Posts tagged as: king

‘Kiswahili Is Making Huge Strides Globally’

By Syriacus Buguzi

Dar es Salaam — Minister for Youth, culture and Sports, Dr Harrison Mwakyembe has commended the ongoing efforts by various stakeholders in strengthening Kiswahili language.

Dr Mwakyembe said Tuesday that Kiswahili is now being recognised globally because top leaders, including President John Magufuli have decided to use the language in high profile gatherings.

He said this in Dar es Salaam during the event to mark the 60th Anniversary of BBC Swahili.

The event, which took place in the city, was attended by veteran journalists, politicians as well as Kiswahili lecturers.

“We have recently launched a Comprehensive Kiswahili Dictionary and I think this is a step towards the right direction in making this language grow and spread across the world,” he said.

East Africa

Kenya Third Most Innovative Sub-Saharan Africa Country

Kenya has been ranked the third most innovative country in sub-Saharan Africa. Read more »

IMF Warns Govt’s Revenue Targets Projections Too Optimistic

Dar es Salaam — The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned Tanzania over what it termed over-optimistic revenue projections, which may force the country to delay the construction of some of its major infrastructural projects.

IMF deputy managing director Tao Zhang said Tanzania’s budget execution in 2016/17 faced challenges, mainly due to external financing shortfalls that led to low execution of capital spending and a tight liquidity situation.

He said the 2017/18 budget reaffirmed the authorities’ objective of scaling up public investment, while preserving fiscal sustainability.

“However, potentially over-optimistic revenue projections call for its prudent implementation, including delaying some large projects until availability of revenue is confirmed during the mid-year budget review,” Mr Tao says in a statement issued by IMF.

Mr Tao was speaking after the executive board of the IMF completed the sixth review of Tanzania’s economic performance under a programme supported by the Policy Support Instrument (PSI) on June 23.

The board approved the authorities’ request for a six-month extension of the current PSI arrangement and granted a waiver for the nonobservance of the end-December 2016 assessment criterion on tax revenue because the slippage was minor.

Tanzania plans to increase spending in its budget for the fiscal year ending June 2018 by 7.3 per cent to Sh31.7 trillion with a key focus on infrastructure.

Like neighbouring Kenya, Tanzania wants to take advantage of its long coastline and upgrade outdated railways, ports and roads to serve growing economies in land-locked parts of Africa, according to Reuters.

In the coming fiscal year, Tanzania plans to borrow Sh6.17 trillion from domestic sources and expects Sh3.97 trillion from external concessional loans and grants. It is also seeking an additional Sh1.59 trillion shillings from external sources.

Tanzania

Two Local Leaders Shot in Kibiti Confirmed Dead

Kibiti health care center medical officer in charge Dr Sadoki Bandiko has confirmed that two civic leaders, who were… Read more »

TFDA’s Clients Charter Out, Offers Free Phone Service

By Katare Mbashiru

The Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA) has launched its Clients’ Service Charter, 2016 (Third edition) which, among other things, has reduced the number of days for registration of imported medicinal products from 360 in 2006 to 240.

As part of initiatives for improving the standard of service delivery, the charter has also reduced the number of days for registration of low risk food products to 40 from 240 in 2006, and, the registration of high risk food products will now take 50 days.

Under the new charter, the process of issuing import and export permits for registered food, medicines, cosmetics and medical devices, will take a single day, while it took between two and five days previously.

Speaking during the official launching of the charter in Dar es Salaam yesterday, TFDA Director General (DG) Hiiti Sillo said the timeframe for service delivery would be reduced depending on the availability of resources.

“It should be noted that nowadays, much emphasis is placed on efficiency, and so, the number of days may drop to fewer than the ones outlined in the charter,” he said.

According to the DG, the purpose of the charter is to openly show the responsibilities of TFDA to comply with the required quality standards in serving clients.

This, he pointed out, was in line with the National Development Vision 2025, the National Strategy for Economic Growth and Poverty Reduction 2015 and the National Trade Policy 2003 on promotion of the private sector as the engine of the economy as well as being flexible to address the new changes.

According to Mr Sillo, the charter further aims at providing information to clients about TFDA services and strengthens the relationship between the authority and clients in various areas.

Among other benefits, the new charter will help people to know the types of services TFDA offered, and the quality of specific services. The minister of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elders and Children, Ms Ummy Mwalimu, commended TFDA for reviewing the charter in its quest for enhancing services.

