MPs clear six for appointment to the privatisation commission


Parliament buildings in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG

A parliamentary committee has cleared the appointment of six nominees to fill vacant posts at the Privatisation Commission, paving the way for the State to fasttrack the sale of government-owned enterprises.

The Finance and National Planning committee has approved the nomination of Mr Edward Kobudhi, Ms Irene Njeri Wanyoike, Ms Celyne Anyango Orata, Ms Sarah Adan Abdi, Mr David Nyakango, and Mr Wellingtone Godia for appointment.

The filling of the vacant posts comes nearly three years after the the expiry of the term of the former members of the commission in 2019.

The commission has been operating with two officers with former Funyula MP Paul Otuoma serving as chairman and Mr John Joseph Tito as a member.

Privatisation Commission comprises the chairman, Attorney-General, Treasury Principal Secretary and seven members who are not public officers.

“Pursuant to section 5(1) (b) of the Privatisation Commission Act 2005 and Section 3 and 8 of the Public Appointment (Parliamentary Approval) Act, this House approves the nominees for appointment,” the committee, which vetted the nominees, said in a report.

The appointment will throw a lifeline to long delayed sale of state-owned loss-making companies whose value continues to waste away.

The State plans have dragged on over the years following suspension of the exercise from 2013 until March 2019 and the expiry of the term of the board at the Privatisation Commission.

The exercise has also stalled due to numerous legal battles and vested interest.

Taxpayers have been forking out millions of shillings to rescue the ailing State corporations as the Treasury dragged its feet in appointing replacements to the private sector members of the board.

In 2015, the commission set out to sell 75 percent government stakes in Nzoia, South Nyanza, Chemelil, Muhoroni, and Miwani in transactions that were to be completed within nine to 12 months. This has not materialised.

The government is, however, toying with an idea of leasing the struggling sugar millers. The sale of loss-making government owned hotels have also stalled.

The Finance and Planning committee has also approved the appointment of Lena Munuve, Alome K. Achayo, David Wanyonyi Wanyama, and Abdi A. Mohamed to fill vacancies at the Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK).

The committee wants the House to confirm the four nominees to the CAK board that regulates competition in the market.