Excluding parliament from the Privatization process is unconstitutional- Ekuru Aukot

Excluding parliament from the Privatization process is unconstitutional- Ekuru Aukot

Thirdway Alliance Party Leader Ekuru Aukot.

Thirdway Alliance Party Leader Ekuru Aukot has expressed his concerns regarding the Privatisation Bill 2023, particularly on its impact on the role of Parliament in the privatization process.

The Bill which was signed into law on Wednesday, has led to a reassessment of the parliamentary approval of the Privatisation Authority members being removed. 

Speaking on Citizen TV's Daybreak show, Aukot argued that the Privatisation Act undermines the authority of parliamentarians, raising questions about democratic checks and balances.

“The Privatisation Act alone assented the other day by the president undermines your role as a parliamentarian,” he told Tana River MP Danson Mungatana who was also part of the morning discussion.

Senator Mungatana had said that the President has a right to propose legislative changes and pointed out the significant economic losses incurred due to delays in the privatization process under the previous administration.

“The President like all other leaders can make Legislative proposals. Assuming that we have the numbers and pass it; can you come again and say we are being removed from the process?” he posed.

“The privatisation under the previous administration, because of the law, could not happen. So you could not save the sugar industry and we’re losing billions of shillings.”

Aukot further raised the issue of international influence, alleging that parts of the bill were being influenced by international organizations like the IMF and the World Bank. 

He suggested that this external influence could undermine the perception of Kenya's sovereignty.

“The President is now being seen as a puppet of the West, especially the US AND Europe,” he posited.

Additionally, Orange Democratic Party (ODM) Chair John Mbadi shared similar sentiments to Aukot, asserting that the exclusion of Parliament from the privatisation process goes against the principles of democracy.

“Public assets belong to the people. This bill, however, is anti-people and anti-democracy. You can improve efficiency without taking the people’s power, contrary to the argument that it is improving efficiency,” Mbadi remarked.

President William Ruto's signing of the Privatization Bill, 2023, aimed at enhancing the efficiency and competitiveness of Kenya's productive resources, stirred debate as it curtails the power of the Parliament in the privatisation process.

Instead, the privatisation program will now be submitted for approval to the Cabinet and ratified by the National Assembly.

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