In the speech read on her behalf by the Acting Director of Curative Services in the ministry, Dr Doroth Gwajima, the minister said the clients’ charter was a common thing in many countries around the world, as a tool for improving services in various government institutions.

She remarked: “As a country, we need to cherish this as part of the government’s quest to provide services for all in a professional, responsible and transparent manner.” The charter’s launch coincided the Public Service Week which kicked off yesterday.

In another development, TFDA launched the Toll Free Service number where clients can now call to the food and drugs watchdog free of charge to raise their concerns and get feedback by dialling 0800110084.

Public Debt Crosses Sh4 Trillion Mark As State Eyes More Loans

By Brian Ngugi

Kenya’s public debt crossed the Sh4 trillion mark at the end of March this year, reflecting the Jubilee government’s sharp appetite for loans.

This has raised fears of the country’s future ability to repay the mounting credit.

The latest Quarterly Economic and Budgetary Review report released Wednesday by the Treasury shows that total public debt has now risen to an equivalent of more than half (52.6 per cent) of the gross domestic product (GDP), on the back of massive increase in borrowing since the Jubilee administration took power four years ago.

The public debt comprises 51.9 per cent foreign and 48.1 per cent domestic loans.

“The gross public debt increased by Sh782.3 billion from Sh3.26 billion as at the end of March 2016 to Sh4.04 trillion, equivalent to 52.6 per cent of GDP by March 31, 2017,” says Treasury in the report tabled in Parliament.

“The overall increase is attributed to increased external debt due to exchange rate fluctuations, disbursements from external loans and more uptake of domestic debt during the period.” The rate of increase in the debt load, however, does not correspond with growth in revenue generation, indicating the widening gap and mounting pressure on government’s capacity to repay loans.

The ability to generate and grow tax revenue is a strong indicator of future ability to repay debt.

The Treasury report shows that the government’s cumulative revenue collection for the period July last year to March this year amounted to Sh984.6 billion against a target of Sh1.05 trillion.

“This represented an under-performance of Sh65.9 billion mainly due to shortfalls in income tax, (fees, charges and court fines) collection, Investment Income and Imports Declaration Fee (IDF),” says Treasury in its documents.

The total external debt stock including the international sovereign bond stood at Sh2.1 trillion at the period ending March 2017.

The debt stock comprised multilateral debt at 38.4 per cent, bilateral debt at 32.8 per cent, commercial banks debt at 28.3 per cent including international sovereign bond and suppliers’ credit debt at 0.5 per cent.

Corresponding to the rising debt load, foreign interest payments rose to Sh38.2 billion in the period compared to Sh26 billion in the same period of the 2015/16 financial year. On the other hand interest payments on domestic debt totaled Sh145.8 billion, which was higher than the Sh122.6 billion paid in the corresponding period of the previous financial year.

According to the budgetary review, Kenya’s loan repayment to China stood at Sh18 billion over the period representing over half of the total bilateral loans (Sh32.8 billion) highlighting the country’s growing appetite for Chinese loans.

Kenya this week committed to borrowing additional billions of shillings to finance the ongoing construction of the standard gauge railway (SGR) line indicating that the borrowings could soon take the debt load past 60 per cent of GDP level.

On Monday the government announced it is seeking an additional Sh370 billion ($3.59 billion) Chinese loan to extend the SGR from Naivasha to Kisumu, pushing the construction cost to Sh847 billion.

The country has in the past four years borrowed billions of shillings to finance power generation and road construction projects.

In addition to Sh327 billion spent on the first phase between Mombasa and Nairobi and Sh150 billion that the emerging Asian economy extended recently for the Nairobi-Naivasha section, the Chinese will have pumped a total of Sh847 billion in the venture.

This excludes interest on the loans that would push the overall cost beyond Sh1 trillion.

Remembering MV Bukoba Disaster 21 Years On

analysisBy Marycelina Masha

MV Bukoba moments before she disappeared from the surface of Lake Victoria on May 21st, 1996

ON the morning of May, 21, 1996, a ship christened MV Bukoba, carrying more than 1,000 passengers and cargo, overturned and sank in Lake Victoria, just half an hour before docking at Mwanza Port.

According to a report issued by the government’s probe commission, over 700 people perished while 114 others were lucky to survive the accident.

The government was overwhelmed by the crisis and sought assistance from Neighbouring Kenya and South Africa for concerted efforts to remove the bodies of those trapped in the sunken ship.

