Category: Kenya

Verifying Kenyan governors’ claims of progress

Whereas 2020 has been an unsure 12 months for a lot of, Kenyan politicians remained predictable in not less than a method: enjoying up their achievements in workplace.

In November 2020 president Uhuru Kenyatta delivered a delayed state of the nation handle, which we fact-checked.

However three months earlier the nation’s governors had braved the Covid-19 pandemic to make their annual state of devolution handle. Delivered by Wycliffe Oparanya, the chair of the council of governors, the speech is required by regulation.

Oparanya made various key claims, seven of which we fact-checked. These ranged from well being and agriculture allocations to water and sanitation entry.

(Notice: Oparanya spoke on 23 July, three weeks into the brand new monetary 12 months. To successfully confirm these claims, Africa Verify waited for the workplace of the controller of price range’s report on the earlier monetary 12 months. This was printed on the finish of September.)


Counties allotted a median of seven.3% of budgets to agriculture.



A few of the information within the handle was collected from the counties, the council’s communications workplace instructed Africa Verify. In addition they referred us to the controller of price range’s report for the 2019/20 monetary 12 months.

The report reveals the 47 county governments permitted a mixed price range of KSh499.6 billion.

We compiled information on what the counties allotted to their departments of agriculture. This was KSh34.4 billion, or 6.9% of their whole price range. 

We due to this fact fee this declare as incorrect. Specialists have additionally beforehand instructed us that precise spending is simply as important a measure to trace. – Dancan Bwire


[The allocation to agriculture] is a rise of 0.6% from what was reported final 12 months.



Within the 2019 state of devolution handle, Oparanya gave the allocation to agriculture as 6.7%. We rated this declare as largely appropriate as the typical allocation was shut sufficient, at 6.9%.

A soar from 6.7% to 7.3% although is a rise of 0.6 share factors or 8.9%. We due to this fact fee this as incorrect. (Learn our information on easy methods to keep away from frequent statistical errors.) – Alphonce Shiundu


[The counties are striving] to achieve the ten% [allocation to agriculture] really useful by the Malabo declaration.



In 2014 the African Union met in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea’s capital metropolis. The ensuing Malabo declaration resolved to finish starvation on the continent by 2025, and to make sure that “not less than 10% of public expenditure” goes to agriculture. 

Dr Timothy Njagi is a analysis fellow on the Tegemeo Institute of Agriculture Coverage and Improvement, an agriculture coverage thinktank in Kenya. He has co-authored a coverage transient urging county governments to speculate extra in agriculture and improve family incomes.

The “appropriate computation” of the ten% goal within the Malabo declaration “ought to be for the nation”, he instructed Africa Verify. This implies whole allocation and spending at each the nationwide authorities and county authorities degree.

Njagi highlighted a 2017 report by the nation’s planning division that confirmed what he known as a “disturbing development” the place nearly all of agriculture spending was concentrated on the nationwide degree. 

“As an example, between 2013 and 2017, 60% of the sources in agriculture had been spent on the nationwide degree regardless of nearly all of the capabilities being devolved,” he stated.

The report notes that counties take into account their allocations and expenditure to agriculture to incorporate facets of cooperatives and commerce, but these don’t represent the sector as outlined on the nationwide degree.

Briefly, counties alone shouldn’t be chasing the ten% spending goal. Subsequently, we fee Oparanya’s declare as deceptive.

Njagi added that past allocation the cash ought to be channelled to the “proper makes use of”. He gave a few of these as analysis, extension providers and markets.  -Alphonce Shiundu


Counties have over the previous 12 months sustained a median allocation of 24% of their whole budgets to the well being sector.



Within the 2019/20 monetary 12 months, Kenya’s counties allotted a mixed KSh128.9 billion to well being of their budgets. That is in response to the controller of price range’s most up-to-date report.

As a share of their mixed KSh499.6 billion price range, this works out to 25.8%. In 2019, Africa Verify established the share of that 12 months’s price range was 26%. Oparanya due to this fact understated his determine, however we fee the declare largely appropriate. 

Nonetheless, breaking down the information reveals some regional variations. Some 13 counties allotted lower than 24% of their budgets to well being. Taita Taveta had the bottom at 7%, whereas the best was Kirinyaga at 40%. – Grace Gichuhi


Water protection now stands at 63% from 57%.



Water protection is the “inhabitants with entry to water providers, both with direct service connection or inside attain of a public water level, as a share of the whole inhabitants underneath utility’s nominal duty”.

This definition is by the World Financial institution-funded Worldwide Benchmarking Community, a undertaking that seeks to “assist entry to comparative info … amongst water provide and sanitation suppliers worldwide”.

In Kenya, water protection is tracked by the Water Providers Regulatory Board. It’s most up-to-date report, printed in 2020, covers the 2018/19 monetary 12 months.

The info reveals that water protection improved from 57% in 2017/18 to 59% in 2018/19. Within the absence of knowledge for 2019/20, we fee council chair Oparanya’s  declare unproven.

The report additionally notes that water service suppliers serve barely half, or 49%, of the nationwide inhabitants.

“The development in protection has been rising, albeit slowly, with a development of solely 4 share factors within the final 5 years,” it says. – Alphonce Shiundu


Sanitation protection is now at 25%, from 16%.



The Water Providers Regulatory Board defines “sewered sanitation protection” as “the variety of folks served with flush or pour-flush to piped sewer techniques, as a share of the whole inhabitants throughout the service space of the utility”.

Utilities with sewerage techniques are measured on how they ship sanitation providers to their customers. 

The board’s most up-to-date report, printed in 2020, covers the 2018/19 monetary 12 months. It reveals that sanitation protection elevated barely from 16% in 2017/18 to 17% in 2018/19.

We nonetheless fee this declare as unproven as we should not have the board’s 2019/20 report that the governors referred to.

The report does observe there was a decline in protection because the inhabitants rose quickly, outpacing funding in infrastructure.

Solely about 3.9 million folks in 26 counties have entry to sewered sanitation, it provides, with 61% of those folks within the capital Nairobi. “This due to this fact implies that 21 counties lack any techniques for waste administration.” – Alphonce Shiundu


County governments have continued to stick to the two-thirds gender precept. Three counties of Kilifi, Nyeri and Migori have gone larger and have a 50/50 illustration of female and male CECs.



“CECs” confer with county government committee members who kind the county cupboard. 

Kenya’s structure prescribes that “no more than two-thirds of the members of elective or appointive our bodies shall be of the identical gender”.

In line with the latest financial survey from the nationwide statistics workplace, all 47 county assemblies have met this threshold because the final election in 2017. The survey’s information is sourced from the council of governors.

For county executives, not less than 30% of the county cupboards in 39 counties had been feminine. The three counties cited by Oparanya, along with Mombasa, had achieved gender parity.

Some counties that failed to attain this included Kitui, which had no girl county government in 2019, Nairobi and Kisumu (each 25%) and Kericho (16.7%). – Alphonce Shiundu

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Truth-checked: Kenya president’s 2020 state of the nation tackle

In November 2020 Kenya’s president Uhuru Kenyatta reported on the state of the nation, almost one and a half years since the final such tackle.

The speech centred on his administration’s efforts to combat the Covid-19 pandemic and its “Huge 4” agenda that’s centered on well being, housing, manufacturing and meals safety.

The president additionally made claims of progress in varied areas from training and land to the enterprise surroundings and electrical energy connections. 

We checked the accuracy of eight of Kenyatta’s pronouncements.

We’ve contacted the presidency for the supply of the info used within the claims and can replace this report with their response. 


[The Covid-19 dusk-to-dawn curfew is] Kenya’s first ever nationwide curfew since independence.



To stem the unfold of the novel coronavirus, in March 2020 Kenyatta stated a nationwide curfew could be “in impact within the territory of the republic of Kenya” from 7 pm to five am.

Beginning on 27 March, the curfew’s hours have various. On the time of writing, it’s in place till 3 January 2021 between 10 pm and 4 am.

In his November tackle, Kenyatta stated the curfew was “Kenya’s first ever nationwide curfew since independence”.

The perfect data on curfews could be the authorized notices revealed within the Kenya Gazette as required by the Public Order Act, Dr Mutuma Ruteere advised Africa Test.  

Ruteere is the director of the Centre for Human Rights and Coverage Research in Nairobi. A former United Nations particular rapporteur, he has written extensively on safety, policing and terrorism in Kenya. 

