“I kwendad and then I kujad” …the day I learned how to never get played on my phone

It was a cool Saturday afternoon and I had just completed the warm routine of walking home my beautiful girlfriend, Ciru. She always insisted that quality time is everything so we had to create moments. It included accompanying her to the gate of her apartment in Kileleshwa. A short distance from town in my eyes so I didn’t mind. Besides, I’m a little stingy so saving some money rather than getting her a cab is a good thing for my M-Pesa balance.

Wearing my sporty earphones, I took the zebra crossing into Arboretum drive and arrived at the pavement with music blaring in my ears. “Kuduff… Ting-Tingy-Tingy-Tarang-Tara … Kakuduf” I noded to the funky tune. Mentally, I started dancing like the days when we would rock the dance-floor and rule with our dancing shoes. I was in such a swinging mood.

Presently, my phone rang. It was a number I thought I knew. Swiped to receive and the authoritative voice caught my attention.

“Hello hujambo! Mimi ninaitwa Maxwell na ninakupigia hapa kutoka Safaricom Customer Care. Ninaongea na Omulokoli, tafadhali?”

“Ndio!”, I replied. “Feel free to speak English and call me Omu. Kanairo nu jamo buda boss!”

“Aaah! Thank you Omu. It is a pleasure to talk.” he reverted, knowing that he had stricken a chord with me now that I’d volunteered my nickname.

“Mr Omu”, he continued, “As I mentioned, I am calling you from Safaricom Customer Care. The reason why I’m calling is because we are trying to sort out an erroneous transaction on your Safaricom line. I believe you are an honest gentleman, aren’t you?”

“Yes I am, Maxwell.” I replied confidently. “I am a good Kenyan citizen and I am a big believer in the convenience of M-Pesa sir. How can I be of service?”

“Mr. Omu, I believe you have seen a text message from Mpesa, yes?” he asked.

I took a step beside the footpath to look into my phone and saw an SMS notification which I had somewhat missed. Opening the message, it read that I had received I sh.5,500/=.

“Waaah!” I exclaimed, “Kwani kunaendaje…”

“No need to panic Mr. Omu.” he quickly intercepted. “That money belongs to a lady who is in distress and as you have said, you are an honest Kenyan. She has sent it to you by mistake and she needs it back. These things happen. You are aware of that, aren’t you?” he asked.

“No problem. Anything you need!” I replied.

“Thank you very much Omu.” replied Maxwell. “Do you think you can send it to her immediately?

“Sure!” I retorted. As soon as I finish this call, I will send it to her.”

“You, sir, are a fine gentleman, I must say. More Kenyans should be just like you.” he responded.

I was flattered. Almost as much as when Ciru complemented my haircut today. The smile that was presently on my face was wider than my facemask.

“Alright thanks. I’ll send the money right away!” I replied

“Good on you! Thank you Mr. Omu and have a good day from all of us here at Safaricom!” he said as he finished and hang up.

I joyfully stood by the roadside and sent the money to the number. With a jolt, I slid the phone back into my pocket and started again on the walk. Arboretum drive was strangely buzzing with vehicles for a Saturday afternoon.

Getting to View Park towers just off University way, my girl Ciru called just to check up on me to find out where I had reached.

“I’m alright babes.” I bragged, “Si I told you how I like to save money. That 400 shillings I would have used to Kileleshwa and then South B doesn’t make sense.” I continued

“By the way my dear, I have just helped someone in distress. Customer Care at Safaricom called me and told me to help them send money back to someone who had sent it to me by mistake. How cool is that?” I said to her

“That’s nice. Have you confirmed the transaction is done?” she asked

I yanked out my phone from the pocket and unlocked the screen and got in to the inbox. Studying my M-Pesa messages, I saw that I had sent sh5,500/= to a person called Makini Makonde. Shock!

I also noticed that the message of me receiving the initial sh5,500/= wasn’t on M-Pesa. Swiped back in to my inbox and saw that message exists, yet it had come from a different number.

“Honey, are you there? You’re silent?” asked Ciru

I had just been conned. My M-Pesa balance was now sh.104.35

“I’ve been conned” I spoke back into the microphone

“Are you joking?” she inquired

“Noo …like for real. I have just been conned!” I answered. “I was blinded. My goodness!!!”

“Well, Safaricom only calls you from 0722 000000. Was that the number?” she asked

Checking my call log, I saw that it definitely wasn’t that number and more so, the prefix was not Safaricom.

How could I have been so careless. It then hit me. The gentleman had struck a cord with me and I got foolishly persuaded. He got me to send M-Pesa to that number in the guise of helping a distraught lady. He was not from Safaricom.

I hadn’t paid attention. I became quickly angry at myself. Countless emotions ran through my mind, the heaviest being an overwhelming embarrassment.

“My dear. What you can do immediately is to report. Send that number to 333 and then follow up with a call to Safaricom Customer care.” Ciru advised.

“For now, I’ll send you 400 shillings so that you can take a cab home.” she joked, caringly.

My day was ruined and my lesson was heavy. I reported that number to Safaricom just as Ciru had advised. Of course I tried calling the number but it was off. I sent the message to 456 in order to reverse the M-Pesa transaction. Yes, sh.5,500/= is not pocket change plus I knew Ciru would ask for a refund …hahahaa!

Anyway, from that day, I resolved to let as many people as possible to know that they must stay alert and keep vigil.

Never give out your personal details or your PIN. Safaricom will never ask you for that. If you receive a fraudulent call, hang up and report that number to 333.

If someone ever claims to have sent you M-Pesa erroneously, ask the sender to forward the M-Pesa message to 456 to complete a reversal request or to call 100 for assistance.

Hopefully, none of you will ever fall victim to fraudsters. This is my true story. If you ever have fallen to these tricks, I wonder what’s your story?

Pin Yako, Siri Yako!
Pin Yako, Siri Yako!

Mpesa Fraud: Protect yourself from conmen who pose as Safaricom staff

It was a Saturday morning, a day after the new year and Joseph Mburu was relaxing in his house. At around 8 am, he got a call from someone who claimed he was a Safaricom Customer care staff. Mburu who hails from Eastlands told us that the caller, a male staff notified him that his line had had double registration and they were trying to sort out the issue.

“Aliniambia eti line yangu imeregistiwa mara mbili, kwa njina langu na mtu anaitwa Esther Njeri. So akasema ndio laini yangu isifungwe, anahitaji kuniuliza masawali kadhaa,” Mburu said.

(He told me that my line had been registered twice on my name and a user called Esther Njeri. So for my line not to be locked, he said he would ask me some questions to verify the line really belongs to me).

