In Summary
  • Nzoia, Chemelil, South Nyanza, Muhoroni and Miwani sugar companies have been targeted for privatisation.
  • Former Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo and the Council of Governors had separately moved to court in 2016 and challenged the privatisation plans.
  • The governors’ council on its part argued that the matter directly involves devolution of agriculture.

Plans to privatise five sugar companies in western Kenya could go on after the High Court termed the bid to halt the proposal as premature.

While declining to permanently block plans spearheaded by the Privatisation Commission, Justice Edward Muriithi ruled that talks between county and national governments have not been fully exhausted.

The judge issued the decision in a case which had sought to stop plans to privatise Nzoia, Chemelil, South Nyanza, Muhoroni and Miwani sugar companies.

Justice Enoch Chacha Mwita read the judgment on behalf of Justice Muriithi.

“The eventuality contemplated by Section 35 of the Intergovernmental Relations Act, 2012 has not crystallised because all efforts of resolving the dispute have not been exhausted and failed,” said Justice Muriithi.

OPPOSED PLANS

Kisumu Governor Anyang Nyong’o, former Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo and the Council of Governors had separately moved to court in 2016 and challenged the privatisation plans.

But the judge faulted them for failing to consider that the structures of alternative dispute resolutions under the Intergovernmental Relations Act for remedying the situation manifested in the row about whose function it is between the national and county governments does the business of milling of sugar fall on.

However, the judge pointed out that the suit raised substantial issues for interpretation which are subject of the privatisation plans.

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