The Star (Nairobi)

29 December 2012

Kenya: MPs Oppose Sale of Five Sugar Companies

A Parliamentary Committee has opposed government's plans to sell five sugar companies.The Departmental Committee on Finance instead wants the privatisation of the five public controlled sugar companies postponed until legislations affecting the agricultural sector and the county governments have been put in place.

However the committee, chaired by Nambale MP Chris Okemo, has given Parliament the go ahead for the privatisation of three hotel companies and the Kenya Wine Agencies.

In a report tabled in the House last week, the committee admits that there are challenges facing the local sugar industry and recommends that they must addressed before they are privatised.

The report details urgent measures needed to save the sugar industry to make it competitive and able to compete with imports from the Comesa region.

The Finance minister is mandated by the Privatisation Act to present proposals for privatisation of state owned entities for scrutiny.In November, Finance minister Njeru Githae presented to the committee reports containing proposals for the sale of the five sugar companies, three hotel companies and the Kenya Wine Agencies.

The five sugar companies are Nzoia, Sony, Chemelil, Miwani and Muhoroni while the hotels are International Hotels Kenya Ltd, which owns Intercontinental Hotel, the Kenya Hotel Properties which owns Hilton Hotel and the Mountain Lodge.

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