Mburu said the caller asked him to state the last amount of top-up he had done and the last two numbers he had dialled which he did. He was then directed to M-Pesa details and without knowing, he revealed his details thinking the caller was a Safaricom staff. Some minutes later, he got a notification that his Sh15,000 had been withdrawn.

“I was shocked and in fact, I thought I was dreaming. It later hit me that I had been duped. I tried to reach out to Safaricom for help but it was too late,” he said.

Grace Lumbasi, a wife and a mother to teenage girls told us that through similar tricks, her entire saving was withdrawn. She said on Sunday, January 3 she was relaxing in her room because she was feeling unwell.

“I was sleeping after I took medication until my last born daughter woke me that I had a call. When I answered, the caller, a man told me that my M-Pesa had been blocked because my line had some complications,” Lumbasi said.

According to her, the caller notified her that she would not be able to do any M-Pesa transactions unless the issue is sorted out.

“Since I was feeling unwell, I did not even think through, Immediately asked him how they could help since I was convinced that he was a Safaricom Staff. He asked me some lead questions which I responded to” she said.

A few minutes later, she was shocked to get a notification that her M-Pesa balance was zero.

“I have never been duped like this, I almost fainted. I had sacrificed a lot despite the coronavirus pandemic to save something to help me in this year, then just in minutes someone walks away with it,” she said.

She said she had saved some Sh55,000 and she intended to use part of the money to pay school fees for her kids while the remaining to buy a cow.

“I have always wanted to own a cow and I knew my dream was coming true, now I don’t know where to start,” she said.

Mburu and Lumbasi are among many other Kenyans who have fallen victims to such tricks costing them fortunes. We have established that the conmen have devised ways in which they lure unsuspecting targets. Fraudsters are always devising new ways to con people. Since it is hard for scammers to infiltrate the M-Pesa system, they opt for non-technical methods, or social engineering, as it is popularly known. This involves tricking unsuspecting people into breaking normal security procedures and finally manipulating them into among other things, revealing M-Pesa PIN or withdrawing from ATMs remotely.

Precautions to take

Safaricom has come up with a few very simple rules and measures to ensure that your phone and more importantly, the information on your phone remains safe. Firstly, when it comes to your MPESA, the only person who should know your pin is you. Never tell it to anyone else, including anyone who claims to be from Safaricom. Pin Yako, Siri Yako!

If you do receive these fraudulent calls about your M-Pesa transactions, tell the person to contact Safaricom to reverse the transaction or to forward the MPESA message to 456 to reverse. If you suspect them to be a fraudster, immediately report their number by sending it in a text message to 333. Reporting these numbers helps ensure that they are investigated and blocked.

Safaricom will never ask you to share your passwords, whether it’s for your MPESA, bank or Sim. If they do, this is most definitely a scam and you can report the number and get it blocked. #JichanueAndTakeControl

The proper way to spend Easter at the island of festivals

Kenya is home to some pretty spectacular resorts and hotels and Lamu is no different. With beautiful beaches and stunning architecture it is the perfect place for a getaway this Easter. If you are looking for the ultimate luxury, look no further than The Majlis.

Frequently visited by Celebrities, The Majlis is a privately owned luxury beach hotel on Manda Island. It features breathtaking views with an elegant Lamu Island style. For those stuck in the city, particularly in this climate, a few days in paradise sounds like a fantastic idea.

Aerial view of The Majlis in Lamu
Aerial view of The Majlis in Lamu with breathtaking views

Who wouldn’t want to wake up hearing the waves gently drench the sand as the sun warms your skin, before sauntering over to one of their beautiful swimming pools for a dip or breakfast with a view. After a relaxed morning, a trip to the beach is obviously needed, and perhaps some water sports, completed with a sunset dhow as you reflect on your day.

There is something about being by the ocean that seems to heal our souls, and after the year we’ve had, a lot of us have some healing to do. And while places like the Majlis may seem out of reach, they now have an amazing deal if you wanted to escape with someone special.

This Easter, the luxury hotel is opening its doors, offering an amazing chance to spend some time on the Island of festivals. For a deluxe non-sea facing room, its only sh.36,000 per room. For a room with a sea-view, its sh.40,000 per room per night, and for their junior suite sh.54,000. The prices include two people sharing on a full board basis.

A photo of one of the rooms at The Majlis
A photo of one of the rooms at The Majlis

For this offer which runs from the 1st of April to 7th of April, you can book your flights from Nairobi to Lamu at only sh.23,800 per person through Safarilink.

A luxury break has never been easier, so this Easter grab that special someone and escape to one of the most beautiful places in the world.

Book now – Call/WhatsApp +254(0)773 777 066 / 0700 211 847 / 0115 214 664 or email [email protected] or visit https://themajlisresorts.com/

Protect your phone and protect yourself

We use our phones for everything and these days our mobile numbers are tied to every part of our lives. Whether its social media, M-Pesa or you bank account, that information in the wrong hands can cause havoc in your lives.

Recently there has been a rising trend of conmen trying to get private information that would give them access to your mobile numbers. This can lead to your number being used for criminal activities, your money stolen or your information duplicated by criminals.

Protecting yourselves from mobile fraud does not require much and Safaricom has come up with a few rules to help ensure that you are safe.

Firstly, never disclose your phone pin. It is the main way to access everything on your phone and the first line of defense. Make sure you have a strong password and remember to change it regularly.

Secondly, Safaricom will never ask you for any of your passwords over the phone, so if anyone wants to know your pin for MPESA or mobile banking during a call, it is most definitely a scam. Another way to catch them out is that Safaricom will only ever call from 0722000000. If another number tries to call you, report them by sending a text message with the number to 333.

A general rule to also follow is that if it seems too good to be true, it most likely is. We all want to believe that we have won a little extra money especially during these hard times, but this is almost always a scam made evident quickly when they start to ask for your personal information.

Mobile fraud can happen to anyone, criminals are constantly coming up with new and advanced way to trick us. However, protecting ourselves does not require a lot of work. Just being aware of who contacts us and using secure passwords. #JichanueAndTakeControl

Swara Ranch apartments: the latest development at Maiyan

The name Maiyan rings a bell. You’ve probably seen it if you’ve travelled to Nanyuki. A cool 146 acres of natural lush landscape, set on a backdrop of Lolldaiga Hills and Mt. Kenya. You can’t make this stuff up!

Enter Swara Ranch by Maiyan. An 80 acre scenic lifestyle development that is full of ideal amenities fashioned for a harmonious live and play environment. Swara Ranch is located 20km North of Nanyuki and is situated opposite the Maiyan Villas. Already, it features completed projects including Swara Cluster 1, Maiyan Villas and the Maiyan Club House.

