Court Extends Order Blocking Sale of Kenyatta International Convention Centre


Orders suspending the sale of 11 parastatals in a case filed opposing the sale of the state corporations have been extended

Justice Chacha Mwita extended the orders after consolidating the opposition Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Party with two other matters raising similar issues.

The other two cases have been filed by an economic and finance journalist Gitahi Ngunyi and the other by Katiba Institute.

The Orange Democratic Party led by the former Prime Minister Raila Odinga will be the lead file.

The respondents in the case were subsequently listed as the Speaker of the National Assembly, Treasury Cabinet Secretary (CS), Attorney General, National Assembly, Auditor General and Senate.

The central theme of all matters touches on the constitutionality of the Privatisation Act.

The Judge said the respondents have seven days to respond to the petitions.

Written submissions are also to be filed but the Judge said they shouldn’t exceed 10 pages.

The case will be heard on March 7 at 11 am.

The state corporations listed for sale include the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC), Kenya Literature Bureau, National Oil Corporation, Kenya Seed Company Limited, 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.

ODM through Advocate Jackson Awele filed its case late last year and obtained the order after it told the court the public was not engaged when it came to Privatisation Act.

It argued that some public assets like the KICC, Kenya Pipeline Company, Kenya Literature Bureau, and Kenya Seed Company can only be privatized with the consent of the people at a referendum.

This is so because they form part of the sovereign wealth of Kenya with significant cultural and strategic importance to the public.

The party in seeking the orders questioned why the government was in a rush to sell the assets.

It argued that the government has not given any credible reasons as to why it rushed to sell the assets.

“At best, the only supposed justification for the intended sales are the reported conditionalities imposed by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund for the sale of state corporations to repay alleged foreign debt obligations,” says ODM.

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