Another Court Blow to Ruto Over Sugar Millers Privatisation

High Court in Nairobi issued a ruling temporarily stopping the sale of four sugar milling companies.

Justice Chacha Mwita put on hold the privatization process until a pending court case is heard and resolved.

“An interim conservatory order is hereby granted, halting the tendering process under the international tender notice No. MOALD/SDA/IT/001/2023-2024,” said Mwita.

The sugar companies affected by this halt are Nzoia, Chemelil, Muhoroni, and South Nyanza.

Martin Nyongesa, the petitioner, filed a case against Treasury and the Ministry of Agriculture, along with AG Muturi, opposing the lease.

Nyongesa’s argument is about the lack of sufficient public engagement before deciding to lease out these assets.

Also Read: Govt Changes Tune on Sale of a Parastatal

The order will remain in effect until April 19, 2024, when the matter will be fully heard.

Earlier, on January 16, the Ministry of Agriculture had advertised bids from private investors interested in owning the sugar companies.

Prospective investors were required to submit a Ksh.10 million deposit as security during the bidding process.

President William Ruto first made public his plans to privatise sugar companies in October last year arguing that the move would make them profitable and revitalise the sector.

But Justice Mwita has proved tough in his rulings, and it is not working for President Ruto.

On December 5 last year, Mwita suspended the privatisation of 11 state-owned companies in Kenya, including the national oil and gas company.

This followed an appeal by the main opposition party, owned by Raila Odinga.

According to Raila Odinga, the sale of the state’s holdings should be subject to a referendum.

This, he says is of strategic importance to the companies concerned in Kenya, the economic powerhouse of East Africa.

Mwita said he was “satisfied that the (opposition) application raises constitutional and legal issues of public importance that require critical examination.”

The 11 companies are among the 35 that President William Ruto announced last year that he wanted to privatise.

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Lawrence Baraza

Lawrence Baraza is a dynamic journalist currently overseeing content at Metropol TV Digital. With a keen focus on business news and analytics, Lawrence guides the platform in delivering insightful, data-driven content that empowers its audience to make informed decisions. Lawrence’s commitment to quality and his ability to anticipate market trends make him a key figure in the digital media landscape. His work continues to shape the way business news is consumed, making a significant impact in the field.

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