Senator Omtatah vows to challenge privatisation of 11 State parastatals

Wednesday, November 29th, 2023 14:31 | By
Senator Omtatah vows to challenge privatisation of 11 State parastatals
President William Ruto when he led African President's in the Climate Change Africa Declaration at KICC Courtyard on September 6, 2023. PHOTO/KICC Kenya(@KICC_kenya)/X

Busia Senator and human rights activist Okiya Omtatah has vowed to oppose the government's plans to privatise 11 State Corporations.

In a statement on Wednesday, November 29, Omtatah said the sale of the parastatals to private entities is not in the best interest of the country.

"President William Ruto has surrendered to the IMF and World Bank at the expense of Kenyans' interests. We will oppose the programme.

"The International Monetary Fund has endorsed the government to sell at least 10 public corporations, including KICC, to private entities," Omtatah stated.

Omtatah has in the past stalled similar programmes by the government through court processes.

He was among petitioners who won big yesterday after the High Court declared the Housing Levy, a key pillar in the Finance Act 2023, unconstitutional.

The government on Monday, November 27 listed the iconic Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) among state corporations to be sold a little over a month after President William Ruto signed the Privatisation Bill, 2023 into law.

In a notice on Monday, November 27, National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Njuguna Ndung'u invited members of the public to give their views on the plans to hand over the institutions to private investors.

The CS argued that the sale of the state-controlled entities would help generate more revenue for the government and reduce demand for support from the exchequer.

Kenya Literature Bureau (KLB), Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC), and National Oil Corporation of Kenya (NOCK) are among the companies listed on the privatisation programme.

Others are Kenya Seed Company Limited (KSC), Mwea Rice Mills Ltd (MRM), Western Kenya Rice Mills Ltd (WKRM), New Kenya Cooperative Creameries Limited (NKCC), Numeric Machining Complex Limited (NMC), Vehicle Manufacturers Limited (KVM) and Rivatex East Africa Limited (REAL).

"The National Treasury and Economic Planning has prepared the 2023 Privatisation Programme in accordance with the Privatisation Act 2023. The Programme can be accessed from The National Treasury website (

"Pursuant to the Constitution, the Privatisation Act 2023 and all other relevant legislation, the National Treasury invites members of the public to submit written comments and/or input/memoranda on the 2023 Privatisation Programme, in the prescribed format and send them electronically to [email protected] or through post or hand-delivered to the following address on or before of close of business on Monday 11th December 2023," the notice reads in part.

The signing of the revised Privatisation Bill, 2023 into law made it easier to sell state enterprises to private companies.

Earlier, Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna also opposed the sale of the institutions, terming the move by the Ruto administration as greedy.

He argued that the transfer of 'national assets' to private entities ought to be subjected to a referendum.

"If ever there was a matter over which a referendum was mandatory then it's the sale of National Assets like KICC, KPC and the others. One generation of greedy leaders cannot just strip a Nation of its assets without reference to the people," he said.

"On this one, even our children should vote because KICC is not even our property as the current generation of adults!"

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