The High Court has suspended the sale of 11 parastatals, including the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC), in a case filed by the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM). The government had listed the iconic KICC among state corporations to be sold a little over a month after President William Ruto signed the Privatisation Bill, 2023 into law. The sale of the parastatals to private entities is not in the best interest of the country, according to Senator Okiya Omtatah, who has vowed to oppose the government’s plans.
This move by the High Court is a significant development in the ongoing debate over the privatisation of state-owned enterprises. It remains to be seen how the government will respond to this ruling and whether it will have any impact on the broader privatisation programme.
The government’s privatisation programme has been a contentious issue in Kenya, with critics arguing that it will lead to job losses and the loss of state assets . The government, on the other hand, has argued that privatisation will help to improve efficiency and reduce the burden on taxpayers .
The sale of KICC, in particular, has been a topic of much debate. The iconic building is one of the most recognisable landmarks in Nairobi and has played host to numerous high-profile events over the years . The decision to sell it to private entities has been met with resistance from many Kenyans, who view it as a symbol of national pride .
The High Court’s decision to suspend the sale of KICC and other state corporations is a significant victory for those who oppose the government’s privatisation programme. It remains to be seen how the government will respond to this ruling and whether it will have any impact on the broader privatisation programme.