NAIROBI, Kenya, May 15 – The Kenya Meat Commission (KMC) risks losing a Sh290 million budgetary allocation earmarked for the modernization programme after a parliamentary committee questioned its status.
Agriculture Committee Chairman Adan Haji directed the KMC Board and management to submit the audited financial statements for the last three year after it emerged that the government-owned meat processor had only spent Sh125 million out of Sh500 million that it been allocated in the 2017/18 budget.
“This contract was drawn up in 2017, if there was goodwill from the government to privatize KMC, and then it is now already two and half year and there is no such talk as for privatization. If it is there then it is with Treasury and those who have conceived the idea of privatization.”
“So what we wanted to know from KMC, is before we even think of allocating anymore funds they have to tell us what is it that has stopped them from using the 85 million which we allocated them last year. We also want to know if this contractor has the capacity to do the job that he has been contracted to do,” Haji posed.
The Committee is now questioned the intent of the government to implement the privatization of KMC after it was established that a Turkish company which had been contracted to install modern slaughtering and handling machines had not been began work after his contract and bank guarantee lapsed.
“No public participation has been sought on this issue, we as MPs and members of this Committee are not aware. The Pastoralists Parliamentary Group, are not aware, that this very important outfit, which is of strategic importance to the pastoralists community is being privatized, so what we are saying is the talk of privatization is a rumour.”
“It is the position of this committee that government has no business doing business; they should facilitate a platform for strategic partner to come in and assist in the revitalization of not only KMC but also the sugar factories, tea and coffee sectors,” he said.
Livestock Cabinet Administrative Secretary Andrew Tuimur however reaffirmed the government’s goodwill to privatize the entity with a capacity of increasing its corned beef packaging up to 72 tonnes per slaughter of 2,000 cattle as well as reduce hides and skins wastage to 5 per cent from 40 per cent currently.
“When this modernization was being mooted, they actually provided a business plan; the idea what was the effect or what is going to happen to the KMC? Is it going to be better, or is it going to work like before?”
“The issue of the contract and bank guarantee lapse is being dealt with by the new board; they also have to be comfortable that before they pay any money the contractor meets all the obligation that were listed in the contract,” the CAS told the committee.