A tower of memories was built at Igoma on the outskirts of Mwanza town where victims were buried in a mass grave. Nyaisa Simango was one of the survivors of the worst marine transport accident in Tanzania.

Inspired by a burning desire to tell the world what happened before and after the ship capsized, Simango who now works with the Bank of Tanzania wrote a book titled Sitasahau MV Bukoba, in which he chronicles the horror as it unfolded during that fateful morning.

This is a true heartbreaking story, a depiction of how negligence, complacency, greed and corruption on the part of the establishment, could cost the nation very dearly. The book is available in bookshops across the country.

For the sake of preserving history and the love for our nation, this review recommends it as one of Tanzania’s Best Sellers. Title of the book: Sitasahau MV Bukoba. Author: Nyaisa Simango. Publisher: E&D Vision Publishers ISBN No: 978-9987-521-43-2 Preface: Professor Haroub Othman Genre: Nonfiction, tragedy Style: Narrative Reviewer: Marycelina Masha

The plot

Nyaisa Simango, then a prison warder at Ukonga Maximum Prison, leaves Dar es Salaam for Mwanza by train in the company of a colleague Sergeant Nico.

They are escorting a prisoner who they are scheduled to hand over to the authorities in Bukoba. On arrival in Mwanza, the trio proceed to the port and board an overly crowded MV Bukoba, after jostling and shoving their way through the crowds to get some room in the restaurant cabin.

Tickets were available through the backdoor, even if you came late. As night falls, Nyaisa is shocked to see that the vessel almost overturns when an irresponsible crew member messes up with the ship’s wheel.

He narrates: “All hell broke loose when the ship swayed violently as we were sipping our soft drinks. The refrigerators dropped on the floor with a loud bang! Bottles of beer and soda broke into pieces and littered the floor. I feared for my life… .” The ship anchors in Bukoba though, the end of the first leg of Nyaisa’s journey.

Chaos reigns at Bukoba Port on the following day of May 20th May, when Nyaisa prepares for boarding for a cruise back to Mwanza. A cargo of bunches of bananas, cars, suitcases and all sorts of luggage, flood the basement of the ship.

Multitudes jam the dock with their belongings as if fleeing a war zone. Those who fail to board hurriedly hire taxis in order to catch up with the vessel at Kemondo Bay.

It was a frightening scenario, but no authority, not even the Tanzania Railways Authority which operated the vessel, came forward to quell this manmade storm.

Throughout the voyage, Nyaisa, who has never travelled on a ship is a very worried man, often looking for a lifebuoy or consulting with a passenger about it, though none is keen to listen.

This weakness makes him naïve and nervous. Had the ship arrived in Mwanza safely, we would accuse him of being a nuisance to other passengers. Suddenly, the vessel sways to the left then right… left then right.

He writes: “My mind veered off from the swaying ship and reached my home village. I saw my younger sib lings screaming and wailing after my body is brought home from the accident scene… . I wanted to throw up and release the beer I had just sipped, so I went to the bathroom, but I couldn’t… ” In the middle of the night Nyaisa gets tired of the ship’s swaying and rocking.

He squeezes himself to a corner where a woman is sleeping with his children and falls asleep, only to be awakened by screaming voices. He is lying in a pool of water, alone.

Other passengers are assembled in the upper part of the ship. Some are praying but many are screaming. The ship sways again, left, then right, left, right, left… “Oh my goodness! The vessel has gone adrift… some passengers have been tossed overboard!” Someone yells.

The swaying stops and Nyaisa goes to take a shower, soon the ship will dock at Mwanza Port. This must be due to heavy weather, though no authority speaks. It is 7.00 am. and the sky is clear enough to see the view of Mwanza town.

While he is brushing his shoes, the impossible happens. The ship tilts to the left, then right and then makes about turn! She has overturned! Nyaisa writes: “Impossible! No ship overturns.

No! ships sink… Good God! My life is over… ! I’m dead!” This episode could be the climax of the story as it revolves around fear and agony but with a desire to live. Nyaisa finds himself in a new but frightening world. He sees people dying, many of them.

The ship now lies upside down and water penetrates through the walls. There is darkness and the door has closed from the outside, the floor is submerged! When three courageous men appear from nowhere, he joins them to drill an escape hole.

This particular trick works after a great deal of laboring and Nyaisa hauls himself into the lake! He can’t swim, he has never done so. He seizes an object, while waggling in the water. It’s a human being’s leg. He holds it firm, until he manages to grab a lifebuoy.

