President Ruto returns railways, ports to parent ministries

President Dr William Ruto (centre), his Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua (left), and Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi nominee at State House in Nairobi on September 27, 2022. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NMG

President William Ruto has returned three cash-rich parastatals that had been taken to the Treasury to their parent ministries in a reorganised government.

In an executive order signed on Wednesday, Dr Ruto reverted Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) and the Kenya Ports Authority to the Transport ministry while Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) was handed back to Energy.

On August 7, 2020, then President Uhuru Kenyatta, through an Executive Order, merging the operations of the three infrastructure agencies in a move that was set to guide the central management of the port, railway and pipeline services under the Kenya Transport and Logistics Network (KTLN).

In May 2021, the three agencies were moved to the Treasury in line with the recommendations of the Presidential Taskforce on Parastatal Reforms.

The move saw Treasury’s budget grow to Sh167.8 billion in the financial year beginning July 2021, an increase of Sh49.6 billion.

Governments pour billions into the transport sector through capital-intensive projects such as the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), the Nairobi Expressway and superhighways to spur development.

If confirmed by Parliament, the Transport Cabinet Secretary nominee Kipchumba Murkomen will be in charge of the billions.

The reorganisation also completed the transition of Telkom Kenya into a parastatal, after it was handed back to the Ministry of Information, Communications and Digital Economy.

The Treasury bought the 60 percent stake held by UK-based private equity fund, Helios Investment Partners, for Sh6.09 billion, making the company fully State-owned.

The latest move by President Ruto adds to the list of decisions that mark a departure from his predecessor.

Last month, Dr Ruto appointed six Court of Appeal judges that Mr Kenyatta rejected, citing integrity concerns but declining to reveal details.

In the same month, the President in a policy shift dropped the fuel subsidy that his predecessor relied on to cushion Kenyans against high transport and production costs.

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