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Year in review: The top stories from 2018




From left: Betway country manager Wanja Gikonyo, Mahat Mohamud Noor and Mokase Monono of White Lotus Projects, and Nakumatt CEO Atul Shah. PHOTOS | FILE 

The Business Daily covered diverse stories that shaped conversations in 2018. In the year under review many stories captured the readers’ attention with some triggering public uproar especially after the newspaper uncovered rampant corruption, and interest where articles demystified issues of public concern.

With the year coming to a close, here are some of our widely read stories from the year.

Betting Boss Who Doesn’t Gamble

Gambling is a multi-billion shilling business in Kenya and it is for this obvious reason that most locals are hooked to the vice; minting profits for investors in the process.

It is not surprising that the Betting Boss Who Doesn’t Gamble story was the most read article of the year, with most readers, who gamble, visiting the page to learn more about Wanja Gikonyo, Betway Sports country manager, who doesn’t partake in what the business sells.

Men who gave Africa its tallest building

The tallest building is coming up in Nairobi’s Upper Hill area and the public anticipation is evident given the interest generated by the story about the two investors behind the skyscraper. The story of the 255-room Hilton Hotel, a luxury residential housing, shopping mall, health spa and entertainment centre; a monstrous dream was borne in the oddest and remotest of places, in this case in the hearts of two friends in the hinterland of Northern Kenya: Abdinasir Ali Hassan (executive chairman, Hass Petroleum) and Mahat Mohamoud Noor (White Lotus Projects). The story takes the readers through the duo’s journey of getting a dream team for the execution of the project.

M-Pesa users to reverse wrong transactions on SMS

Millions of Kenyans rely on mobile money services. The dependency is so high that the economy comes to a halt especially when the biggest player M-Pesa has an outage. It is not surprising that news that touches on user experience is widely read.

Atul speaks: How debt took down my Nakumatt Empire

When the giant that was Nakumatt Holdings begun to crumble closing a store every so often, people were left wondering what had befallen the once big brand. About two years after the retailer begun its way down the founder for the first time spoke about how debt took down his empire. The story delved into the once successful business that is now unable to pay its suppliers, bankers and creditors, people whose businesses once fed off the retailer’s runaway success.

KRA releases new rules for ‘Nil’ returns

Issues about filing tax returns get the public’s attention. This story was about a new digital form that makes it easier to track down people trying to evade taxes by filing ‘Nil’ income tax returns.
The story most likely caught the attention of Kenyans who have over the years tried to cheat the system. The new form requires filers of nil income tax returns to explicitly declare that they do not have any other source of income. Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) in this latest effort is trying to seal loopholes as desperation to meet tax collection targets grows.

Kenyans who own private islands

In a world where privacy is rapidly becoming an unattainable luxury, hiring or renting your own private island is the way to go; at least for those who can afford it. This is a feel good story, it lets the readers into the world of the super-rich.

What KCB pays its top executives

News about what executives earn always gets the attention of the public and this case was not different when the Business Daily uncovered how much KCB top executives earned in 2017.

The bank’s financial report with a comprehensive account of its directors’ remuneration, made it the first bank to comply with the new reporting demands. The story revealed that the bank’s chief executive, Joshua Oigara, was paid Sh256 million as compensation for 2017, raising his pay by 14 percent from Sh224 million in 2016, the bulk of it in bonuses.

KRA suspends processing of nil income tax returns

Again, matters about filing income tax returns will always get the attention of Kenyans. Kenya Revenue Authority’s suspension of processing of nil income tax returns story preceded the one mentioned earlier, which set the pace for the unveiling of a new system that is meant to nab tax cheats.

Man’s unique furniture draws customers

It is a unique feel good story about a furniture “open-air” business Nyali in Mombasa. The furniture is made using curvy roots, tree branches and trunks, making it not an everyday story, likely why the story attracted a lot of readers attention.

Carole Wainaina: My Marriage Never Failed, It Ended

Not every day that people holding influential corporate positions open up about their personal life as candidly as Carole Wainaina did. In this story, she talks about her failed marriage, her daughter’s struggle with depression and just general parenting tussles being a mother and a corporate who requires travel every so often.

The interview also showed the fearless side of Carole, a corporate leader with a midas touch.