Maiyan Club House (2019-2020)
Maiyan Club House (2019-2020)

The latest upcoming development at Maiyan are the Swara  Ranch apartments. The warm residential segment will now feature modern apartments as part of the residential mix with limited apartments available for sale.

Located within village court 4, Swara village 4 is on 7.7 acres and is made up of 15 blocks of modern country apartments surrounded by green spaces and parks with lush scenery and unmatched views of the Lolldaiga hills and Mount Kenya.

The apartments comprise of a mix of studio, loft,1 and 2 bedroom housing units.

Floor plan for the studio and loft apartments
Floor plan for the studio and loft apartments

The built-up area within village 4 is only 12% of the total area with the rest of the area set aside for private gardens, shared green areas and infrastructure.

The pledged construction period is six months with the proposed start date being 1st May 2021 to be completed on 1st November 2021.

Floor plan of the 1 bedroom and 2 bedroom apartments
Floor plan of the 1 bedroom and 2 bedroom apartments

Activities and more features for investors at Maiyan

The free sports and activities for investors of Swara Apartments available include the largest heated Swimming pool in this region, tennis, basketball, an outdoor gym, jogging, use of the rugby/soccer pitch, boat riding and a birds’ aviary.

Maiyan features the largest heated swimming pool in this region.
Maiyan features the largest heated swimming pool in this region.

Services covered by the Service Charge include security, maintenance of all grounds, maintenance and cleaning of all common areas within the apartments and garbage collection.

As for management options, owners can turn in their units for management by the award winning Falcon Heights management, the hospitality manager for Maiyan.

Environmental Sustainability

An incredible 75% of the development is green with 25% built-up area. It features a 150kw solar power production farm generating solar power for the entire development to supplement the supply from KPLC which provides at least 27% of the power requirements.

On location, you will find planted over 200,000 different tree and fruit species within the development.

Most of the storm water is harvested into their dams and all water used within the development is treated to potable standards. All waste water is recycled and used for irrigation.

Moreover, Swara uses green swale storm water drains. Solar power is used for water heating at the apartments and on the street lighting systems.

Overlook of Maiyan villas showcasing the layout and solar power used for water heating at the buildings
Overlook of Maiyan villas showcasing the layout and solar power used for water heating at the buildings

Other outstanding features about Swara Ranch include existence of a well established tree and flower nursery, organic growing of most of the vegetables, herbs and spices, construction of most of their infrastructure and buildings using locally sourced materials and labour.

Community Engagement

Notably, a significant proportion of the over 100 people working within Maiyan are from the local community. Maiyan also runs a school feeding program for Lairagwan primary school in addition to having installed window panes in all the classrooms

Below are other community engagements – Maiyan supports Daraja Academy through scholarship programmes and school books donations. – Through Maiya, there has been construction of an ablution facility for the Karionga police post and the grading, gravellingof 1.3 Km Karionga / Mukima off road – Inculcation of a good environmental practice with a gradual sustainable environmental upgrade and training through their organic tree nursery and farm

Financing Options

For the developments, Maiyan has financial pre-arrangements existing with a number of banks for investors seeking to obtain investment financing. Investors can also also obtain financing from their preferred lenders.

Maiyan is open for business and you can plan a visit to see the stunning, occupation-ready homes on sale. Experience Maiyan Living! Call them on 0797 222333 or email [email protected].

The Most Successful TV Shows of 2020 (…and why they mattered)

We watched 63% more television in 2020, for some very obvious reasons. It’s been a long subject of debate, but the pop culture that we consume has a very real impact on our behaviors, ways of thinking, and our view of the world. Both Netflix and Google have released figures about the most popular TV shows of last year, and it seems that the proof of the importance of pop culture has never been more stark.

Here are the biggest and most popular shows that we binged watched and rewatched in 2020 and the effect that they have had on our lives.

The Queen’s Gambit

Going into 2020, nobody could have foreseen that one of the biggest hits of the year would be about chess. The Netflix mini-series, The Queen’s Gambit, was one of the biggest hits that Netflix has ever seen, and the story of Beth Harmon has resonated with audiences in some surprising ways, despite being something of a period drama. Watched by 62 million households in just 28 days, the show led to an 88% increase in google searches for chess, and sales of chess sets soared. Some toy companies reported sales increases of up to 1000%!

The Crown

Love them or hate them, the royal family saw an incredible surge of interest in 2020 thanks to the fourth season of The Crown. While previous seasons have been popular, the leap to a more modern setting saw online searches for the clothes worn by the characters surge (turtlenecks had a 7,000% increase in Google searches). But it’s not just fashion. Even views on the royal family changed, with the website Betway reporting that 35% of people who watched the latest season saying that they view the royals a little better or much better. The opinion of Prince Charles changed too, with 34% of British audiences saying they now viewed him with more empathy after watching the show.

Emily in Paris

Despite the controversy over the personality traits of the main character, there’s no disputing that Emily in Paris was one of the most popular shows of the year. It became the most binged show in release week ever, and a second season has already been greenlit. With a show so focused on fashion, it’s no surprise that Google saw a massive leap in searches for some of the key clothes and accessories highlighted in the series. Bucket hats alone saw a leap of searches by 342%, and sales of those hats, berets, and jelly snapshot camera bags have helped the fashion industry make some serious sales figures.

While the link between the pop culture that we enjoy and the products that we buy has been well known for decades (product placement is used for a reason), it’s never been easier to see those connections. Back when the popularity of the film series Twilight saw an increase in the number of people reading the book Wuthering Heights, or when online searches for Charles Manson went up by 3,2000% during the apex of Mindhunter, pop culture is clearly formative. Just as nobody expected the biggest hits of the year to be about the royals, Paris, or chess, who knows what changes the biggest shows of 2021 will bring.

Numbers that matter! Why NCBA bank wants you to ‘Go For It’

NCBA rolled out a creative campaign to demonstrate the real-life impact of its promise to its customers. Dubbed ‘Numbers That Matter’, it tells the customer’s story of real life meaning behind the financial services solutions they have received from NCBA Bank.

Numbers that Matter is anchored in the fundamentals of the NCBA brand – the spirit of “Go For it” and centers the customer’s take, with authentic life moments that happened because they pursued their ambitions.