“When a curfew is said, it needs to be gazetted,” Brian Kimari advised us. He’s a junior analysis fellow on the thinktank and has authored a coverage transient on the curfew in the course of the pandemic.

Kimari couldn’t discover an occasion of one other nationwide curfew, and we additionally got here up empty once we scoured the gazette’s archives

Historic curfews regional or pre-independence

The data do present that regional curfews have been declared earlier than, in north-eastern Kenya within the Nineteen Sixties and 70s in the course of the shifta conflict and extra just lately throughout operations in opposition to the al-Shabaab terror group. Curfews had been additionally in place within the cities of Nairobi and Nanyuki in the course of the 1982 coup try, in some districts throughout varied safety operations, and in the course of the 2007/08 post-election violence.

A information article from March 2020 stated a nationwide curfew had been in place earlier than however beneath a colonial period state of emergency, citing veteran Kenyan administrator Joseph Kaguthi. 

Kimari stated that the reference to the curfew by Kenyatta was meant to sign that the pandemic is “a really critical second” for the nation, but it surely additionally solid a highlight on the “securitisation of the pandemic response”. – Alphonce Shiundu


“As on the finish of 2019 calendar 12 months, we had been capable of obtain a textbook-to-pupil ratio of 1:1 for grades 1 by means of to three.”



Kenya’s authorities took over the distribution of textbooks from colleges in January 2018

For the newest knowledge on this, Dr Emmanuel Manyasa directed us to the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Improvement. He’s the government director of Usawa Agenda, an advocacy group within the training sector.

The 2019 fundamental training statistical booklet notes that the training ministry distributed books “on numeracy and literacy as a result of they’re the foundational abilities in training”.

“The information exhibits that the 1:1 pupil-textbook ratio in arithmetic, English and Kiswahili has virtually been achieved in Grade 1, 2 and three,” the booklet says.

It breaks this down by grade and enrolment. 

The ratios have been rounded up, which means some pupils had been sharing books. For instance, some 49,088 grade 1 pupils wouldn’t have had their very own textbook.

Why is the ratio vital? In response to the training ministry, pupils sharing textbooks with multiple different little one achieved much less.

“Ideally, extra studying materials ought to enhance studying outcomes,” Manyasa advised Africa Test. However there have been additionally different elements at play, he stated, reminiscent of trainer shortages, particularly within the rural areas. – Alphonce Shiundu


“Throughout my administration, 4.5 million titles have been issued within the seven years since 2013.”



Kenyatta in contrast this quantity to the six million title deeds he stated had been issued from independence in 1963 to when he took workplace in 2013. He made the identical declare in one other nationwide tackle in June 2020.

(Word: Since 2012 title deeds are additionally referred to as “certificates of title” in Kenya. They show that the individual named within the certificates owns the land.

Since June 2020, the lands ministry web site has claimed that 4.5 million deeds have been issued “since 2013 in comparison with 5.6 million since independence”.

In June Farida Karoney, the cupboard secretary for lands, gave Africa Test the same variety of 5.6 million from 1963 to 2012. From 2013 to June 2019 about 4.1 million deeds had been issued, she stated, and 388,000 from July to April 2020. The minister’s figures added as much as 4.49 million. 

We’ve requested Karoney for the variety of deeds issued since April and can replace this report as soon as we obtain a response. 

Solely the ministry can verify the variety of deeds it has issued, the Kenya Land Alliance, a not-for-profit organisation that advocates for land reform within the nation, beforehand advised Africa Test. – Vincent Ng’ethe


Kenya at present ranks 56th globally and third in sub-Saharan Africa on the convenience of doing enterprise report, from a low of 136th globally in 2014.



Yearly, the World Financial institution publishes a report rating how pleasant nations make their economies to traders.

The newest, Doing Enterprise 2020, ranks Kenya 56th out of 189 nations.  Within the sub-Saharan Africa area the nation was third after Mauritius and Rwanda.

The 2015 report, utilizing knowledge present as of June 2014, positioned Kenya 136th. So on this rating the president was correct. The presidency has additionally cited the nation’s progress up the rankings in earlier years. –Vincent Ng’ethe

World Financial institution pauses ease of doing enterprise rankings

The benefit of doing enterprise rankings have lately are available for worldwide scrutiny.

Kwame Owino is the chief government of the Institute of Financial Affairs, a thinktank in Nairobi. In his view, the report is of questionable use, he advised Africa Test.

The methodology “has been questioned throughout the World Financial institution itself” and whereas the rating is seen as an finish in itself, it “doesn’t essentially result in extra funding”.

Owino additionally stated the rankings had been weighted in favour of enormous formal companies. “But when you realize we’ve an enormous casual sector, lots of the issues spoken about within the Ease of Doing Enterprise report don’t have an effect on them as a lot.”

In Kenya, 83% of employment was within the casual sector, based on the 2020 financial survey. Additional, he stated, the report has an “city bias” because it considers solely the capital Nairobi and never the nation’s 46 different counties.
On 27 August, the World Financial institution stated that it was trying into irregularities round knowledge revealed within the 2018 and 2020 Doing Enterprise report. 

“The publication of the Doing Enterprise report shall be paused as we conduct our evaluation,” the financial institution stated.


In March 2018, Kenya and Ghana had been the primary nations to not solely signal but additionally ratify the landmark settlement creating the African Continental Free Commerce Space.



The African Continental Free Commerce Space is anticipated to extend commerce each inside Africa and with different areas and has been described as the most important free commerce space on the planet based mostly on the variety of nations.

The settlement establishing it was signed by 54 of the bloc’s 55 members in March 2018 throughout an African Union summit in Rwanda. Eritrea has not but signed.

The settlement’s standing listing exhibits Kenya was the primary to ratify it on 6 Might 2018, a day forward of Ghana. Some 28 nations had ratified the settlement as of October 2019, which means they agreed to be sure by its phrases. – Vincent Ng’ethe


The final mile connectivity programme crossed the 7.2 million family connections mark.



In response to Kenya Energy, the nation’s electrical energy utility, “final mile” refers to the final hyperlink to the patron’s premise or residence.

In June 2020 we rated as unproven a declare by Kenyatta that the federal government had linked 8 million households to the electrical grid. Due to a delay in appointing Kenya’s auditor-general, the utility agency solely revealed its 2018/19 annual report in November 2020.

The report exhibits that within the 12 months to June 2019, some 306,771 prospects had been linked to electrical energy. (Draft treasury figures gave a determine of 440,822 prospects.)

As of 30 June 2019, the annual report confirmed Kenya Energy had linked 5.4 million home customers. One other 1.29 million had been linked beneath the rural electrification programme, for a complete of 6.7 million. 

Home connections accounted for 94.5% of all prospects. This class has over the past 5 monetary years accounted for not less than a 90% share of the entire. 

On its web site, Kenya Energy says that as of June 2020 it “sells electrical energy to over 7.5 million” however doesn’t specify what number of prospects had been home. 

The obtainable knowledge accounts for six.7 million of the 7.2 million connections cited by the president. Kenya Energy’s 2019/20 annual report, to be revealed in January 2021, will doubtless give newer knowledge however in its absence we fee the declare as unproven. –Vincent Ng’ethe


Kenyan exports throughout the East African Neighborhood jumped to a six-year excessive in 2019.



The East African Neighborhood counts six member nations – Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.

The 2020 financial survey from the Kenya Nationwide Bureau of Statistics exhibits that in 2019, Kenya made KSh140 billion in exports to the opposite nations. This was the very best since 2013.

The finalising of the group’s
frequent market protocol meant that its members had been buying and selling extra with one another, Dr Paul Kamau advised Africa Test.

He’s a senior fellow on the College of Nairobi’s Institute for Improvement Research and has revealed analysis on Kenya’s commerce in East Africa. 

“This may very well be giving the enterprise group extra confidence,” he stated, including that as markets such because the US and China get extra aggressive, there was extra deal with regional markets. – Vincent Ng’ethe


For the second 12 months working Kenya has achieved a transition fee of 100% from main to secondary college.



In his earlier state of the nation tackle in April 2019, the president claimed the nation had achieved a 100% transition from main to secondary college. We fact-checked the declare then and located it to be incorrect.

There are conflicting claims concerning the transition fee in 2019.

A 12 months later, in February 2020, training minister George Magoha claimed a 99.8% transition fee. 

