java will fit neatly into the Crystal Rivers Mall whose positioning is nearly similar as a family entertainment and fun destination,” said Mr Kuguru.

The new Java restaurant is expected open before December holidays just after Kericho and Eldoret branches, with a target of opening eight outlets by yearend.

Pension Secretary Richard Gitahi said Safaricom Staff Pension Scheme (SSPS) was keen to get the ‘Tenancy Mix’ correct at Crystal Rivers Mall, which has been positioned as a lifestyle mall, with unique wholesome offers for everyone – Dad, Mum and Kids as well as the business community.

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