The three outstanding things about the Numbers That Matter campaign include:

  1. Features the customer at the heart of the creative, celebrating the moments that matter to them by highlighting the Numbers That Matter to them
  2. Underscores NCBA’s commitment to its customers, allowing customers to tell of the authentic and real moments that matter to them
  3. Comes to life in a digital campaign that uses Numbers to tell the story of important everyday moments for customers and connects NCBA customers

“We remain committed to keeping our promise to help our customers Go For It.” said John Gachora, Group Chief Executive, NCBA. “The new Numbers That Matter campaign will increase our ability to listen to our customers, building on the bank’s tradition of stability and reinforcing our commitment to offer our customers more choices.” added Gachora

“More than ever, we recognize customers want to engage NCBA in different ways, and whichever way they want, they want us to listen. Through the Numbers That Matter campaign, we will reach out to our customer, emphasizing that we are listening and intent on helping them Go For It.”.

“The Numbers That Matter is more than an advertising campaign. It’s a culture shift initiative.” said Rosalind Gichuru, Group Director; Marketing Communications and Citizenship, NCBA. “Through this initiative, we bring to life small yet simple actions and behavior that customers can appreciate while interacting with the NCBA brand.

The Numbers That Matter campaign has rolled out in the Kenyan market and is scheduled to do so at various times within the year across the other NCBA markets in the region. NCBA’s brand spirit Go For It was rolled out in October 2019 and the regional bank has since focused on enhancing the customers’ experience through supporting their ambitions.

The Numbers That Matter television brand film was released as part of the campaign launch. The release of the product films will be done sequentially in Quarter 2 of 2021.

However, NCBA customers can expect to immediately share in the excitement of the Numbers That Matter campaign by participating in an immediate online launch experience dubbed “Behind The Numbers, The Code”. Customers will have a chance to win gifts by finding the significance in a few special numbers featured on the NCBA’s campaign microsite.

How to have the easiest money investment in 2021 with ICEA

What are your ambitions for money in 2021? Do you want to save more & earn more? Are you looking to find a savings account that has no fuss? Do you have goals you want to achieve? Do you want to save and diversify your portfolio? It’s never too late to start protecting your wealth and without re-inventing the wheel, you can navigate today’s complex financial landscape. Whatever your desires and plans, there’s a brilliant new solution courtesy of ICEA Lion because they understand that you’re better together.

Introducing DigiTrust, a new online money market fund that encourages Kenyans to easily invest and keep track of their financial goals. This service is accessible via a web portal and mobile USSD code.

Leveraging on technology, the on-boarding process is automated and this has over the years been a challenge in development and uptake of investment products.

“DigiTrust is an innovation that enables individual savers and investors to deposit in and withdraw from ICEA LION’s Money Market Fund on a secure platform,” said Elizabeth Irungu, General Manager for Business Development & Client Relations .

The increased need for investment companies to catch up with the online economy has been called upon by the market severally.

The portal requires a shortened 5 minute activation and requires Sh500 as an initial deposit.

Through the self-service portal, existing customers will be able to deposit, withdraw their funds or view their statements.

ICEA LION Asset Management will kick off on this digital Unit Trust Fund journey with the Money Market Fund.

DigiTrust from ICEA Lion
DigiTrust from ICEA Lion

“Adoption of technology will enable investment sector players offer services at much affordable prices reducing the overall investment cost for retail investors and institutional investors,” said Geoffrey Odundo , CEO Nairobi Securities Exchange.

Odundo noted that access has been one of the key challenges to the uptake of personal investment schemes

The opening up of Unit Trusts to low denomination savings has resulted in the growth and increased popularity of Unit Trust Funds(UTFs) in Kenya, with Assets Under Management (AUM) of Sh66billion as at June 30, 2019, of which, 85 per cent is held in Money Market Funds.

Money Market Unit Trust Funds are the most popular UTFs in Kenya, with 85 per cent of the total AUM in UTFs being held in Money Market Funds.

To get started, dial *793# on your mobile phone or visit the ICEA Lion DigiTrust portal.

Here’s more about Swara Ranch by Maiyan in Nanyuki

Located on 84 acres of beautiful lush Nanyuki, the Maiyan villas have made a name for themselves as a premier luxury resort, complete with rooftop pool lounges and stunning views of Mount Kenya and the Lolldaiga Hills.

A view at Maiyan from the rooftop pool lounge with Mount Kenya in the background.
A view at Maiyan from the rooftop pool lounge with Mount Kenya in the background.

Now, Centum Group group is giving members of the public a chance to own a piece of paradise with their newest development, Swara Ranch.

Centum CEO Dr James Mwoira spoke about the new development saying,

“We have available units that are complete and ready for occupation, and we can also build for you. And we have the construction capability here, that’s why it takes about six months.”

The new residential segment is made up of nine village courts, with each containing 30 three bedroom modern bungalows, with access to the Maiyan resort. There they can enjoy all of the recreational facilities including swimming, tennis, horse riding and more.

An aerial view of Swara Ranch by Maiyan with Loldaiga Hills in the background
An aerial view of Swara Ranch by Maiyan with Loldaiga Hills in the background

Dr Mworia also confirmed that for those who became part of the Swara Ranch family, would have all of their needs met. He said,

“It makes money for you. And when you are coming, you just call and say I’ll be here on these particular dates and you don’t have to worry about, ‘is your unit clean, is your DSTV working?’ You will find it done.

“If you need shopping it will be done, if you need a cook, we can find one, we will also clean it. They will manage it like a hotel room.”

For those interested, Dr. Mworia revealed that they had already sold 31 out of 34 units, however he added that there were more builds planned in phase 2.  “Those with property at the Swara Ranch will also be able to stay at Falcon Heights, another hotel in Nanyuki at no cost to you.”  Dr. Mworia explained,

“What the management does, it they deduct your bills from your revenue. So if you come and spend KES20,000 or KES30,000, that will come off your revenue.

“The idea is that you spend once and then you enjoy it as your asset is working for you. And another thing that is guaranteed is that you will not spend any money on maintenance.”

As for cost, a quarter plot will go for KES5 million, and eighth would cost you KES. 1.75 million, and the three bedroom cottage being sold for KES. 12million.

You can build your holiday home from scratch, to your specifications and liking after buying the serviced plots priced from sh.1.75M at Maiyan
You can build your holiday home from scratch, to your specifications and liking after buying the serviced plots priced from sh.1.75M at Maiyan

For more information about Maiyan resort and the Swara Ranch estate, visit their Facebook page or call 0797 222333 or email [email protected]

Why you should invest in a holiday home

Investing in real estate is almost always a good idea, and when it comes to a holiday home, it not only provides an escape from your day-to-day life, but also the opportunity to make some money.

The idea that you can retreat to your secluded sanctuary when things get too much is an attractive prospect for many, and it has led to the increase of people investing in second homes, sometimes for personal use, but most often as a way to generate extra income.