We’ve contacted the training ministry for readability. The obtainable knowledge nevertheless doesn’t present a 100% transition fee in 2019 or 2020. Consultants have beforehand advised Africa Test that attaining this full fee is tough within the absence of a legislation making secondary college obligatory. 

Secondary college can also be not fully free and this can maintain some college students away. We due to this fact fee the president’s declare as incorrect. – Vincent Ng’ethe

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Kenya’s final financial recession was in 2002, not 1992 as main TV station claimed


Kenya’s final recession was recorded in 1992.

Supply: Citizen TV web site (October 2020)



Explainer: Kenya’s most up-to-date recession was in 2002, in response to official information.

  • In a report on a latest World Financial institution evaluation of Africa’s financial prospects, the Citizen TV web site claimed that Kenya’s final recession was in 1992.
  • A recession is outlined as an financial contraction over six months, or two consecutive quarters of the 12 months. Kenya solely began reporting quarterly fluctuations in its economic system within the 12 months 2000.
  • In keeping with the nation’s statistics bureau, Kenya’s most up-to-date recession was in 2002, when GDP fell in each the second and third quarters.

Kenya was considered one of a clutch of African nations whose 2020 financial progress might “stay constructive” even because it slowed considerably, the World Financial institution stated in its biannual evaluation of the continent’s prospects. 

This was as a result of their economies had been “extra diversified” and fewer reliant on pure sources, the event lender stated in its October 2020 version of Africa Pulse.

Citizen TV, Kenya’s largest station by viewership, reported on the forecasts in an internet site story headlined “Kenya tipped to flee recession on financial variety”. 

It famous: “Kenya’s final recession was recorded in 1992.” Is that this correct? 

Defining a recession

When Africa Test requested the station for the supply of its declare, Citizen TV directed us to a World Financial institution chart plotting modifications in Kenya’s gross home product, or GDP, since 1961. GDP measures the scale of a rustic’s economic system. It’s the market worth of all items and companies produced in a given interval, normally a 12 months.

The financial institution’s information exhibits that in 1992, GDP contracted by -0.8%. However the chart doesn’t not give GDP figures for every quarter – three months – of the 12 months. Africa Test has beforehand seemed into the definition of a recession and most specialists we spoke to agreed it was two or extra consecutive quarters of unfavorable progress.

The Kenya Nationwide Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) additionally defines a recession as “two consecutive quarters” of unfavorable GDP progress, Benjamin Muchiri, the bureau’s senior supervisor of nationwide accounts, advised Africa Test. 

Development or contraction?

Kwame Owino, chief govt of the Institute of Financial Affairs, a Kenyan suppose tank, stated the very best information on historic financial progress could be within the statistics bureau’s annual financial surveys.  

In keeping with the bureau’s 1993 financial survey, Kenya’s economic system grew by 0.4% in 1992 – higher than the World Financial institution’s -08% contraction. However the survey additionally doesn’t break this progress down by quarters.

Muchiri defined why. “The earliest quarterly GDP accessible for Kenya is round 2000 and due to this fact we can not inform from KNBS quarterly statistics if there have been any two consecutive quarterly GDP contractions in 1992,” he stated.

“Nonetheless, the 12 months’s actual GDP progress price was 0.4%, elevating the chance that there have been contractions in a couple of quarter.” However extra analysis could be required to determine if this was certainly the case, he stated.

Recession in 2002 – by all measures

Annual KNBS information exhibits that since 1990, Kenya’s economic system has contracted in just one 12 months – in 2000, when it shrank by -0.3%. In 2002 this was revised to -0.2%. (Observe: GDP figures are routinely restated as new financial information turns into accessible.)

However the bureau’s quarterly information, from 2000 on, reveals that Kenya final recorded a recession in 2002. “We had two consecutive contractions in 2002, of -1.2% within the second quarter and -2.5% for the third quarter,” Muchiri stated.

This information seems within the bureau’s first quarterly GDP report for 2007. However the contractions had been for GDP at market costs. When inflation is taken under consideration, giving actual GDP, the contractions had been -1.7% and -2% respectively. 

As a result of each seasonally adjusted and non-adjusted figures had been “exhibiting a recession, there is no such thing as a contradiction”, Muchiri advised Africa Test.

Whereas now we have not seen information that proves or disproves that Kenya’s final recession was in 1992, official information does present there was one 10 years later. We due to this fact price Citizen TV’s declare as incorrect.

Conclusion: Official information exhibits an financial recession in 2002 – 10 years later than Citizen TV claimed

Reporting on a World Financial institution financial forecast for Africa, Kenya’s largest TV station claimed on its web site that the nation final posted a recession, or two consecutive quarters of unfavorable progress, in 1992. 

Whereas a recession could or could not have been recorded in 1992, the nation’s nationwide information company advised Africa Test it didn’t have quarterly information for the years earlier than 2000. 

Its earliest accessible official quarterly information exhibits Kenya’s most up-to-date recession was in 2002.

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Truth-checking cupboard minister about tourism’s worth to Kenyan financial system

Kenya’s tourism business has, like that of many different international locations, had a horror 12 months, with some official projections estimating losses may attain as a lot as KSh13.5 billion (US$125 million). 

Describing the business as “on its knees”, tourism minister Najib Balala on World Tourism Day in September 2020 known as for extra funding. 

Restrictions put in place within the nation as a result of Covid-19 pandemic have been regularly rolled again, with worldwide flights resuming on 1 August. 

Because the nation works to rebuild tourism, we fact-checked two vital claims made by Balala in Might 2020 about its worth to the nation. 


Tourism types 24% of Kenya’s GDP



The declare was printed on the minister’s official Twitter and Fb accounts, and was greeted with incredulity from a distinguished economist.

We reached out to the minister to ask for the supply of those figures and can replace this report ought to he reply.

For knowledge on how totally different sectors contribute to Kenya’s financial system, John Kinuthia directed us to the annual financial survey from the Kenya Nationwide Bureau of Statistics. Kinuthia is a senior programme officer on the Worldwide Funds Partnership, a public finance thinktank.  

The information from the statistics workplace exhibits that in 2019, the largest contribution to Kenya’s gross home product, or GDP, was by agriculture

“Agriculture remained the dominant sector, accounting for barely over a 3rd of the overall worth of the financial system,” the company stated within the 2020 version of the survey. 

The rising of crops contributed 27.8% to GDP. When animal manufacturing, agriculture help providers, fishing, forestry and logging have been additionally thought of, this share rose to 34.1%.

The information confirmed different key contributors have been transport and storage (8.5%), wholesale and retail commerce (7.6%) and manufacturing at 7.5%. 

However the survey doesn’t have knowledge on the GDP contribution of tourism, Kinuthia famous. Africa Examine requested the statistics workplace why this was the case. 

The bureau had no knowledge on tourism’s contribution as a result of it “cuts throughout many sectors”, Collins Omondi, the performing director basic, stated.

This included lodging, air journey, transport and the service business. Solely a tourism satellite tv for pc account would precisely present the contribution of tourism to the GDP, Omondi stated, including that Kenya’s Tourism Analysis Institute was engaged on capturing this knowledge. Native media have additionally reported this.

A satellite tv for pc account is a extensively accepted and complete measure of tourism’s financial worth.

Most sources estimate tourism’s contribution to GDP under 10%

Different knowledge sources nevertheless counsel tourism makes a much smaller contribution to the Kenyan financial system. These embrace:

One of many extra detailed estimates is from the World Journey and Tourism Council, a London-based non-profit organisation that represents the personal sector. In a March 2020 factsheet, it gave the contribution of tourism and journey to Kenya’s GDP as 8.2%, citing the UN and nationwide sources.

This estimate can be used in an undated World Financial institution report assessing tourism’s contribution to the Kenyan financial system. However the report says the determine could give a “partial image” because it “neglect[s] impacts of multipliers in addition to dynamic results on financial construction”.

Accessible proof doesn’t help minister’s declare

We requested the worldwide tourism council the way it calculated the estimate on Kenya. It despatched us its methodology, which confirmed it thought of the direct, oblique and “induced” contribution of tourism to the GDP. 

This spanned lodging, meals, transport, cultural and sports activities providers. For oblique contributions, it included “all private and non-private investments” in tourism comparable to infrastructure, advertising and marketing, aviation and safety. 

