Senators have rejected plans to privatize five state-owned sugar millers saying that it will increase farmers woes in the country.
The Senate’s Tourism, Trade and Industrialization Committee has echoed MPs and sugarcane farmers across the country who also said that the privatization is a scheme to sell the millers to earmarked investors at a throwaway price.
The State-owned firms listed for privatization are Chemelil, Sony, Trans Nzoia, the defunct Miwani, and Muhoroni, which is in receivership: they have a combined total asset amounting to Sh 21.15 billion against Sh 63.18 billion in liabilities.
National Treasury has said that the Privatization Commission has hired a transaction advisor who will evaluate the companies and is now looking to identify a strategic investor within the next couple of months to help in the privatization process.
The government had planned to sell a 51 per cent stake in Sony, Chemelil, Nzoia, Muhoroni, and Miwani to strategic investors and reserve another 24 per cent for farmers and employees.
The remaining 25 per cent stake in the milling companies would be sold in an initial public offering once the factories are profitable.