Finally he climbs onto the sinking ship’s hull where he, together with a few other victims, are rescued by fishing boats, four hours after the ship overturned! Prior to the post script, E&D Vision Publishers added some colour to the book by including a piece showing how Tanzania’s press reported MV Bukoba accident, plus an interview with some of those who lost their loved ones in the accident.

Premonition

Nyaisa unwittingly predicts the occurrence of a disaster well before he leaves Dar es Saalam. While chatting with his cousin about the journey, he asks him where he would get a life jacket in case of an accident.

Three more times he talks to himself about a looming accident. At a certain moment, he unchains the prisoner’s handcuffs and says “I don’t want to be blamed for the prisoner’s death if the ship sinks…”

On the journey back to Mwanza, and after taking three bottles of beer, he whispers to a fellow pas senger and asks him whether he could get a life jacket.

The author’s tone

After reading the book several times about manmade tragic episodes, depicting negligence, greed, inefficiency and corruption, I expected no mercy on those responsible for this calamity.

However, much as Nyaisa clearly punches holes on the performance of the authorities, he does so with a sober mind. Sometimes he even adds humour when he says:” Someone grabbed my underpants as we hassled for the lifebuoy. I felt somehow relieved because when you are under the water, your clothes are nothing but a heavy burden.”

He continues: “I was completely naked. The only thing I was wearing was my watch… When the rescue boats arrived, we were given clothes, BUT some of us rejected them… It did not matter, men and women sat together, all naked… “

Moral lesson

The Preface by Profes sor Haroub Othman, tells it all. Prof Othman criticizes the then Ministry of Communication and Transport’s inability to rein in corruption, negligence and inefficiency in the TRC.

In particular, he questions the country’s ability to deal with disasters and the whole issue of safety in the transportation sector. If everyone executed their duties diligently, the accident would not happen.

On 21, May, (this coming Sunday) someone will be commemorating the 21st anniversary of the sinking of MV Bukoba, in remembrance of those who perished with it.

It is a historical event which must not be allowed to die. It must be told again and again for everyone to get to know their role and responsibility towards protecting lives whenever they are on the steering wheel.

Sad to say, this anniversary comes at a time when hearts are still bleeding for 33 children, two teachers and their driver who died in the Karatu school bus tragedy. May God rest their souls in eternal peace.

Brave Serengeti Boys Face Angola Litmus Test

Photo: Daily News

Serengeti boys versus Mali during the ongoing Under-17 Africa Cup of Nations in Libreville, Gabon.

The national U-17 football team, Serengeti Boys, face another test of character when they take on Angola in their second match of the ongoing Under-17 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Libreville, Gabon.

The Serengeti Boys made their bow at the U-17 Africa Cup of Nations on Monday, settling for a barren draw with holders Mali in their Group B opener at the Stade de l’Amitie in Libreville.

Bakari Shime’s side need to take maximum points from the Young Palancas Negras today to stand a good chance of making it to the semi-finals of the competition. A win will take their points tally to four points, the maximum that can be attained by any other team in the group after the first two rounds action.

The final group match will be against Niger, who played out a 2-2 draw with Angola in their opening match. The Boys are oozing with confidence after turning in an industrious performance against group favourites, Mali.

Shime’s lads really gave a good account of themselves to hold the highly rated Eagles in their first ever game at the biggest stage. Shime sounded optimistic ahead of today’s encounter against Angola and promised to go on the offensive.

“We are going to approach the match against Angola with all seriousness because there are no easy teams in this competition,” said Shime. “We need to attack more in order to score goals and hopefully the boys will put up a brave performance as they did against Mali. We need to be more aggressive offensively but also stay cautious in defense in order to get a good result,” he added.

The top four teams will qualify for the Under -17 Fifa World Cup in India in October which gives Shime and his Boys an extra incentive to do well.

Against Mali, Shime opted for a defensive approach and succeeded to shut out Mali’s attacking players throughout the encounter with goalkeeper Ramadhan Kabwili and his defenders turning in a strong show.

But today, the Boys tactician must ensure his charges go on the offensive to try and garner a vital win in their pursuit of a last-four berth. Striker Yohana Mkomola was starved of services against Mali and will need more support upfront to give Serengeti Boys the much needed cutting edge.