In international locations the place there have been knowledge gaps, the organisation stated these have been crammed by “supplementing knowledge with estimates derived from the standard relationship between the lacking data and different financial and journey and tourism indicators”. (Learn the complete report right here.) 

Whereas solely a tourism satellite tv for pc account would give a definitive estimate of tourism’s contribution to GDP, there is no such thing as a proof to help minister Balala’s determine of 24%. 

We subsequently charge his declare as incorrect.


Tourism employs about 1.6 million individuals.



This declare was additionally shared on the minister’s social media accounts. The newest knowledge on employment from the nationwide statistics workplace exhibits that 18.1 million individuals have been employed in Kenya in 2019. Of those, 3.1 million individuals have been formally employed. 

The minister’s determine would work out to a share of no less than 9%. (Notice: The employment determine of 18.1 million didn’t embrace small scale farming and pastoral actions.

Solely a tourism satellite tv for pc account may precisely compute how many individuals have been employed within the sector, Collins Omondi, the performing director basic of the Kenya Nationwide Bureau of Statistics, instructed Africa Examine.

Different knowledge we discovered suggests the minister was extra correct with this declare.

Tourism accounted for a median of 9% of direct personal and public sector employment between 1995 and 2001, in keeping with a 2009 paper on the financial contribution of tourism in Kenya. 

Dr Elisabeth Valle, who co-authored the research, instructed Africa Examine she didn’t have newer knowledge. She is a lecturer within the division of utilized economics on the College of the Balearic Islands in Spain.

Valle directed us to the tourism satellite tv for pc account as one of the best supply of data on unemployment. However the obtainable knowledge solely covers international locations from the Organisation for Financial Cooperation and Growth, of which Kenya is just not a member. We additionally got here up empty with the UN’s World Tourism Group.

The tourism ministry’s personal 2018-22 plan provides whole unemployment at 9.2%, whereas a draft nationwide tourism coverage says it’s 10%.

In March 2020, the World Journey and Tourism Council gave the identical estimate because the minister, of 1.6 million individuals.

Africa Examine has beforehand outlined the challenges of defining a job and capturing the casual sector. Within the absence of a tourism satellite tv for pc account we can’t positively say the minister is right, however his numbers right here seem near what the obtainable proof exhibits.

We’ll subsequently be beneficiant and charge this declare as principally right. 

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Covid-19 and the economic system: Kenya president’s maths doesn’t add up

In late September 2020 the Kenyan authorities referred to as a nationwide convention to chart its “post-Covid future” because it regularly reopens its battered economic system.

Afterwards, president Uhuru Kenyatta introduced a additional easing of the restrictions in place since March to counter the unfold of Covid-19.

The tutorial 12 months had been deserted, however faculties would now reportedly reopen in October 2020, with academics already recalled.

Because the nation waits for extra steering from the presidency, we fact-checked three claims Kenyatta made in an August 2020 nationwide speech, variations of which he repeated in his 28 September deal with.  


Well being consultants have indicated that ranges of the positivity price countrywide have fallen from a excessive of 13% in June …



Kenyatta mentioned that well being consultants had “indicated that ranges of the positivity price countrywide have fallen from a excessive of 13% in June to eight% in August” and described this as “very encouraging”. 

In September the president repeated a barely totally different model of this declare: “Sure, the COVID positivity price has fallen from 13% in June, 7% in August and is now at 4.4% in September.”

The positivity price is the variety of optimistic instances calculated as a share of the variety of folks examined, Dr Patrick Amoth, performing director-general in Kenya’s well being ministry, instructed Africa Examine.

“If you happen to check 1,000 folks and 100 folks flip [out] optimistic, the positivity price is 10%,” he mentioned. (For a deeper dialogue of this price, see right here.)

Africa Examine has contacted the president’s spokesperson Kanze Dena-Mararo for the supply of Kenyatta’s figures. We’ll replace this report along with her response ought to we hear again.

The very best testing information obtainable is the nationwide surveillance information from all accepted Covid-19 testing laboratories, Dr Abdhalah Ziraba, an epidemiologist on the African Inhabitants and Well being Analysis Heart in Nairobi, instructed Africa Examine. Kenya’s well being ministry releases this info in its day by day briefings.

Slower enchancment than president advised

Ziraba instructed Africa Examine that day by day, weekly or month-to-month positivity charges could possibly be reported, however “typically, for sensible causes, weekly averages are most popular”.

“There may be much less noise within the information, and they aren’t too rare, whereas month-to-month averages are liable to lack of particulars of how issues are altering,” he mentioned.

Official state of affairs experiences from the federal government initially plotted positivity information day by day earlier than switching to weekly graphs.

Africa Examine compiled this information utilizing the well being ministry’s day by day experiences, day by day press releases and its social media updates. The information exhibits that the very best seven-day positivity price for June 2020 was 8%, within the final week of the month, and never 13% because the president mentioned. 

To cross-check this, we additionally used the seven-day shifting common and in contrast it with different worldwide information

We due to this fact price the president’s declare as incorrect.

Weekly Covid-19 positivity charges June-August 2020
Week Complete samples examined Constructive assessments Positivity price
1-7 June 18,804 805 4%
8-14 June 17,996 827 5%
15-21 June 24,676 1,144 5%
22-28 June 25,184 1,332 5%
29 June-5 July 24,067 1,816 8%
6-12 July 26,480 2,219 8%
13-19 July 28,144 3,248 12%
20-26 July 32,528 4,182 13%
27 July-2 August 39,308 4,518 11%
3-9 August 38,004 4,383 12%
10-16 August 37,689 3,684 10%
17-23 August 30,567 2,244 7%
24-30 August 28,163 1,693 6%



… [positivity rates have fallen] to eight% in August.



On 2 September, Dr Amoth, performing director-general for well being, tweeted that the positivity price for July 2020 was 13%, matching that reported by the ministry.

For August 2020, the weekly positivity charges had been 11%, 10%, 7% and 6%, in accordance with the ministry’s day by day report of 15 September. (Observe: These are calculated as seven-day shifting averages by the ministry. These are thought-about extra dependable. The desk above doesn’t have a shifting common. We’ve additionally rounded up the charges.)

The common of those weekly positivity values in August got here to eight.5%. We due to this fact price the president’s declare right here as principally right.


… now we have an opportunity to succeed in the 5% positivity price beneficial by the World Well being Group for a complete reopening of our economic system and nation.



In April the World Well being Group launched tips on controlling the Covid-19 pandemic. Subsequent communications from the worldwide well being company have suggested on faculties, workplaces and mass gatherings.

The WHO mentioned choices to introduce, adapt or elevate public well being or social measures must be fastidiously assessed. A few of the concerns ought to embody the power to detect a resurgence and to handle further sufferers in well being services.

Lower than 5% of samples testing optimistic for not less than two weeks was solely one of many indicators that could possibly be used to determine if the epidemic was below management.

Dr Ziraba, epidemiologist on the African Inhabitants and Well being Analysis Heart, mentioned {that a} 5% positivity price was low sufficient to have “minimal transmission if persons are interacting and going again to their regular routines, the place the danger is manageable, the healthcare system can address no matter infections can come up, and we’re unlikely to have a flare up”. 

“The positivity price isn’t a magic bullet for the management of Covid-19,” Dr Amoth, of Kenya’s well being ministry, instructed Africa Examine. Earlier than a call was made, a lot of different elements had been thought-about, he mentioned. 

This included the variety of Covid-19 sufferers admitted to hospitals and the variety of sufferers in important care. 

Dr Isaac Ngere, an epidemiologist within the division of world well being at Washington State College in Kenya, agreed that different indicators and never solely the positivity price mattered.

These included mortality and the power of the well being system to handle a surge, he mentioned.

Few assessments make positivity price much less meaningful

In keeping with the WHO, the 5% positivity price can solely be interpreted if there’s thorough testing, with one thousandth of the inhabitants examined each week. Kenya’s 2019 census put the nation’s inhabitants at 47.6 million, so to adjust to the WHO advice the nation would wish to check not less than 47,600 folks every week. 

Amoth conceded Kenya could possibly be doing extra assessments. “If you’re doing only a few assessments, the positivity price is not going to add a lot worth to your interventions.” 

He mentioned “challenges within the international provide chain in getting reagents” was one of many causes for the present degree of testing within the nation.

Falling instances may not essentially point out that the pandemic was being efficiently managed, Ngere mentioned.

