Court halts privatization of sugar factories for 2 months

April 12, 2016
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Consequently, the judge prohibited the Privatization Commission from proceeding with the sale of Nzoia, South Nyanza, Chemelil, Muhoroni and Miwani sugar companies/FILE
Consequently, the judge prohibited the Privatization Commission from proceeding with the sale of Nzoia, South Nyanza, Chemelil, Muhoroni and Miwani sugar companies/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 12 – The High Court has stopped the privatisation of five sugar companies for a period of two months following an urgent case contesting the sale.

Justice Weldon Korir issued the directive after Kisumu Senator Anyang’ Nyong’o and Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo moved to court claiming the process is being done unprocedurally.

Consequently, the judge prohibited the Privatization Commission from proceeding with the sale of Nzoia, South Nyanza, Chemelil, Muhoroni and Miwani sugar companies.

“The commission should only proceed with the sale after consultations among and participation of all stakeholders is done and thorny issuers ironed out,” Justice Korir said in his ruling on Tuesday.

According Nyong’o and Midiwo, there are pending weighty issues raised by stakeholders on the privatization process that are yet to be resolved.

It is their argument that if the process proceeds in an opaque manner it might lead to collapse of the sugar industry in the country.

“Privatization is of outmost importance to stakeholders especially the cane farmers as it goes to the root of their livelihood,” the two argued.

The National Assembly, Nyong’o and Midiwo say approved the privatization of the said sugar companies on April 21, 2015 on condition that any ancestral land currently held by any of the firms remains under ownership of the local community.

Parties that ought to take part in the privatization process include government, sugar farmers and governors before embarking on the implementation of the proposed recommendations.

The petitioners claim the move by the commission to invite for expression of interest for the privatisation of the companies is with impunity and without authority.

“The commission ignored to comply with mandatory and material procedure and on conditions prescribed for the privatization process of the subject companies,” the lawmakers complained in their petition.

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