Like with all investments you make, ensure that you have done your due diligence so that you are making the right decision for you. But in this article, we are going to talk about why choosing to purchase a home away from home may be a great idea.

Generally buying a holiday home puts you at a lower risk than other real estate investments. This is because they are often in high tourist areas, meaning that you can charge high nightly rates, especially during peak seasons.

Secondly, they are quite easy to manage. Usually when you purchase a holiday home, companies who are offering holiday homes for sale can also manage it for you. Which means you don’t have to worry about things like cleaning it regularly, fixing things that may have broken and other things that you really do not have time to do.

Like with most real estate, the value of your holiday home will usually increase over time. This means that when you are ready to sell you property you will usually make more money than you invested.

If you have been thinking about taking the leap to owning your own luxury holiday home, Maiyan is now offering luxury cottages on their Swara Ranch. The development is set on a scenic 80 acres located 20km north of Nanyuki, next to their other luxury property Maiyan villas.

One of the luxury homes at Swara Ranch by Maiyan
One of the luxury homes at Swara Ranch by Maiyan

There are currently 34 beautiful modern bungalows complete, surrounded by stunning green spaces and spectacular views.  And Dr James Mworia, Centum Chief Executive spoke about the properties saying,

“It makes money for you. And when you are coming, you just call and say I’ll be here on these particular dates and you don’t have to worry about, ‘is your unit clean, is your DSTV working?’ You will find it done.”


To find out more about this amazing investment opportunity visit the Maiyan Swara Ranch Facebook page.

Five things you’ll love about the new Toyota Corolla Cross

The new all-new Corolla Cross landed in Kenya late 2019. A fine masterpiece developed to express a strong sense of sportiness, agility and robustness on the exterior while the interior stands out with spacious room, excellent comfort, vast and highly adjustable luggage capacity and a remarkably quiet cabin.

The Corolla Cross has been well designed to seamlessly satisfy your needs and lifestyle with a loaded list of functions and equipment to ensure great versatility. The car comes with the renowned Toyota New Global Architecture or TNGA that guarantees the leading-edge driving performance, coupled with the world-class Toyota Safety Sense which offers the ultimate confidence and peace of mind in all journeys.

Here are five features you’ll love about the Corolla Cross.

1. Design
The Corolla Cross represents an outstanding journey, a new journey that reflects the state-of-the-art design. The exterior uniquely stands out with its stylish and sporty feel yet unveils the sense of luxury in combination with grit. The car comes with a power moonroof, roof rack, LED headlights and taillights, as well as 18-inch alloy wheels. The interior design represents a seamless work of art with the new Terra Rossa red shade as the color, along with the addition of 7-inch Multi Information Display (MID)

The interior design represents a seamless work of art with the new Terra Rossa red shade
The interior design represents a seamless work of art with the new Terra Rossa red shade

2. Performance
It is powered by a 1.8-liter gasoline engine that is characterized by superb acceleration and fuel economy. With a power output of 103 kW (138 hp; 140 PS), the average fuel consumption is 15.4 kilometer per liter and the carbon dioxide emission is 150 grams per kilometer.

Incorporating the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) and the newly developed torsion beam, the suspension is enhanced for better grip and smooth ride. This also improves the balance in straight driving and cornering. All these features provide a great driving experience giving more agility, control, confidence, and visibility.

The Toyota Corolla Cross is powered by a 1.8-liter gasoline engine that is characterized by superb acceleration and fuel economy.
The Toyota Corolla Cross is powered by a 1.8-liter gasoline engine that is characterized by superb acceleration and fuel economy.

3. Comfort
This car brings sheer convenience to all road trips. The All-New Corolla Cross offers a large luggage space with a maximum capacity of up to 487 liters. The cabin is distinguished by large doors that make it easy to enter and exit and has ample headroom making the occupants feel comfortable.

The car also features a Power Back Door with Activated Kick Sensor for convenience. There are also Power Adjustable Driver Seats, Dual-Zone Automatic Climate Control, Rear Seats that can be reclined up to 6 degrees, Rear Seat Armrest with Cup Holders, air vents and USB Outlets for rear passengers.

The All-New Corolla Cross offers a large luggage space with a maximum capacity of up to 487 liters
The All-New Corolla Cross offers a large luggage space with a maximum capacity of up to 487 liters

4. Safety
Featuring a superlative safety standard, the safety components and environmental performance of the All-New Corolla Cross have been advanced based on the remarkable DNA of Corolla series to ensure driving confidence in all journeys. This is in line with the world renowned Toyota Safety Sense.

It includes a Pre-Collision System, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control with Lane Tracing Assist, Automatic High Beam, as well as Panoramic View Monitor, Blind Spot Monitor, Rear CROSS Traffic Alert and 7 SRS Airbags

5. Connectivity
The all new Corolla Cross is designed to connect to all lifestyles, giving sheer confidence, safety and a worry-free experience. It features a 9-inch touchscreen that is compatible with Apple CarPlay together with T-Connect. This offers an effortless connection between car and the driver giving peace of mind while ensuring that car maintenance will be an easy task.

It features a 9-inch touchscreen that is compatible with Apple CarPlay together with T-Connect.
It features a 9-inch touchscreen that is compatible with Apple CarPlay together with T-Connect.

Visit Toyota Kenya branches all over the country and schedule a test drive of the all-new Toyota Corolla Cross.

Top 10 forex trading mistakes to avoid

Becoming a trader is not just knowing about basic psychology, there are a number of mistakes that you can make that will result in losses. Today you are going to learn about the top 10 as well as how to avoid committing them yourself.
These are not all the pitfalls that traders can fall into, but they are some of the most common ones and learning what they are can help you be more prudent. After all, an informed trader is a better trader. Here are the top 10 Forex trading mistakes to avoid

Lack of a risk & capital management plan

One of the biggest mistakes is not having a risk management plan or system to manage returns. You should have a clear plan that shows how much money you can risk from your capital and set ratios. You need to understand that breaking any of these rules means breaking all of them, since they are all related and fall under the same psychological factor.

Trading too much and having lots of deals

Many traders always have a desire to be active in the market at all times and are constantly searching for opportunities, but trading too much is one of the biggest causes of loss in inexperienced traders. It’s often misplaced psychological motivation that drives the trader to enter the market prematurely, rather than an existence of an actual opportunity based on researched market vision or specific trading strategy.

Risking a large amount of your capital

You should never allow your potential losses on any trade or group of trades to exceed your acceptable loss amount. Risking a larger amount means that the psychological factor of wishing to return the larger than acceptable losses will interfere with your trading plan. You will look for any opportunity to re-enter the market and potentially make the wrong decisions under duress, because it will come from emotion rather than good analysis.