Relying on who was being examined, a declining positivity price backed by good contact tracing and testing was fascinating, and an indication of a slower development of the epidemic, he mentioned.

“Nevertheless, this might not be so if the individuals being examined are thought-about low threat. At present, Kenya assessments teams thought-about to be excessive threat: truckers, travellers, symptomatic individuals referred from hospitals throughout the nation and contacts of instances. This might due to this fact imply that the true inhabitants positivity could possibly be the identical or decrease”. 

Sure, the WHO does advocate a 5% positivity price as a threshold for relieving public well being restrictions as a result of pandemic. However it’s not the one measure that must be used. 

We due to this fact price the president’s declare as deceptive.

© Copyright Africa Examine 2020. Learn our republishing tips. You might reproduce this piece or content material from it for the aim of reporting and/or discussing information and present occasions. That is topic to: Crediting Africa Examine within the byline, maintaining all hyperlinks to the sources used and including this sentence on the finish of your publication: “This report was written by Africa Examine, a non-partisan fact-checking organisation. View the unique piece on their web site”, with a hyperlink again to this web page.

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Covid-19: Broadly learn newspaper incorrect that 2 in 5 Kenyans are overweight


Weight problems impacts two in each 5 Kenyans

Supply: The Day by day Nation newspaper (27 July 2020)



Explainer: The newest information obtainable reveals solely 9% of adults and a a lot smaller share of youngsters in Kenya are overweight.

  • The Day by day Nation informed Africa Test the determine “two in each 5” was drawn from a 2014 demographic and well being survey.
  • The cited survey doesn’t present this. It solely has information displaying that 10.1% of surveyed girls aged 15 to 49 had been overweight and 4.1% of youngsters youthful than 5.
  • Consultants informed us no different information obtainable supported the determine quoted by the newspaper. They estimated one in 10 adults and much fewer youngsters had been overweight.

Reporting in late July 2020 on what it mentioned was Kenya’s highest variety of each day Covid-19 infections for almost 4 months, the Day by day Nation highlighted the position of weight problems on hospitalisations and deaths from the illness. 

“Weight problems – a situation that impacts two in each 5 Kenyans – has been implicated in lots of the hospitalisations and deaths,” the newspaper mentioned.

It cited “preliminary analysis on African American deaths on account of Covid-19 in France, the UK and the US” and feedback from a well being official and a scientist in help of this assertion.

Pointers from Kenya’s well being ministry be aware that there are some dangers when treating important circumstances of Covid-19 in sufferers who’ve weight problems.  

However the Day by day Nation didn’t give a supply for its declare in regards to the variety of people who find themselves overweight. Are as many as 40% of Kenyans at higher danger from the virus? We investigated.  

Paper’s supply doesn’t present 2 in 5 determine

The journalist who wrote the article informed Africa Test that the supply of the figures was the 2014 Kenya Demographic and Well being Survey.

The nationally consultant family survey gives information on a variety of matters, reminiscent of inhabitants, well being and diet and is carried out in a number of nations. 

The 2014 survey is the latest on Kenya and has info on the dietary standing of girls and youngsters, however not males. It confirmed that from a pattern of 13,143 girls aged 15 to 49, some 10.1% had been overweight.

The survey reported 43% of girls in city areas had been doubtless both overweight or chubby. This was the closest determine within the survey to the “two in each 5” reported by the Day by day Nation.

Measuring weight problems

The World Well being Group defines chubby and weight problems as “irregular or extreme fats accumulation which will impair well being”.

The well being company says a measure generally known as the physique mass index, or BMI, is often used to categorise chubby and weight problems in adults. It’s calculated as “an individual’s weight in kilograms divided by the sq. of his top in metres (kg/m2)”.

In adults, if the BMI is 25 or extra, they’re chubby, and overweight if the index is 30 or extra. The WHO says that for youngsters, age needs to be thought of. That is as a result of “it’s troublesome to develop one easy index for the measurement of chubby and weight problems in youngsters and adolescents as a result of their our bodies endure quite a few physiological modifications as they develop”.

Kids beneath 5 are thought of chubby or overweight if their weight-for-height is bigger than can be statistically anticipated beneath WHO child-growth pointers. These aged 5 to 19 are chubby or overweight if their BMI-for-age is greater than can be be statistically anticipated beneath WHO development references.

The second approach of measuring weight problems is the waist-hip ratio, Dr Gershim Asiki, analysis scientist on the African Inhabitants and Well being Analysis Middle in Nairobi, Kenya, informed Africa Test. That is calculated by dividing the waist circumference by the hip circumference.

“The waist-hip ratio is extra correct than BMI in estimating weight problems. It measures the buildup of fats in your tummy,” Asiki, who leads the non-communicable illness analysis programme on the middle, mentioned.

“For males a worth equal or greater than 0.9 denotes weight problems whereas amongst girls a worth 0.85 or extra means you’re overweight.”

Survey reveals grownup estimate nearer to 9%, not 40%

Dr Alice Mboganie Mwangi informed Africa Test the 2014 demographic and well being survey and a 2015 survey on non communicable illnesses by Kenya’s well being ministry had been “probably the most complete info we now have at the moment”.

She is the pinnacle of the utilized human diet programme on the College of Nairobi’s division of meals know-how and diet.

Dr Gershim Asiki, analysis scientist on the African Inhabitants and Well being Analysis Middle, mentioned the 2015 well being ministry survey was probably the most present for adults aged 18 to 69.

The survey was of 4,574 folks, of whom 40% had been males and 60% girls. Utilizing the WHO’s physique mass index classification, it discovered that 4.3% of males and 13.7% of girls had been overweight. For each sexes, 8.9% had been overweight, about one in each 10 folks.

Proportion of Kenyan women and men by BMI classification in 2015 
Weight Males Girls Mixed 
Underweight (BMI beneath 18.5) 13.7% 8.9% 11.3%
Regular (BMI 18.5 -24.9) 68.8% 52.6% 60.8%
Chubby (BMI 25-29.9) 13.2% 24.9% 19.0%
Overweight (BMI 30 and better) 4.3% 13.7% 8.9%

Supply: Kenya Stepwise Survey for Non Communicable Ailments Threat Components 2015 Report, Ministry of Well being

The survey additionally gave estimates utilizing the waist-hip ratio. It discovered that “28% of the lads and 36% of the Kenyan girls had a better waist–hip ratio than really helpful” and had been at a better danger of obesity-related diseases. The survey didn’t give separate estimates for weight problems and chubby.

The newest information from the WHO utilizing physique mass index reveals 6% of grownup Kenyans had been overweight as of 2017. This was 2.5% of males and 9.4% of girls. 

What of youngsters?

In accordance with the 2014 Kenya demographic and well being survey, 4.1% of youngsters beneath 5 had been thought of chubby or overweight.

Asiki mentioned there isn’t national-level information but for youngsters aged beneath 18. However “there are pockets of small research in some elements of Kenya for preschool youngsters and college youngsters”.

He mentioned a 2010 examine discovered weight problems amongst 4% of preschool youngsters aged three to 5, and a 2014 examine discovered 6% of youngsters in Nairobi aged 9 to 11 had been affected.

Asiki mentioned: “Even with out the nationwide figures we are able to predict that it’s a lot decrease amongst youngsters”.

The WHO estimated that as of 2017 2.3% of Kenyan youngsters aged 5 to 9 had been overweight, and 1.7% of childen aged 10 to 19. We now have requested the organisation for the supply of its information.

The College of Nairobi’s Dr Mwangi mentioned it was inaccurate that two in 5 Kenyans are affected by weight problems.

“That’s not true, except you need to differentiate when it comes to location and gender. You would possibly discover extra weight problems in city areas and likewise amongst extra girls than males. It’s not two in each 5 Kenyans, that’s not factual.”

Conclusion: Information doesn’t help declare that weight problems impacts two in 5 Kenyans 

In in search of to spotlight the elevated dangers Kenyans with weight problems face from Covid-19, a nationwide newspaper claimed that two in each 5 Kenyans are overweight.

Consultants informed Africa Test that the latest information doesn’t help this. Roughly one in 10 adults in Kenya are overweight, and whereas there isn’t national-level information obtainable, the speed of weight problems for youngsters can be a lot decrease.

We subsequently fee the declare as incorrect.

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Are 80% of all ailments transmitted by hand? Nigerian physician’s declare is deceptive

Are nearly all of ailments on the earth transmitted “by hand”, as a Twitter consumer in Nigeria has claimed?