In the other Group B match today, holders Mali will square up against Niger at the same venue in Brazzaville. The biennial international youth football tournament organised by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) for players aged 17 and below, will see the top four teams qualify for the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup in India.

Tanzania

Increased Budget Allocation to Push Govt Industrial Drive

The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment has doubled development budget in the 2017/18 financial year, pushing the… Read more »

Dar es Salaam, Arusha Rule the Roost As Fakes Rock Insurance Sector

By Hazla Omar

Arusha — Arusha and Dar es Salaam are the country’s two cities reported to be notorious in having the highest number of vehicles with counterfeit insurance cover stickers glued on their windscreens.

A statement from the Tanzania Insurance Regulatory Authority (TIRA) explains that more than 10 per cent of all vehicles cruising on the country’s roads and landscape do not have genuine insurance covers, but cleverly faked replicas, which is against traffic regulations and national laws.

TIRA Commissioner of Insurance, Dr Baghayo Saqware stated in the statement that the influx of forged protection comes from a network of racketeers including underwriters of local insurance firms.

“Usually, motorists and car owners collude with officers of insurance firms so that they can be given cheap faked stickers or use single cover for multiple vehicles, sometimes motorcycle insurance is used on motor vehicles and even stickers for small private cars are glued onto heavy commercial vehicles,” pointed Dr Saqware.

With the number of active motor vehicles being estimated to be around 400,000, it seems more than 40,000 cars are running around full of risk, without the necessary or valid insurance covers, in the wake of myriad road accidents.

According to the recent World Bank (WB) Collection of Development Indicators, the number of car distribution in Tanzania places the country at seven cars per every 1,000 people and at the estimated population of 50 million residents; the number of vehicles should be around 400,000.

Dar es Salaam Region, with around 120,000 vehicles roaming the city, accounts for 30 per cent of the country’s total number of cars but also leads in having the highest number of fake insurance stickers followed by Arusha, according to TIRA.

To serve the vehicles, there are 31 insurance companies in Tanzania, and between them, over 100 brokers and 500 agents. The national coffers reportedly collect more than 700 billion/- revenue from insurance firms every year, despite the lost returns from fake vehicle covers.

TIRA, other than conducting thorough inspection of motor vehicles here, was on the other hand launching their new digital portal known as Motors Insurance Stickers (MIS) mobile application or ‘TIRA-MIS’ which has been hatched to manage motor insurance stickers and their respective cover notes and therefore solve the influx of fake covers.

According to Mr Eliezer Rweikiza, the TIRA Northern Zone Manager, local insurers, brokers and agents will be able to use this portal to complete and submit relevant information regarding motor insurance stickers and their affiliated cover note, issued at a particular time on-line.

Mr Aaron Mlaki, the Manager in-charge of Information Communication Technology (ICT) for TIRA, said that all vehicle owners and motorists will be able to verify details right from the palms of their hands.

Using the ‘TIRA-MIS’ portal, all stakeholders are able to verify the issued stickers and respective cover notes on-line by clicking the link ‘Validate Motor Insurance Sticker’ or sending a short message to 15200 with a word STICKER followed by the respective ‘Motor Insurance Sticker Number.’

The verification can also be done online upon signing onto the MIS-TIRA website at this link ‘mis.tira.go.tz’ and following instructions.

Broke Yanga Breathe Sigh of Relief

Leaders of broke Young Africans have breathed a sigh of relief, after signing a mega 5bn/- sponsorship deal with betting company SportPesa.

The official partnership between Yanga and SportsPesa, on an initial five-year deal was announced during a press conference at the club headquarters in Jangwani, Dar es Salaam yesterday.

Yanga have been walking tightrope, experiencing financial challenges especially after their chief financier and club Chairman, Yusuf Manji was detained for several charges, which forced him out of the club for quite some time.

SportPesa Tanzania CEO, Pavel Slavkov and Yanga ViceChairman, Clement Sanga signed the contract in a ceremony witnessed by club leaders and a section of the club’s ecstatic fans.

Sanga said shortly after penning down a five-year partnership that the deal is a big relief for the club after months of financial difficulties. “This partnership has come at the right time as the club has been going through a difficult period…we really appreciate SportPesa’s support,” he said.

SportPesa move means the club has gained a massive financial boost and that the partnership will enable them to propel the club’s develop programmes. In-fact, Sanga said the club will be looking for more partners, who will support the vision of seeing the club move to another level.

