Nairobi senator Edwin Sifuna now says Kenyans should be invited to vote in a national referendum on the controversial proposal to privatise State corporations.
In the proposed sales, unveiled on Monday, November 27, 2023, the government lined up 11 State corporations for privatisation a little over a month after President William Ruto signed the Privatisation Bill, 2023 into law.
While terming the move as greedy, Sifuna argues that leaders cannot just strip a Nation of its assets without reference to the people.
"If ever there was a matter over which a referendum was mandatory then it's the sale of National Assets like KICC, KPC and others. One generation of greedy leaders cannot just strip a Nation of its assets without reference to the people. On this one, even our children should vote because KICC is not even our property as the current generation of adults!" Sifuna stated.
In the notice, National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Njuguna Ndung'u invited opinions from members of the public saying the move to privatise the companies is geared towards the government’s efforts for fiscal consolidation and spurring economic development.
Among the targeted companies are - Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC), Kenya Literature Bureau (KLB), Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC), and the National Oil Corporation of Kenya (NOCK).
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 (www.treasury.go.ke).
"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," part of the notice reads.