Fidelis Egemba, popularly generally known as “Aproko Physician” on the platform, tweeted to his greater than 500,000 followers that “over 80% of all ailments on the earth are transmitted by arms”.

The 7 July 2020 tweet attracted greater than 1,200 likes and feedback. Egemba, a professional medical physician, urged his viewers to clean their arms and sanitise with 2sure, a hand sanitiser model lately launched in Nigeria.  

When requested for proof, Egemba instructed Africa Examine he was referring solely to “infectious ailments” and never all ailments. He termed the declare “an error in dissemination”.

As of 6 August 2020, he had not made any correction on Twitter. However are practically all ailments on the earth transmitted by hand? We checked.

Ailments, outlined

The World Well being Group, or WHO, in its recommendation on find out how to forestall the unfold of Covid-19, suggests folks wash their arms with cleaning soap and water or clear them with an alcohol-based hand rub. The well being company has not endorsed any explicit model of cleaning soap or hand sanitiser.

A illness is any dangerous deviation from the conventional structural or useful state of an organism. It’s usually related to sure indicators and signs and is completely different from bodily harm.

Ailments will be communicable or noncommunicable, in response to the WHO.

Communicable, or infectious, ailments are attributable to micro organism, viruses, parasites and fungi. These will be unfold immediately or not directly from one individual to a different, via a lot of methods:

  • Ingesting contaminated meals or water
  • Insect bites or contact with contaminated animals
  • Contact with contaminated physique fluids or faeces
  • Direct contact with contaminated blood
  • Sexual transmission

Noncommunicable ailments are also called power ailments. They don’t seem to be handed from individual to individual and embrace cancers, diabetes and cardiovascular ailments. The WHO identifies them because the main reason for dying globally. (Word: In Africa and different low-income areas, communicable ailments are the main reason for dying.)

Unclear share of communicable ailments transmitted by hand

Quite a lot of disease-producing micro organism and viruses are carried within the mouth, nostril, throat and respiratory tract. Ailments equivalent to leprosy and tuberculosis (TB) and a few influenza infections will be unfold by coughing, sneezing, and saliva or mucus on “unwashed arms”. 

We subsequently requested specialists if Aproko Physician’s declare may very well be correct. They variously described the declare  as deceptive, exaggerated or outright incorrect.

The WHO instructed Africa Examine it didn’t have data displaying the share of communicable ailments transmitted by hand or contact. “The WHO doesn’t have this type of information,” stated spokesperson Audrei Muchnik.

The declare is deceptive in response to Dr Mary Stephen, a technical officer for the company’s Africa unit. Whereas most infectious ailments are transmitted from individual to individual or by feco-oral transmission, the hand “isn’t the one method ailments are transmitted”, Stephen stated. 

“It’s higher to say infectious ailments are generally transmitted from individual to individual via direct contact, droplets or contact with contaminated fomites [inanimate objects], surfaces or objects,” she stated. 

Most-widespread ailments not transmitted hand-to-hand

The declare doesn’t look like “wholly appropriate”, Prof Nasia Safdar instructed Africa Examine. She is a college member on the infectious illness division of the College of Wisconsin’s division of medication within the US.

“A big proportion, however not all, of communicable ailments are transmitted via the arms or contact, however the massive ones worldwide equivalent to malaria and TB aren’t,” Safdar stated. 

The declare is wrong, Prof Tanimola Akande, from the epidemiology and neighborhood well being unit on the College of Ilorin in western Nigeria,stated.

Of the key ailments, only some equivalent to gastroenteritis or diarrhoea are transmitted by hand, Akande stated. 

“The declare could also be referring to diarrhoeal ailments. Meals and water-borne ailments aren’t essentially transmitted by arms. Malaria, which is without doubt one of the commonest ailments within the tropics, isn’t transmitted by hand,” Akande stated.

Conclusion: No proof 80% of ailments transmitted by hand

Whereas selling a brand new model of hand sanitiser, Fidelis Egemba, generally known as Aproko Physician on Twitter, instructed his 500,000 followers that “over 80% of all ailments on the earth are transmitted by arms”.

Egemba instructed Africa Examine he meant infectious ailments solely. Nevertheless, a lot of specialists stated there was no proof that supported such a share, whether or not of infectious or non-infectious ailments.

We fee the declare as deceptive.

Additional studying:

© Copyright Africa Examine 2020. Learn our republishing tips. You could reproduce this piece or content material from it for the aim of reporting and/or discussing information and present occasions. That is topic to: Crediting Africa Examine within the byline, maintaining all hyperlinks to the sources used and including this sentence on the finish of your publication: “This report was written by Africa Examine, a non-partisan fact-checking organisation. View the unique piece on their web site”, with a hyperlink again to this web page.

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Can coronavirus solely dwell as much as 9 days on objects, as Kenyan merchants declare?

Kenyan officers are underneath stress to rescind a ban on imports of second-hand garments, popularly recognized within the nation as “mitumba”.

The federal government imposed the ban in March 2020, citing the Covid-19 pandemic

In 2019 the nation imported 184,555 tonnes of second-hand clothes with an estimated worth of KSh17.8 billion, in keeping with official knowledge.  It was one of many nation’s high 20 imports.

Second-hand garments sellers have criticised the ban as harsh, arguing that imported clothes don’t pose a public well being threat.

“The most recent scientific recommendation signifies that the importation of second-hand clothes and footwear into Kenya poses no credible public well being threat,” stated Teresia Njenga, the chairperson of the Mitumba Affiliation of Kenya.

It’s because the products are shipped “for 45 days on common” and in “sealed containers,” she advised reporters in July 2020.

“The scientific proof concludes that the Covid-19 virus can not survive on an inanimate object for greater than 9 days. Moreover, within the interval since March, the World Well being Group has not prohibited the motion of products or commodities as a measure to include the unfold of Covid-19,” Njenga stated.

We checked if the proof suits these claims.

(Be aware: We now have requested the organisation for the supply of its declare on how lengthy the brand new coronavirus survives and can replace this report with their response.)

Survival of Covid-19 on surfaces just like different coronaviruses

In line with a group of world well being consultants on the Meedan Digital Well being Lab, SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes Covid-19, can survive from three hours to seven days. The lab works to simplify well being and medical science.

In line with April 2020 steerage by the World Well being Group, or WHO, the survival of the virus “on surfaces is just like that of SARS-CoV1, the virus that causes extreme acute respiratory syndrome (Sars)”. This ranges from two hours to 9 days.

To help this commentary, WHO cited two research. Africa Verify contacted two of the consultants concerned. 

Usually little threat past 1-2 days, says skilled

Dr Vincent Munster, chief of the virus ecology unit on the US Nationwide Institute of Allergy and Infectious Illnesses, co-authored an April 2020 paper, Aerosol and Floor Stability of SARS-CoV-2 as In contrast with SARS-CoV-1. 

The paper discovered that SARS-CoV-2 remained viable for related durations as SARS-CoV-1, the virus which causes Sars

Munster advised Africa Verify that there was “no threat related to the importation of those or different items”. It’s because “usually SARS-CoV-2 can not survive multiple or two days”.

‘Fairly sure’ no threat of virus survival previous 9 days

Dr Günter Kampf, professor on the Institute for Hygiene and Environmental Medication on the College of Greifswald in Germany, co-authored a paper titled Persistence of coronaviruses on inanimate surfaces and their inactivation with biocidal brokers. 

Revealed in February 2020, it discovered that the SARS-CoV virus survived for six to 9 days on plastic at room temperature. “We count on an identical impact towards the SARS-CoV-2,” the paper concluded.

Kampf advised Africa Verify that the data remained the identical for the reason that paper was revealed. “To my information, a most of 9 days continues to be right,” he stated.

Kampf referred us to a June 2020 paper on textiles, How lengthy can nosocomial pathogens survive on textiles? A scientific assessment.

(Be aware: In accordance to the WHO, nosocomial infections are these “acquired in hospital by a affected person who was admitted for a purpose aside from that an infection”.)

The paper discovered {that a} coronavirus which is a scientific isolate of the SARS coronavirus survived on a cotton robe for twenty-four hours. The paper nonetheless didn’t specify how lengthy coronaviruses survived on artificial fibres or combined and different fibres.

Kampf advised Africa Verify that with all the information at present revealed, he was “fairly sure” that the Covid-19 virus might solely survive a most of 9 days on all materials examined.

