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Economy

New KCC will not be sold, farmers assured

Workers at the New KCC factory in Kitale. The milk processor will not be sold to a private entity. PHOTO | FILE
Workers at the New KCC factory in Kitale. The milk processor will not be sold to a private entity. PHOTO | FILE 

State-owned milk processor New KCC will not be privatised, as alleged by a section of farmers who last week said there was a secret plan to sell the firm to a private investor.

Ten years ago, the management of the processor was taken over by then Narc government after the old KCC was placed under receivership, turning around its fortunes.

The Privatization Commission allayed fears that there were plans to sell New Kenya Co-operative Creameries to a private entity.

Commission chairman Henry Obwocha, who led a team to the New KCC Eldoret factory last week, said they were on a familiarisation tour of the facilities and not valuing the assets of the company.

“There are no plans to sell this firm. Our tour has nothing to do with privatisation of the milk processor. Most of the committee members are new, so we are familiarising ourselves with the goings-on,” said Mr Obwocha.

He added: “Were the firm to be privatised, we would need to engage farmers and other stakeholders. It is not something you can wake up one day and decide to do.”

Mr Solomon Kitungu, the commission’s chief executive officer, said privatisation had not started and would involve farmers, stakeholders and the National Treasury.

On Wednesday, dairy farmers mounted opposition to the proposed privatisation of the firm, saying they were not involved in the process.

Mr Henry Otsialo, Western Kenya farmers’ representative, said they feared that the company’s assets would be undervalued. “Bailing out of the company by the government does not mean transfer of ownership. The government is just a caretaker,” he said.

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