Court to give verdict on sale of sugar companies Monday

Monday February 29 2016

A farmer harvesting sugarcane in Mabanga

A farmer harvesting sugarcane in Mabanga village, Bungoma County. The sugar directorate has put on boxing gloves vowing to kick out cartels distorting the supply chain, and who have been blamed for the recent surge in retail prices. FILE PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

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The fate of five sugar firms in western Kenya that were scheduled for sale will be known Monday when the High Court gives directions on their privatisation.

The sale of Nzoia, Chemelil, Muhoroni, Miwani and South Nyanza sugar factories was stopped through orders sought by the Transition Authority (TA).

The agency, under a certificate of urgency, sought a judicial review of the disposal procedures, citing flouting of rules in the sale of the firms’ assets to investors.

The TA accused the Privatisation Commission of not involving the authority in the sale of the factories, adding that the “expenditure on further advertising and invitations of interest is a waste of public funds”.

“Unless restrained, the respondents will cause further or more hardships to unsuspecting prospective strategic investors, who may prepare expressions of interest on a flawed process,” the TA says in its court papers.

In the papers, TA chairman Kinuthia Wamwangi says the commission has not furnished the authority with lists of assets due for transfer to the private investors.

Mr Wamwangi argues that formalities for advertising the sales had not been followed.

County governments, who want to manage the firms, were enjoined in the case as interested parties.