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Ruto signs privatisation bill, 2023 denying parliament say on sale of state parastatals

Parliament will have no say on the privatization of state parastatals as President Ruto signs the 2023 bill into law.

President William Ruto on Monday, October 9, signed the Privatisation Bill, 2023 into law.

The new law repeals the Privatisation Act, of 2005 which was enacted before the current Constitution.  

The bill, sponsored by Majority Leader Kimani Ichung’wah, entails a revised regulatory framework for the privatization of public entities aiming to improve the efficiency and competitiveness of Kenya’s productive resources. 

“It is intended to remove the bureaucratic processes in the privatization of non-strategic or loss-making government entities,” reads a report from the National Assembly on Monday.

The Bill removes the bureaucracy in the privatization of non-strategic or loss-making Government entities. 

The Bill encourages more participation of the private sector in the economy by shifting the production and delivery of products and services from the public sector.

It improves the infrastructure and delivery of public services through the involvement of private capital and expertise.

However, the law scraps the requirement for parliamentary approval on the Privatization of state corporations.

The privatization programme will now be submitted for approval to Cabinet and later be ratified by the National Assembly.

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In the new move, privatization will be done through an initial public offering of shares, sale of shares by public tender, sale resulting from the exercise of pre-emptive rights or through any other method that will be defined by the Cabinet.

The Bill provides that the proceeds from the sale of a direct National Government shareholding shall be paid into the Consolidated Fund. 

The Azimio la Umoja coalition has however opposed the move, arguing that it is being tailored to benefit a few individuals.

“These entities, some of which are critical to our nation’s security, must be allowed to continue serving public good rather than lining the pockets of individuals,” said the coalition in a statement.

The ceremony, which took place on Monday at State House, Kisumu, was witnessed by Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua and National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetang’ula. 

Other leaders who were present include Kimani Ichung’wah, CS Rebecca Miano, and Justin Muturi. 

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