Focusing on one currency or product

Diversify is the name of the game. You may like the US Dollar, but it is not correct to focus on one single currency or tradeable instrument, since this both increases the chances of total loss if a single currency takes a tumble, and also makes you neglect other potential opportunities that may arise. It is better to analyse many currencies and instruments at the beginning of each week and then focus on those with the most promising outlook.

Relying on emotions to make decisions

We’ve already established that following emotions isn’t the wisest decision. Approach trading with a cold rational mind, and step away when you feel like you are succumbing to emotions rather than viewing things objectively. Sitting in front of the platform and checking charts trying to find a signal to buy or sell because you are anxious to trade will make you fall into the first mistake listed here, and that is entering random deals.

Trading without a consistent strategy

When you trade without having a consistent (and tested) strategy, don’t expect the monthly results to be as expected, because you didn’t rely on clear rules but rather random trading. But if your transactions are based on a consistent strategy and clearly outlined, you will be able to analyse your monthly results and recognize the pitfalls to avoid in the future.

Always wanting to win and not having patience during loss

The only certainty in Forex trading is that at some point you will inevitably lose. Hoping to win more means greed, which is the biggest enemy of any trader. You should have a daily/weekly/monthly target of profit, and if it is achieved don’t go after more. On the opposite end, if you have a losing deal, don’t try to immediately make it up (Mistake #4). Instead make sure that it is within the acceptable loss amount and wait for an opportunity.

Not seeing the whole picture or relying on small time frames

Not seeing the larger picture makes you miss the trend, because you only see the short term trend and neglect the stronger trends dominating the markets. You should ensure that you see the picture from all angles to better position yourself and navigate. This will allow you to identify whether you have a strong or weak position, and make appropriate adjustments. Try to connect time frames to establish higher accuracy.

Overconfidence after profit

Congratulations, you’ve made a successful trade or two, but that doesn’t mean that the next one will be successful as well. And if you’re following a trading strategy (which you should!), it also doesn’t mean that it will always work. The markets have a changing nature and what works during a certain trend may not work at times of volatility. Market behaviour is variable and you should adapt. Which brings us to the last mistake

Not testing a trading strategy before using it

One of the most important advantages of Forex trading is the demo account. It gives you an opportunity to test your trading system and using it in generating buying and selling signals. But strategies should be tested for one month minimum to ensure that they work under various market conditions, and identify when they don’t.
Following these guidelines can help you minimize some of the risks, but not all. Always remember that Forex trading carries inherent risks and may result in losses that exceed your deposits. Make sure you fully understand all the risks before trading.

Increase your knowledge of the financial markets with this FREE online trading crash course from FX Pesa. Click to sign up – https://bit.ly/335vOuD

Why Trade Gold (and other metals)

Whether you are considering a short-term speculation or a long-term investment, gold and other precious metals always provide an exciting trading opportunity. Due to their intrinsic value, metals are seen as safe haven investments in times of financial storms and a good asset for portfolio diversification. But it is important to remember that metals can and do go through volatile periods based on economic conditions, which also attract traders that are speculating on short-term price movements.

Why Trade Gold

Gold is the most actively traded of all metals, and for good reason. Its unique properties of durability, malleability and conductivity make it a very desirable and in-demand metal for everything from industrial applications to jewelry. Like most commodities, the price of gold is shaped by market forces of supply and demand. Couple the high demand for gold with a limited supply, and you have all the ingredients for a sought-after commodity that keeps its value over long periods of time.

That isn’t to say, however, that the price of gold is always on the rise. Like everything else that’s traded, it is influenced by risk sentiment, market uncertainty, and inflation trends. In times of economic calamity, however, gold can retain its value better than most financial instruments. While stocks and currencies are vulnerable to situations such as conflict, political or economic crises, or fiscal mishaps from governments, gold’s sheer scarcity gives it a better chance at value retention.

all the ingredients for a sought-after commodity that keeps its value over long periods of time.
Gold has all the ingredients for a sought-after commodity that keeps its value over long periods of time. Photo/FXPesa

Based on these characteristics, gold is often preferred by traders who are looking for a long-term investment. You can look for bullish or bearing markets, and price trends and reversals can be determined along with equity indices. For instance, a strong stock market is usually reflective of strong economic conditions, and thus weaker demand for gold as an investment. A bearish market, on the other hand, is indicative of weaker fundamentals and can make investors seek gold as a safe holding.

Why Trade Precious Metals like Silver and Platinum

Silver is often viewed as a cheaper alternative to gold, but its own unique properties make it quite different from its shinier counterpart. Aside from its use in jewelry, silver has wide applications as an industrial metal. This makes it more susceptible to conditions in the manufacturing industry and business activity among companies who use it. Because of that, price fluctuations are usually more volatile in the silver market in contrast to gold, making it a good candidate for short-term traders.

Platinum, like gold, also tends to gain value during times of economic, financial, or political crisis. It is much rarer compared to gold, however, and commands a much higher price and is thus less traded. All things considered, it can serve as an alternative safe investment, especially when the gold market becomes too active. Platinum also has things in common with silver when it comes to certain industrial uses, making its price sensitive to changing business conditions as well.

How to Trade Gold and other Precious Metals

Precious metals are traded on a spot basis, and don’t require the actual delivery of physical goods. Metals are traded in standard contract sizes of one lot. One lot of gold, for instance, is 100 troy ounces, while one lot of silver is 5000 troy ounces.

You can try your hand at trading precious metals with a risk-free FXPesa demo account. Increase your knowledge of the financial markets with this FREE online trading crash course from FX Pesa. Click to sign up – https://bit.ly/335vOuD

New training dates for over 9,000 KMTC students announced

The Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC) has announced dates for training its newly registered students. Roughly 9,500 students have enrolled for this year intake. In a communication to students, College CEO Prof. Michael Kiptoo said virtual orientation will be conducted on September 15, 2020, ahead of the virtual training, which kicks off the following day (September 16, 2020).

“We are ready to welcome students for September 2020/2021 Academic Year intake,” he said. “I urge all students to secure a computer, laptop or tablet and internet connectivity in readiness for classes.”

Online registration is currently ongoing and all students should be registered on or by 15th September, 2020.

Medical Imaging Sciences Students during a training session at KMTC
Medical Imaging Sciences Students during a training session at KMTC

To ensure its learners, as well as faculty members, have access to the internet, the College has partnered with the Kenya Education Network (KENET) to provide discounted bundles.

