By Fred Azelwa 

The National Treasury is set to put on sale 10 state entities including the Kenya Ports Authority.

The exchequer has lined up a total of 25 entities for Privatization through State divestiture, concessions and leasings. Out of the 25, ten State corporations have already been identified and awaiting a cabinet paper by Treasury Cabinet Secretary Prof. Njuguna Ndung’u for approval.

They include; Kenya Pipeline Company, Kenya Ports Authority, Kenya Meat Commission, Consolidated Bank and Development Bank of Kenya. In addition, five state sugar millers that include, Chemilil, Sony, Nzoia, Miwani and Muhoroni will undergo leasing, as well as a number of hotels where the government is a shareholder. The government is also keen on reducing its shares in KenGen, East Africa Portland Cement and the National Bank of Kenya.

The development comes barely 48 hours after President William Ruto assented the Privatization Bill 2023 into an Act, during his tour in Nyanza region, setting the stage for the delayed privatisation.

“I have made a commitment that between five and 10 public enterprises that are mature should be listed in the next 12 months. I expect that the private sector will work with the capital markets so that we can have private sector companies to also list at the stock exchange,” Ruto said then.

Molo MP Kimani Kuria whose National Assembly Finance and Planning Committee presided over the one-week-long public participation process of the then Privatization Bill 2023, says heads of entities earmarked for the first phase of the privatization program must submit full audit disclosures of their operations according to the Act.

“Those that will not comply risk a penalty of up to 5 and 10 million shillings,” said Kuria.

CS Ndung’u is also set to gazette a nine-member board for the newly introduced Privatization Authority that will be chaired by either the President’s, CS or PS appointee.

“They need to have 10 years experience in financial matters so that we have competent officers,” said Kuria.

But even as the Privatization Act 2023 readies for its maiden implementation, opposition leaders continue to cast doubt over the planned Privatization program, terming it a State capture that will lack Parliamentary oversight.

Minority Leader Opiyo Wandayi has since questioned the credibility and transparency of the Privatization program.

“What will stop the new managers from repeating the same mistakes? We must deal with past historical injustices. Perpetrators of sugar industry collapse initiated economic sabotage,” Wandayi posed.

“We as Azimio vehemently oppose the Privatization of the Port of Mombasa,” Azimio la Umoja leader Raila Odinga said previously.

Entities such as Kenya Airways, Uchumi Supermarkets, General Motors, Firestone and Mumias Sugar limited are among those that underwent the privatisation program in the 1990s and 2000s.