Sanga urged their supporters and other stakeholders to support SportPesa investment by supporting their activities which aim at taking the country football into another level.

The agreement will see the SportPesa brand feature on the club’s shirt starting from the 2017/18 through to the 2021/22 seasons. Speaking after the signing occasion, SportPesa Tanzania, Director of Administration and Compliance, Abbas Tarimba said that the partnership with Yanga aims at ensuring the club follows modern methods of management.

“This is yet another gesture by SportPesa to showcase our commitment to football development in Tanzania. We are more than happy to work with Yanga, a great club. “By assisting such clubs, we believe football will progress to the levels that will improve even the national side,” Tarimba told the gathered press.

“The partnership between SportPesa and Yanga is a joint effort by the two parties aimed at ensuring the club follows modern methods of management and it grows to be self-sustaining,” Sanga added.

Yanga is the second team after Simba SC that SportPesa Tanzania has partnered with since officially opening their operations in the country on May 9. The deal with Simba was sealed last Friday, in which the club will receive similar amount to Yanga for the next five years.

To the pleasant surprise of the fans of the team known as Wekundu wa Msimbazi (Msimbazi Reds), the record agreement was announced during half time of their league clash against Shinyanga-based Stand United at the rocking National Stadium in Dar es Salaam, in which Simba won 2-1.

During the match, Simba players resumed the second stanza wearing jerseys emblazoned with SportPesa across their chests to another rapturous reception from their fans.

SportPesa will also lend their expertise to Simba in helping the club to aggressively market their merchandise. Additionally, both clubs will receive bonuses for winning the Mainland Premier League, Cecafa Kagame Cup and the CAF Champions League titles.

According to Tarimba both Simba and Yanga will earn 950m/- in the first year of the contract, which will also see a five per cent addition per year. The two clubs however, will be required to submit audited reports to SportPesa after every three months in measures taken to ensure transparent use of the money.

SportPesa launched in Kenya in 2014 has also partnership with English Premier League (EPL) clubs such as Everton, Arsenal and relegated sides Hull City and Southampton FC as well as the Spanish league popularly known as La Liga.

The coming of the sports betting firm in the country aims at igniting hopes of sports development and strengthening of the sector in the country.

Ransomware Hits 14 Servers in Kenya

By Stella Cherono

Since Friday last week, a wave of unprecedented cyberattacks has swept across the globe, with over 350 companies and hundreds of thousands of computers in 152 countries affected by Wednesday morning.

The attack by a computer worm or ransomware called WannaCry’ (Wanna Decryptor) targets the Microsoft Windows operating system, encrypts files and demands that the user pay ransom before being allowed to continue using the computer.

MULTINATIONALS

On Tuesday, computer forensics and data recovery company East Africa Data Handlers said it had received 14 cases of servers that had been affected by the ransomware.

Among these clients are two multinationals, which had the entire 15-year data manipulated and lost.

Managing Director George Njoroge said the company has been able to fix and restore the servers for five of the companies but admitted that it was unable to fix those from two other firms.

“The malware has different variations and sometimes the companies come with the complaint when it has already been manipulated even more,” Mr Njoroge said.

The data recovery, he said, is costly and takes time, and that may interfere with the smooth running of businesses.

PHISHING

The existence of the malware in the country has been confirmed by the country’s cybersecurity response agency, the National Kenya Computer Incident Response Team Coordination Centre, or KE-CIRT-CC.

Mr Njoroge warned that many companies in the country are at risk of being attacked by the ransomware.

“The biggest problem is that companies and individuals don’t upgrade their security infrastructure, mostly because of the current economic challenges,” he said, adding that the best solution is to keep pace with the dynamic changes in technology.

He tipped companies to completely switch off and isolate affected computer(s) from the network immediately after they discover they have been attacked by the malware and call in experts to remove the programme.

“Computer users should also avoid opening links whose sources they do not know as the main carrier of the malware is phishing,” he said.

Phishing scams are sent through emails appearing to be from genuine and famous companies with the aim of acquiring information and installing malicious software.

RANSOM

Mr Njoroge urged companies to back up their data and block certain untrusted websites from their servers.

Simon Kipruto, the head of the cybercrime unit at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, said no company or individual had reported a cyberattack, adding that most companies choose to solve such problems without reporting them to the police.

Globally, companies that had been affected by the attack told the media that the attackers demanded that they pay ransom in the cryptocurrency Bitcoin.

