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Cabinet approves Bill that gives CS power to privatise state firms without MPs’ nod

The Cabinet on Tuesday approved the Privatisation Bill, 2023, which will strip MPs of their oversight role in the sale of state-owned corporations.

The approval means the government-sponsored Bill will soon be tabled by National Assembly Majority Leader Kimani Ichungw’ah as the government seeks to shorten the process of selling parastatals.

Some of the corporations that the government has earmarked for privatisation include Chemelil Sugar, South Nyanza Sugar, Kabarnet Hotel, Mt Elgon Lodge, Golf Hotel and Nzoia Sugar. Others are Miwani Sugar, Sunset Hotel Kisumu, Kenya Safari Lodges and Hotels, Consolidated Bank, Development Bank of Kenya, Agro-Chemical and Food Company, Kenya Wine Agencies, Kenya Meat Commission and public universities.

The Bill, which will repeal the Privatisation Act, 2005, gives power to the National Treasury to privatise public-owned enterprises without the approvals of Parliament.

“This ushers in a more facilitative and non-inhibiting legal and policy framework that will oversee privatisation in the country,” said the Cabinet. It added that the sale of non-strategic, non-performing public entities will help to finance upgrade of infrastructure and improve delivery of services to Kenyans. It also noted that privatisation will tame appetite for government resources.

The Bill also seeks to turn the Privatisation Commission into a parastatal that will be called the Privatisation Authority, which will be domiciled at the Treasury.

By Faulis Kaiser 

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