The Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) has called for the Kenya Meat Commission (KMC) to be excluded from the list of 26 parastatals earmarked for privatization.
The Privatization Commission confirmed receipt of a letter from the Ministry of Defence asking for the removal of KMC from the list of parastatals approved by the Cabinet for sale. The KDF is expected to inject cash into the struggling parastatal after the Treasury allocated Ksh4 billion under a supplementary budget.
President Uhuru Kenyatta in September 2020 transferred the KMC to be under KDF in a move that sparked eyebrows, but was seen as an attempt to turn around the operation.
“Last month, we received a letter from the Ministry of Defence asking that we remove the Kenya Meat Commission from the list of the privatisation programme,” Privatisation Commission chief executive Joseph Koskey told the National Assembly’s Finance Committee.
In the privatization plan, KMC had been included with the expectation that it could be transformed to become economically viable and enhance exports of animal products.
The government in the last financial year pumped Ksh80 million into the KMC factory, and a similar amount in the current year for upgrades at the Athi River-based meat processor.
The transfer of KMC to KDF had been challenged in court by the Law Society of Kenya (LSK), who argued that it was illegal without an amendment to the Kenya Meat Commission Act.
In February, the court issued a ruling directing the Ministry of Agriculture and the Attorney-General to regularize the transfer of the KMC within 90 days.
Justice Anthony Mrima ruled that the transfer violated Article 10 of the Constitution for lack of public participation.