Conclusion: Proof Covid-19 gained’t survive longer than 9 days on textiles

In pushing for the lifting of  a ban on imports of second-hand garments into Kenya, an business foyer stated that scientific proof exhibits the Covid-19 virus can not survive on an inanimate object for greater than 9 days.

The federal government stopped the favored imports in March 2020, citing the danger of an infection with the brand new coronavirus. 

Analysis relied on by the World Well being Group and consultants help the second-hand-clothing foyer’s declare. We due to this fact price it right. 

Additional studying: 

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Tax incentives value Kenya 6% of GDP, however there’s no international ‘customary’

Kenya’s authorities is seeking to scale back tax breaks it has given to draw funding.

In recent times authorities have been inundated with requests for diminished taxation, cupboard secretary for the treasury Ukur Yatani mentioned the day earlier than he offered his 2020/21 funds. 

“We’ve got individuals going to treasury and to parliament asking for tax exemptions, for zero score of their merchandise and for diminished taxation,” he mentioned in a 10 June TV interview

An April reduce in value-added tax and earnings tax had, for instance, value the treasury “about KSh172 billion”, he mentioned. 

Rolling again tax concessions wouldn’t be widespread with the enterprise neighborhood, he added, however persevering with with them could be too pricey. 

Yatani mentioned Kenya’s “tax expenditures” – what tax breaks value the federal government – had been among the many highest on the planet, at 6% of gross home product. “The usual expenditure is about 2% of GDP.”

However does such a typical exist? We checked.

Expenditures shut to six% in 2017

We contacted Yatani to ask for the supply of his declare and can replace this report together with his response. He beforehand informed Africa Examine that sure tax aid measures had missed their goal.

“Typically we give concessions by way of tax exemptions and the advantages are usually not handed on to the supposed beneficiaries,” he mentioned in Might 2020 when we discovered that the nation has since 2010 missed its income targets.

In line with the IMF, Kenya’s estimated tax expenditures had been KSh478 billion in 2017. As a share of its KSh8.2 trillion GDP that 12 months, these got here to five.9% – near the minister’s determine. 

In 2017, the nation’s tax company missed its income goal by KSh300 billion. 

What are tax expenditures?

Tax expenditures are “a authorities’s estimated income loss that outcomes from giving tax concessions or preferences to a taxpayer or exercise”. That is in keeping with the Worldwide Funds Partnership, an organisation that focuses on the spending of public funds.

In a 2019 report on fiscal transparency in Kenya, the Worldwide Financial Fund mentioned tax expenditures had been “provisions of tax legislation, rules, or practices that scale back or postpone income for sure taxpayers relative to a benchmark tax”.

These embrace exemptions from taxation, reductions within the quantity owed, diminished tax charges and delays in paying tax.

However there’s little information on expenditures in Kenya, because it “doesn’t publish any common report that comprehensively discloses the estimated income losses from tax expenditures”, the IMF mentioned.

The Kenya Income Authority studies on tax concessions to the workplace of the auditor common, however this isn’t revealed as a consequence of “considerations over the reliability of the info”.

In a January 2020 report, the Middle for World Growth mentioned it was “tough to make a conclusive judgment in regards to the issues that go into offering tax incentives in Kenya” as they weren’t clearly recorded.

Is there a worldwide ‘customary’ for tax expenditures?

We requested a number of specialists if there was a typical and even common for tax expenditures.

Dr Sanjeev Gupta is a senior coverage fellow on the Middle for World Growth (CGD), a US-based assume tank, who beforehand labored in public finance on the IMF.

He informed Africa Examine was no worldwide customary for tax expenditures. “There isn’t any such rule — the numbers are far and wide.” 

Dr Paolo De Renzio, a senior analysis fellow on the Worldwide Funds Partnership in Washington DC, has revealed information on tax expenditures in Latin America.

He mentioned he additionally didn’t know of a typical for tax breaks. “So far as I do know, there’s no distinctive and agreed customary or restrict for what the general measurement of tax expenditures needs to be.” 

 Dr Giulia Mascagni is analysis director on the Worldwide Centre for Tax and Growth (ICTD) within the UK. She informed us that whereas she couldn’t converse on to the cupboard secretary’s declare, she was not conscious of a beneficial customary. 

“I don’t assume there’s a usually agreed stage of tax expenditures as a share of GDP that’s ‘proper’ or ‘optimum’.”

So what do international locations spend on tax expenditures?

Kenya treasury building
Kenya’s Nationwide Treasury constructing is pictured in Nairobi on June 14, 2018. (Photograph by Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP)

De Renzio mentioned he “would agree with the cupboard secretary that ranges between 2% and three% of GDP are quite common throughout international locations”, as proven in his information. 

Christian von Haldenwang, a senior researcher on the German Growth Institute, is getting ready a worldwide database on tax expenditures that needs to be full by the top of 2020. 

He mentioned 17 African international locations publish this information, with tax expenditures starting from 0.6% of GDP for the Republic of Congo to 7.8% for Senegal. Kenya is just not within the database because it doesn’t publish data on tax breaks.

The typical tax expenditures for the 17 international locations is 2.9% of GDP – though this isn’t essentially the complete image.  

In a 2018 weblog, the CGD’s Gupta mentioned tax concessions had been 5% of GDP or extra for a 3rd of 34 international locations listed. 

Are tax expenditures comparable?

Von Haldenwang cautioned in opposition to utilizing the two.9% determine as a median. 

“I might be reluctant to take this common or another determine as a typical, not to mention follow,” he mentioned.  

“To start out with, tax expenditures are at all times deviations from a benchmark tax system, and since each nation has its personal particular person tax system, deviations from them are additionally extremely case-specific.”

Gupta agreed that tax concessions had been “not comparable” as totally different international locations calculated them in a different way.  

What are the advantages of tax breaks?

Minister Yatani was on surer footing when he mentioned the price of tax concessions outweighed their profit. 

It was “usually true” that many African and low-income international locations granted extra incentives they need to, the ICTD’s Mascagni mentioned.

“Typically incentives are supplied in a manner that isn’t clear or primarily based on a transparent financial rationale, and subsequently symbolize a income loss that may not have a transparent justification.” 

Gupta informed Africa Examine that international locations ought to look to minimise these exemptions as they’re usually discretionary and out of doors the budgeting course of.

Politics was a big think about tax breaks, Kenyatta College economist Dr Nelson Wawire mentioned in a paper for the CGD.

“They’re determined and agreed upon by parliament, with out due regard to their impact on tax income,” he mentioned. He added that they had been usually abused.

“Corporations that function inside the tax-break window usually shut and transfer to totally different jurisdictions simply earlier than the complete tax fee comes into impact, or steadily change names and begin having fun with the tax vacation afresh as a brand new entity.” 

Conclusion: No ‘customary’ for tax expenditure – 2% of GDP or in any other case

Forward of his June 2020 funds, Kenya’s treasury cupboard secretary Ukur Yatani mentioned tax breaks could be rolled again as a result of they diminished authorities income.  

The price of concessions in “tax expenditures” for the treasury was about 6% of Kenya’s GDP, far more than the two% “customary”, he mentioned. 

Consultants informed Africa Examine there wasn’t a worldwide customary for tax expenditures. Tax concessions can’t be in contrast throughout international locations, so a median could be meaningless.   

Kenya is one among many international locations that don’t publish information on tax expenditure. The Worldwide Financial Fund has urged the nation to do that to make its funds extra clear.

© Copyright Africa Examine 2020. Learn our republishing tips. You could reproduce this piece or content material from it for the aim of reporting and/or discussing information and present occasions. That is topic to: Crediting Africa Examine within the byline, conserving all hyperlinks to the sources used and including this sentence on the finish of your publication: “This report was written by Africa Examine, a non-partisan fact-checking organisation. View the unique piece on their web site”, with a hyperlink again to this web page.

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It’s a disaster! Truth-checking prime opposition chief’s claims about Kenya’s 2020 price range

The state of Kenya’s economic system continues to animate public discussions, because the cash-strapped authorities tries to make ends meet.

On 11 June 2020 treasury cupboard secretary Ukur Yatani gave a much-watched price range assertion within the nationwide meeting.

In response, opposition politician Musalia Mudavadi, himself a former finance minister, poked holes in the spending plan for the brand new monetary 12 months which began on 1 July. 