The ransomware works by encrypting files and making them inaccessible and unreadable, before asking the user to pay a specific amount of money in order to access their own data.

The frozen-screen warnings are much the same as those that started in Britain and spread across the world, reports Charlie D’Agata, a correspondent for America’s CBS TV network.

The “WannaCry,” malware programme that has held the globe in the grip of fear was first uncovered in documents stolen from the US National Security Agency, exposing a vulnerability in Microsoft’s operating systems.

BACKUP

So far, the attack has affected big users such as Britain’s National Health Service, FedEx, transport company Deusche Bahn and airline company Latam.

On Sunday, Kenya’s Communications Authority (CA) warned about the attack, which is spread through e-mail phishing, and asked users to take caution.

The authority also urged Kenyans to keep an offline backup of their documents and files so that they can restore them in case they are attacked.

CA Director-General Francis Wangusi, while discouraging people from paying ransom as there is no guarantee the files would be restored, said once the attack hits one computer, it tries to spread to all computers in the network.

He urged organisations and individuals to ensure that they have good and updated anti-virus programmes installed in their computers to safeguard their data from the malicious software.

Kenya: Ransomware Hits 14 Servers in Kenya

By Stella Cherono

Since Friday last week, a wave of unprecedented cyberattacks has swept across the globe, with over 350 companies and hundreds of thousands of computers in 152 countries affected by Wednesday morning.

The attack by a computer worm or ransomware called WannaCry’ (Wanna Decryptor) targets the Microsoft Windows operating system, encrypts files and demands that the user pay ransom before being allowed to continue using the computer.

MULTINATIONALS

On Tuesday, computer forensics and data recovery company East Africa Data Handlers said it had received 14 cases of servers that had been affected by the ransomware.

Among these clients are two multinationals, which had the entire 15-year data manipulated and lost.

Managing Director George Njoroge said the company has been able to fix and restore the servers for five of the companies but admitted that it was unable to fix those from two other firms.

“The malware has different variations and sometimes the companies come with the complaint when it has already been manipulated even more,” Mr Njoroge said.

The data recovery, he said, is costly and takes time, and that may interfere with the smooth running of businesses.

PHISHING

The existence of the malware in the country has been confirmed by the country’s cybersecurity response agency, the National Kenya Computer Incident Response Team Coordination Centre, or KE-CIRT-CC.

Mr Njoroge warned that many companies in the country are at risk of being attacked by the ransomware.

“The biggest problem is that companies and individuals don’t upgrade their security infrastructure, mostly because of the current economic challenges,” he said, adding that the best solution is to keep pace with the dynamic changes in technology.

He tipped companies to completely switch off and isolate affected computer(s) from the network immediately after they discover they have been attacked by the malware and call in experts to remove the programme.

“Computer users should also avoid opening links whose sources they do not know as the main carrier of the malware is phishing,” he said.

Phishing scams are sent through emails appearing to be from genuine and famous companies with the aim of acquiring information and installing malicious software.

RANSOM

Mr Njoroge urged companies to back up their data and block certain untrusted websites from their servers.

Simon Kipruto, the head of the cybercrime unit at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, said no company or individual had reported a cyberattack, adding that most companies choose to solve such problems without reporting them to the police.

Globally, companies that had been affected by the attack told the media that the attackers demanded that they pay ransom in the cryptocurrency Bitcoin.

The ransomware works by encrypting files and making them inaccessible and unreadable, before asking the user to pay a specific amount of money in order to access their own data.

The frozen-screen warnings are much the same as those that started in Britain and spread across the world, reports Charlie D’Agata, a correspondent for America’s CBS TV network.

The “WannaCry,” malware programme that has held the globe in the grip of fear was first uncovered in documents stolen from the US National Security Agency, exposing a vulnerability in Microsoft’s operating systems.

BACKUP

So far, the attack has affected big users such as Britain’s National Health Service, FedEx, transport company Deusche Bahn and airline company Latam.

On Sunday, Kenya’s Communications Authority (CA) warned about the attack, which is spread through e-mail phishing, and asked users to take caution.

The authority also urged Kenyans to keep an offline backup of their documents and files so that they can restore them in case they are attacked.

CA Director-General Francis Wangusi, while discouraging people from paying ransom as there is no guarantee the files would be restored, said once the attack hits one computer, it tries to spread to all computers in the network.

He urged organisations and individuals to ensure that they have good and updated anti-virus programmes installed in their computers to safeguard their data from the malicious software.

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