Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua on Tuesday urged investors to purchase struggling non-profit state corporations in line with the Privatisation Act 2023.
Gachagua, who was addressing accountants in Mombasa during the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK) meeting, however, warned that the government would tax the corporations when they start recording profits.
“Very soon, we are finalising the law, and all these companies will be available for sale. You have money to buy them. Once they are profitable, we shall collect corporate taxes and Pay As You Earn (PAYE)," Gachagua noted.
He reiterated that the parastatals were incurring losses forcing the government to shut them down to reduce expenditures, including a bloated wage bill.
"You are aware we want to privatize all non-profit-making state corporations so that we can give them to you people because you are the ones who know how to do business," the DP explained.
One of the examples he cited was the performance of state-owned sugar companies such as Mumias, Muhoroni, Chemelil, and Nzoia to those privately owned, such as West Kenya Sugar, noting that the latter was performing better than the former.
With such an alarming trajectory, Gachagua emphasised that the work of the government is not to make a profit but rather to provide essential services such as proper healthcare, Infrastructure development, and security.
He therefore urged investors to relieve the government from the pressure of managing loss-running companies.
"Let us leave business to the private sector so that people who know how to run investments can do it professionally,” Gachagua noted.
On August 9 this year, the government reverted the decision to sell 26 state companies, during a cabinet meeting chaired by President William Ruto.
Among the entities that were to be privatised included KenGen, Kenya Pipeline, Nzoia Sugar, South Nyanza Sugar, Chemelil Sugar, Muhoroni Sugar Company, and Miwani Sugar companies.
On October 9. Ruto, however, signed into law the Privatisation Act 2023, which directed the Treasury to fast-track the process of privatising State-owned corporations.