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Government justifies plan to sell iconic KICC amid criticism

National Treasury responds to Kenya’s criticism over the government’s decision to sell the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC).

In a statement issued amidst an uproar from Kenyans, the N Treasury detailed that the move to sell the iconic facility built in 1973 was informed by competition from privately owned facilities and revenue collection strategy.

Treasury clarified that KICC was presently in competition with other for-profit businesses providing services on a national and international level.

Therefore, privatization will increase the state-owned facility’s capacity and competitiveness.

The government claims that the purpose of KICC’s opening was to facilitate trade by providing venues for conferences, exhibitions, and national and international gatherings.

“KICC operates in a mature and competitive market sector with other private sector players offering similar services locally and regionally,” read the statement in part.

“Privatisation of KICC will generate additional revenue for the government and reduce the demand for exchequer support,” the communique added. 

A section of Kenyans sought clarity on why the government sought to privatize the facility, yet it was widely considered a national monument.

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Furthermore, given that KICC has demonstrated strong financial and managerial performance in recent years, according to Treasury documents, concerned parties claimed that the sale was politically motivated. 

Meanwhile, the government has also listed other state parastatals for privatization.

Among those listed include; the Kenya Literature Bureau (KLB), National Oil Corporation of Kenya (NOCK), Kenya Seed Company Limited, Mwea Rice Mills, and Western Kenya Rice Mills Ltd.

Kenya Pipeline Company, New Kenya Co-operative Creameries, New Kenya Co-operative Creameries, and Rivatex East Africa Limited were also included on the list.

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