The CEO said faculty members have been trained on content development as well as provision of learner’s support. Lecturers and students will continually be equipped with more skills and knowledge on the use of E-leaning tools and other online services. The orientation which will be streamed live via College’s social media outlets (Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/KMTCofficial; You Tube at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDJ71TMZCKqH-k9ru2LNzLQ) will target Higher Diploma, Diploma and Certificate students.

The new cohort of students will join the more than 41,000 others who are currently undertaking various medical courses across the 71 Campuses. As part of its plans to make education accessible to its learners, the College has invested heavily in its ICT infrastructure including, fast, secure and reliable internet to support E-learning. This has seen its Campuses connected to fast, secure and reliable internet.

Noting that students are required to undertake internship at health facilities to sharpen their skills and meet training requirements, Prof. Kiptoo affirmed that plans for clinical placement for final year students are at an advanced stage, the College having kicked off mapping exercise to ensure all students are placed.  To tame rising COVID-19 cases in the country, President Uhuru Kenyatta suspended learning in all educational institutions in the country.

The CEO noted that the College has adopted a new framework for students to undertake their practical lessons in health facilities next to their counties of residence. “Similarly, I want to urge the students to continue with their research. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, supervision will be done virtually,” he added.  Prof. Kiptoo assured students that the College will hold this year’s graduation in December as planned and students will be regularly updated.  In order to equip leaners with the technical skills in preparation for the job market, the College offers training by combining 70 per cent hands-on and 30 per cent classroom-type training.

Journey to liquidate ‘abandoned’ shares is only beginning

The clarion call for Kenyans to claim abandoned assets has never been louder.

Worldwide, as is the case in Kenya, unclaimed financial assets are held by the government until owners claim them. And there are billions worth of abandoned assets held by the state in the form of Shares, matured life policies, long forgotten bank accounts, dividends, Courts Refunds, pension money among others.

A common misconception by many is that the government walks away with unclaimed assets. Others also assume that the money is taken up by the financial institutions holding them once they realize their owners have “abandoned” them for a lengthy duration of time. In the case of the Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority (UFAA), the Unclaimed Financial Assets Act, 2011 provides for perpetual right to reunification – for owners and heirs. No one, not even the state, can take away that right to one’s property in the period of temporary separation.

In Kenya the Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority (UFAA), a state organ, is mandated to receives escheated financial assets from holding institutions such as banks, insurance companies, telecommunication firms, listed and unquoted entities among others. Upon receipt of such assets, the Authority holds them in trust and eventually reunite rightful owners and beneficiaries with their ‘lost’ money. For this reason, it would be speculative to say that the Authority is auctioning ‘abandoned’ and unclaimed shares after August 31, 2020. Whereas the law provides for sale of such assets at prevailing market rate, it also dictates the process to actualize the sale. The law requires that the Authority first assume title to the reported unclaimed shares.

Presently, reported unclaimed shares have remained in the hands of reporting institutions and share registrars. This was necessitated by the need by the Authority to put in place infrastructures to hold unclaimed shares in one basket. UFAA is now licensed as a non-trading Custodial Depository Agent (CDA).

Secondly, by virtue of volume and value – way above 802 million units, it has been found prudent to require owners and beneficiaries to take up as many shares as is possible prior to the planned consolidation. Residual shares units will then be transferred into the custody of the Authority’ CDA. Only then can UFAA, and in fulfilling the legal requirements spelt out in Section 26 of the Act will the shares be liquidated. And upon issuance of sufficient notices to owners and beneficiaries to redeems unclaimed shares in their present form.

It is important to note that unclaimed financial assets traverse the entire regime of cash in a bank, shares, insurance policies, money order, Court refunds, assets held in a fiduciary capacity, unpaid wages, safe deposit boxes, cheques, drafts or similar instruments. They also include deposits for utility services or matured retirement benefits.

The determination of financial assets as unclaimed presupposes that the records of the asset holder do not reflect the identity of the person entitled to the assets; or the holder has not delivered the assets to the person entitled to them or the last known address of the apparent owner, as shown on the records of the holder, is in a country that does not provide by law for reunification of assets. The unclaimed financial assets regime gives the primary responsibility of reunification to the holder. Only when the holder has tried, and failed, to pay or deliver the assets to the owner within prescribed time period, are such assets escheated to UFAA. Owners of reported UFA have perpetual right to reunification.

Six years on, holders’ have surrendered assets worth Kshs.16.7 billion in cash and reported 802 million units of shares, 1,592 safe deposit boxes and assorted units trusts. Consequently, the Authority has received claims amounting to about KShs. 700 million and 5 million units of shares from about 10,000 claimants. Out of these, claims amounting to about 450 million and over 4 million units of shares have been reunited with about 5,000claimants.

Both surrendered and reunited unclaimed financial assets are expected to go high as the authority executes the second cycle of the Strategic Plan 2018-2023. The Plan provides for a comprehensive road map towards the attainment of a vision to be ‘a trusted institution in the management of unclaimed assets’. To make this vision a reality, UFAA is more proactive in increasing reunification of surrendered assets and to deepen holders’ compliance. The authority is also making deliberate and focused public awareness campaigns to reach out to all the 47 Counties in the Country to increasing brand visibility, outreach and stakeholders engagements.

All these efforts are geared towards deepening reunification to stimulate household income and growth. UFAA calls upon all claimants to come for their ‘lost and found’ assets now.

– The writer is the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Trustee of the Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority

Meet the new LG AI DD washing machine

Imagine a washing machine that knows your clothes inside out and knows exactly how to wash them, whether they’re delicate or not. A washing machine that is quick, silent and functional. A washing machine that does your laundry in just 39 minutes!! This is the reality of the brand new LG Washing machine. A revolution!

LG Electronics has expanded the availability of its innovative front-loader washing machine with ThinQ AI powered by the company’s proprietary Direct Drive™ to East Africa. With the benefits of AI DD™ the new washers are able to deliver thorough yet gentle cleaning by determining the weight and fabric characteristics of each load to deliver faster and better laundry results.

LG’s AI DD technology leverages big data on twenty thousand pieces of information related to washer usage and applies settings based on the volume and delicateness of the garments in each load of laundry to provide the most optimized washing cycle. This guarantees exceptionally clean laundry every time with the added benefit of an 18 percent reduction in damage to the clothes, prolonging the life of every wardrobe.

39 minutes

LG’s TurboWash™ 360 feature delivers the convenience of a shorter laundry day without compromising cleanliness, requiring just 39 minutes to complete a full wash cycle. And 3D Multi Spray also helps get clothes clean in less time by shooting jets of water in four different directions simultaneously for more stain-fighting coverage. Customers can save even more time by pairing the LG AI DD washing machine with LG MiniWash which fits directly underneath to create a TWINWash™ system to handle two loads of laundry at once.