In an interview on nationwide TV on 11 June, Mudavadi particularly criticised the allocation for debt repayments, and in addition targeted on funding for parliament and the judiciary.

The previous vice chairman and deputy prime minister has not too long ago been crucial of the federal government’s dealing with of the economic system.  On TV he made six key claims which we took a more in-depth have a look at.

We requested Mudavadi for proof for the claims, and can replace this report along with his response. Within the interview, he incessantly referred to Yatani’s price range assertion. 


‘We’re coping with a scenario the place the quantity put aside for reimbursement of the debt is way larger than all the cash that Yatani is placing collectively for improvement expenditure.’



Present ranges of the general public debt are a nationwide speaking level. There’s a proposal to arrange an company to supervise this. In his speech, Yatani mentioned Kenya needed to be “cautious about future debt accumulation” and would look to borrow cheaply. 

However the price range had not proven any urgency to appropriate a “crucial landmine”, Mudavadi mentioned. He gave the quantity put aside for debt reimbursement as “KSh900 billion, virtually KSh1 trillion”.

“We’re coping with a scenario the place the quantity put aside for reimbursement of the debt is way larger than all the cash that Yatani is placing collectively for improvement expenditure,” he mentioned. “This can be a disaster!”

How a lot for mortgage funds?

How a lot has been budgeted for debt reimbursement?  A report from the nationwide meeting’s price range committee mentioned that debt service for the 2020/21 monetary 12 months was an estimated KSh904.7 billion. 

The price of debt financing “really consumes extra monetary assets than improvement expenditure for which the debt is obtained”, the committee mentioned.

What about for improvement initiatives?

The price range committee accredited KSh637.6 billion as the event price range. The treasury had proposed KSh584.3 billion, whereas minister Yatani mentioned the quantity was KSh633.1 billion in his price range speech. All these figures are lower than that put aside for repaying debt.

To judge how a lot cash has been used over time to repay debt and for improvement, the month-to-month statements issued by treasury are useful, James Muraguri instructed Africa Examine. He’s the chief govt of the Institute of Public Finance-Kenya.

“That is the very best doc to make use of as a result of it gives the precise cash that’s launched out of the consolidated fund,” Muraguri mentioned.

The consolidated fund is the place all earnings raised and revenues collected by the nationwide authorities is stored. The fund first gives for compulsory funds reminiscent of debt repayments, salaries for some state officers and pensions. Solely after these are paid can different departments entry the cash.

We checked all of the treasury’s annual statements since 2013, when president Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration began, to determine if debt repayments exceeding the event price range was a as soon as off, or a pattern.

Debt service versus improvement expenditure
Monetary 12 months Debt service (KSh bn) Growth expenditure (KSh bn)
2013/14 227.6 224.4
2014/15 416.2 270.3
2015/16 421.8 333.2
2016/17 435.7 394.2
2017/18 517.2 276.4
2018/19 826.2 306.5
TOTAL 2,844.7 1,805

 The numbers present debt repayments have exceeded the event price range for the final six monetary years. The budgeted figures for the 2019/20 monetary 12 months, which ended 30 June, additionally present debt service was anticipated to take up KSh696.6 billion, whereas the event price range was KSh704.2 billion.

Nevertheless, by 29 Could, a month earlier than the top of the monetary 12 months, KSh639.2 billion had been issued to pay money owed, whereas KSh295 billion had been issued for improvement expenditure. We subsequently charge Mudavadi’s declare as appropriate.

What’s the disaster?

Kenya’s economic system is import dependent, James Muraguri, the chief govt of the Institute of Public Finance-Kenya instructed Africa Examine. This implies it imports the majority of products meant for its home market.

Greater than half of Kenya’s public debt is owed to overseas collectors. Servicing this debt and paying for its imports have to be in {dollars}. With this significant overseas foreign money leaving the nation, the nation’s economic system might be left uncovered.

“The stress on the present account on the central financial institution shall be felt because of demand for the [US] greenback and the shilling dropping floor,” Muraguri mentioned. (Word: For extra on the capabilities of overseas change reserves, learn right here.)


‘Parliament is getting KSh38 billion, the judiciary is getting KSh18 billion, mainly 50% [of parliament’s allocation].’



Within the price range speech, the finance minister proposed funding of KSh37.3 billion to parliament and KSh18.1 billion to the judiciary for the 2020/21 monetary 12 months. The estimates accredited by parliament present that it’s going to get KSh37.7 billion whereas the judiciary will get KSh18.1 billion.

The judiciary’s price range works out to about 48% of parliament’s allocation.

We subsequently charge Mudavadi’s assertion as largely appropriate.


‘Bear in mind the judiciary sits six days in per week …’



Mudavadi claimed that when not following the revised timetable set in place throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, the courts sit six days in per week. His argument was that the judiciary was underfunded.

“Generally they’re known as even on a Saturday, in an emergency,” he mentioned.

We requested the judiciary if this was appropriate.

“Courts don’t normally sit on Saturday or Sunday except they’ve categorical permission from the chief justice in writing, and that must be below distinctive circumstances,” Catherine Wambui, performing director of communications on the judiciary, instructed Africa Examine.

She mentioned this was uncommon, and cited the 14-day deadline imposed by Kenya’s structure inside which presidential election petitions have to be decided for instance of when this had occurred.

Throughout presidential election petition hearings in 2013 and in 2017, the judiciary sat on Saturday and Sunday. 

However it’s not the norm for Kenyan courts to take a seat six days per week. They sit from Monday to Friday and don’t sit on public holidays.

Judicial workers may additionally be known as in to work on public holidays to “to carry out sure important duties”, in response to the judiciary’s human assets guide.  


‘… and parliament sits three days per week.’



The sittings of each homes of Kenya’s parliament are prescribed within the standing orders. The nationwide meeting is required to “meet at 9.30 am on Wednesday and at 2.30 pm on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday”. The senate meets at “2.30 pm on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday”.

Nevertheless, the foundations enable every of the 2 homes, by decision “to satisfy at another time on a sitting day; or to satisfy on another day, to be able to transact enterprise”.

Caroline Gaita is the chief govt of Mzalendo Belief, a challenge that retains tabs on parliamentary efficiency in Kenya. She mentioned the notion that sitting days are the one working days for the Kenyan parliament was deceptive.

Equating the sitting days to their working days is doing a disservice to their position, she instructed Africa Examine.

“The work of a member of parliament can’t be restricted to the three days when the home sits,” she instructed Africa Examine. “That’s for his or her legislative position. They produce other roles reminiscent of oversight and illustration that are achieved by way of committees and/or bodily visits to the constituencies”.

She added: “On Fridays, all through the weekend, and on Mondays they’re normally within the constituencies. Committee conferences are normally held on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.”

We subsequently charge Mudavadi’s declare as deceptive. 


‘The Judiciary has “virtually 7,000 workers”.’



The most recent state of the judiciary report was launched in January 2020.

It covers the 2018/19 monetary 12 months and reveals the judiciary had 5,584 workers on 30 June 2019. These have been 153 judges, 546 magistrates and 4,885 different workers together with registrars, authorized researchers, legislation clerks and court docket assistants.

Within the monetary 12 months 2019/20 the judiciary was anticipated to rent 300 new workers.

On the highest, the variety of workers within the judiciary might solely be 5,884. Mudavadi was off the mark by greater than 1,000 workers. We subsequently charge his declare as incorrect.


‘Examine that with parliament with about 1,000 workers.’



Africa Examine has beforehand fact-checked this declare and discovered that Kenya’s bicameral parliament had 9,940 workers as of 19 March 2019. 

The clerk of the senate, Jeremiah Nyegenye, who can be the secretary of the parliamentary service fee, the executive arm of parliament, shared information with Africa Examine displaying that in March 2019 there have been:

  • 830 everlasting and pensionable parliamentary workers, 282 contract workers, and 10 seconded workers
  • 6,740 constituency workers within the 290 constituencies and 47 county workplaces
  • 46 workers serving 12 nominated lawmakers
  • Within the senate, 940 workers serving 47 elected senators, and 64 serving nominated senators
  • 1,022 law enforcement officials hooked up to lawmakers in each homes

(Word: We have now reached out to Nyegenye concerning the newest worker numbers in parliament. We’ll replace this report once we get his response.)

That is nicely over 1,000 workers. We subsequently charge Mudavadi’s declare as incorrect.

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