Kenya: LSK Challenges Uhuru Decision to Merge Three State Agencies

24 September 2020

The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) has moved to court to challenge President Uhuru Kenyatta's decision to consolidate the operations of three State agencies.

The president's directive collapsed rail, pipeline and port operations under the purview of the soon-to-be Kenya Transport and Logistics Network (KTLN), which will be coordinated by the Industrial and Commercial Development Corporation (ICDC).

As a result, the Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC), Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) and the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) will be merged. Their assets and financial budget allocations will also be combined.

Public participation

According to LSK, the executive order was made in disregard of statutory laws because the framework agreement was signed without public participation.

"The creation of the Kenya Transport and Logistics Network through the impugned executive order is an absolute illegality," argues the LSK, which wants the decision overturned.

The lawyers' lobby says the president cannot restructure or assign functions of State corporations that are under the function and ambit of the Public Service Commission (PSC).

It has listed the Attorney-General, Head of Public Service and the Cabinet Secretary for Treasury and Planning as the respondents in the petition.

President Kenyatta said the new structure is expected to lower the cost of doing business in the country.

Operations agreement

"The new framework also allows for easier coordination of operations without amending the existing laws or causing undue disruption to the legal structuring of the state entities," State House spokesperson Kanze Dena Mararo said.

The new order will see ICDC act as a holding company for the three agencies and be in charge of the management of the state's investments in ports, rail and pipeline services.

The state agencies are required to enter into a joint operations agreement within 30 days in a bid to reorganise their individual structures, resources, operations and services.

Restructuring is expected to help create a seamless and coordinated entity.

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