KENYAThe divestiture agency is pushing the State to hasten the privatisation of New Kenya Co-operative Creameries (New KCC) to help the firm survive in a competitive business environment.

Privatisation Commission of Kenya chairman Henry Obwocha on Monday asked the National Treasury to prioritise the sale of the 100 per cent stake it owns in the dairy to farmers.

“Following reconstitution of the Privatisation Commission Board, the commission has made recommendations to the National Treasury that due to the delay in the implementation of the rationalisation programme some of the transactions be allowed to proceed in view of urgent remedial measures that need to be undertaken.

This is, however, a matter for consideration by the government,” said Mr Obwocha. He was speaking during a dairy sector stakeholders meeting in Nairobi.

Once New KCC is privatised, the government is expected to retain between 10 to 20 per cent of the shares for oversight purposes.

The commission has sourced consultancy services to review work done so far on the proposed privatisation. The bid documents are expected to be opened on Friday.

The commission has also been engaging stakeholders in the sugarcane belt of western Kenya on the potential sale of State-owned Chemelil, Sony, Nzoia and Muhoroni sugar millers.

The creameries chairman Matu Wamae at the same time announced New KCC Ultra-heat treated (UHT) milk factory in Eldoret will be operational in the first quarter of the year.

New KCC, the oldest formal milk processor, is only one of the firms lined up for privatisation. The firm has been of interest to political brokers who at one point attempted to privatise for their own interest.

Other firms lined up for sale are largely hotel units held through State agencies.

The process has been delayed by constitution of the commission and in the case of sugar millers, court cases brought by the county governments.

November 9, 2016;