Ruto changes tune on privatization of some parastatals; Mumias, Nzoia Sugar Companies.
President William Ruto now says that his government will not privatize Mumias and Nzoia Sugar companies as earlier planned.
Speaking on Saturday, April 29 in Kakamega County, Ruto the companies will be returned to the locals.
” Ile mambo ya privatisation tumetupilia mbali. Tuko na kampuni yetu ya Mumias. Kuna watu wanaeneza uvumi ati itauzwa. Ile mambo ya privatization tumefutilia mbali. Hatutaki kugombana na watu kuhusu ancestral land,” Ruto said.
He added that all the sugar companies “zitarudishwa kwa wenyeji.”
The Kenya Kwanza Cabinet had last month approved the Privatisation Bill which seeks to have all non-profit-making State Corporations privatized in a bid to turn things around.
“The Cabinet has approved the Privatisation Bill, 2023, which will repeal the Privatisation Act, 2005. This law ushers in a more facilitative and non-inhibiting legal and policy framework that will oversee the privatization of parastatals in the country.
“The proposed Bill gives power to the Treasury to privatize public-owned enterprises without the bureaucratic approvals of Parliament,” the cabinet stated.
The bill was however opposed by leaders from both Azimio and Kenya Kwanza including Senate Majority Whip Boni Khalwale who said that the companies are the hearts of the Luhya community.
Khalwale noted that the community donated land for the construction of the two companies.
“Mimi kama Kiongozi wa jamii ya waluhya. Babu zetu walipeana 12,500 hectares of Mumias Sugar company na wakapeana 24,500 hectares of the Nzoia sugar company. If you privatize, someone will go away with our ancestral land. Sisi hatuezi unga mkono. We cannot,” Khalwale said.
“This is not out of disrespect for the president and the government. That is the little we have in the economy of the sugar industry,” he added.