Boasting the durability and efficiency, LG AI DD washing machines deliver an efficient energy rating of A+++-50 percent in no small part due to LG’s inverter technology, guaranteed by a 10-year warranty.

Voice commands

For additional user convenience, LG AI DD washers can be managed using voice commands from a connected AI speaker as well as controlled and monitored with the ThinQ mobile app.

The combination of ThinQ AI with LG’s proven Direct Drive technology delivers customer benefits that are more significant than anything in the evolution of washing machines in the past century. This kind of innovation definitely wins the hearts and minds of consumers who expect nothing but the best in their home appliances.

Buy yours today. Visit https://www.lg.com/eastafrica for more details and get the LG AI DD delivered to your home

Mastercard Foundation announces key partnerships to drive COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Efforts in Kenya

The Mastercard Foundation has announced a series of key partnerships that will bring relief and build the resilience of micro-, small- and medium- enterprises (MSMEs) in Kenya.

As the effects of the COVID-19 global pandemic ripple through economies, women and young people are expected to bear the greatest burden as a result of reduced employment opportunities, layoffs and poorly performing MSMEs, most of which are led and owned by women and young people.

The organisations that will start rolling out the interventions targeting MSMEs this month, through support from the Mastercard Foundation COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Program, are Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), WomenWork Network, Kenya National Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KNCCI), and TechnoServe, with technical support from the Grassroots Business Fund and 4G Capital.

The commitment from the Mastercard Foundation to the four lead partner organisations totals USD15 million and will support a series of interventions that will facilitate business continuity, especially for those MSMEs led and owned by young women and help to cushion the economy in Kenya.

“MSME’s are the backbone of the economy and they need support more than ever. The Mastercard Foundation is proud to work with these partners to deliver tailored support to tens of thousands of MSMEs with the aim of helping them sustain their activities and continue to provide opportunities for dignified work,” said Daniel Hailu, Regional Head Eastern and Southern Africa at the Mastercard Foundation.

KEPSA, in close collaboration with the Government of Kenya, will target 400 MSMEs to access an emergency finance facility that will be managed by Grassroots Business Fund as the independent Fund Manager. The partnership will include the rollout of a virtual MSMEs business recovery hub to provide business development service as well as increasing KEPSAs ability to support women businesses.

The partnership with WomenWork Network through their Rebuild Program, will focus on low cost loans to women-led MSMEs to enable the businesses to withstand the significant revenue drops they are currently experiencing. The low cost emergency loans will enable them to sustain jobs that may otherwise have been lost and access tailored online business training. The Rebuild program will be available to the over 4,000 women who are members of the #Womenworkke Facebook group.

The Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) will run interventions that include low cost businesses loans to deserving MSMEs and a trade digital platform to support an e-commerce ecosystem to make the enterprises more agile and resilient.

The intervention will target 15,000 direct members of KNCCI, supplemented by 85,000 KNCCI association members, especially focusing on the hawkers, the fashion industry, Jua Kali, retailers, and restaurants.

Grassroots Business Fund will manage the facility that will provide concessionary loans to members of the 3 organisations, KNCCI, KEPSA and WomenWorks Networks. The loans will boost the microenterprises by providing them with working capital that allows them to navigate challenges brought on by the COVID-19 health crisis. The loans to microenterprises will target businesses country-wide and priority will be given to youth and women-led enterprises and to certain sectors such as agriculture, retail, healthcare.

TechnoServe will work with 28,000 microretailers, primarily women and young people, through the Micro-enterprises Strengthened for Pandemic Adaptation and Resilience in Kenya (mSPARK) program, providing targeted digital technical assistance and facilitating financial support through financial-technology credit provider 4G Capital. The emergency repayable business grants will support overhead expenses such as salaries, rent, and utilities, and, in conjunction with the technical assistance provided through the program, will enable microretailers to source vital products and digitize their operations. This program, which is being rolled out in Nairobi and surrounding metropolitan counties as well as Mombasa and Kilifi counties, will help to stabilize and strengthen the resilience of microretailers who own general shops, salons, restaurants and eateries that are essential to the economies and food security of vulnerable communities.

“I have a shop called Network Shop in Kiganjo Thika on the outskirts of Nairobi. When COVID-19 struck I didn’t know what to do and that caused me a lot of panic and stress. I was struggling to keep my business running and I almost closed down due to the financial hardships. A repayable grant will be a lifesaving opportunity as I will have the funds to stay afloat and not have to close down my shop. Being trained on how to navigate through such a crisis will allow me get out of the crisis better and stronger,” said 24-year old business owner, wife and mother of twins, Elizabeth Jeremiah.

You have until 31 August to lodge claims on unclaimed shares – UFAA

A massive amount of unreported wealth is being safely kept by the government in the form of unclaimed financial assets. This is out of necessity until the owners can rightfully claim them. The value of these abandoned assets continues to run into the billions and is lawfully held by the state. These assets are in the form of shares, security deposits, tax refunds, long forgotten bank accounts and pension money, among others.

Recently, The Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority (UFAA) has notified the public that various institutions have reported over 800 million units of UNCLAIMED shares among other assets to the authority (UFAA). In following, UFAA wishes to advise apparent owners or beneficiaries to lodge claims on these shares.

Members of the general public are invited to find out whether they are owners or beneficiaries of abandoned shares. This can easily be done through the shortcode *361#. Alternatively, one can also pay a visit to the website, www.ufaa.go.ke

How to claim the shares

In order to claim shares, rightful owners are required to obtain a holder’s letter from share registrars and submit a claim online via the UFAA website using relevant forms. This campaign for the reunification of reported unclaimed shares will run until 31ST August, 2020.

More about the UFAA

UFAA was established after an Act of Parliament was drafted to provide a framework for the reporting and dealing with unclaimed financial assets – Unclaimed Financial Assets Act, 2011. The authority started operations in 2014.

The authority’s mission is to receive, safeguard and reunite unclaimed assets for sustainable and shared social and economic prosperity.

Since its inception, the authority has received unclaimed financial assets and safeguarded them in the Unclaimed Financial Assets Trust Fund. It then follows up on the rightful owners based on the information given by the holders, in a process called re-unification where claimants get back their assets after a prescribed process has been followed.

By doing this in a clear and concise manner, the authority has progressively gained and maintained public confidence by providing relevant and accurate information.

To learn even more about the authority, visit the website on www.ufaa.go.ke