Kenya: Sifuna Says Referendum Should Be Conducted on KICC, KPC Sale

29 November 2023

Nairobi — Nairobi senator Edwin Sifuna has confronted Kenya Kwanza government plan to sell the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) to private investors under its 2023 privatization programme.

According to Sifuna, the government should have conducted a public vote regarding the sale of national assets as well as other state-owned corporations including Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC), New Kenya Cooperative Creameries (KCC), National Oil Corporation of Kenya (NOCK), among others.

"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, "stated Sifuna through a post published online.

Sifuna noted that the government should be blamed for enlisting major national assets to be sold to private investors under the new privatization programme without engaging opinions of the public.

"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! "He stated.

The National treasury and Economic Planning marked 11 state corporations for privatisation, under the newly proposed Privatisation Act 2023 arguing that the move will generate more state revenue and boost the country's economy.

The treasury also noted that the privatization move will save some state-owned corporations which are facing poor financial performance.

The listed parastatals include the Kenya Literature Bureau (KLB), Kenya Seed Company Limited (KSC), Mwea Rice Mills Ltd (MRM), and Western Kenya Rice Mills Ltd (WKRM).

Others are Numerical Machining Complex Limited (NMC), Kenya Vehicle Manufacturers Limited and Rivatex East Africa Limited (REAL).

On October 9 President William Ruto signed the privatization bill, 2023 to speed up the process of offloading struggling government agencies.

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