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Why I’m Privatising KICC and other state parastatals; Ruto

President Ruto defends the government’s controversial decision to privatize state parastatals amid criticism from the public.

Speaking during the Diaspora Investment Conference at KICC on December 13, 2023, President Ruto clarified that the decision was arrived at based on a 10-year-old government report that recommended the disposal of government assets.

Ruto revealed that some of the listed entities were receiving funding in tens of billions to save them from collapsing contributing to the wastage of taxpayers’ money.

He however lamented that the government was not recording growth and profit despite being bankrolled by the state.

Additionally, Ruto indicated that some officials would not account for the companies’ mandate and jurisdiction leaving him with a tough decision to make.

“We are spending billions of shillings sustaining companies, we have 350 public entities that just take from the budget but some you ask, what is this one doing, so we are going to make a decision,” Ruto stated.

The President affirmed his commitment to seeing the process through.

From the alleged report, Ruto claimed that he was advised to put 150 government companies on sale, especially since they gobble up public funds, taking away from the public purse which he argued is against the public’s best interests.

“So some of those things we are going to make decisions and by the way, a report was already done saying that these 150 companies should be privatized because what they are doing can be done by the private sector.

Claiming that it is one of the toughest decisions his regime will ever be forced to make, Ruto stated that the state parastatals are better off privatized.

This he said, will rake in revenue for the government and allow the State to optimise its existing resources.

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In his statement, President Ruto exuded confidence that the decision to sell the parastatals was the right one and the move would be vindicated and appreciated 10 years down the line.

“I am just giving you an example of why we must save Kenya, and I promise you we are going to move this country in the right direction, we are going to make the difficult, smart decision” Ruto commented.

He further clarified that this is one of the ways the current government will be able to transform Kenya and as the President, he is ready to face the consequences.

Besides KICC and Kenya Pipeline, the govt is also looking to dispose of the Kenya Literature Bureau (KLB), Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC), National Oil Corporation (NOC), and Kenya Seed Company Limited.

Other state corporations the government is looking to sell include; Mwea Rice Mills, Western Kenya Rice Mills Limited, Kenya Pipeline Company, New Kenya Cooperative Creameries, Kenya Vehicle Manufacturers Limited, Rivatex East Africa Limited, and Numerical Machining Complex.

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