Lawyer Miguna Miguna on Thursday criticised National Assembly Majority Leader Kimani Ichung'wah after the latter labeled the Kenyans protesting against the government's plans to sell 11 parastatals ignorant.
Speaking on the floor of the National Assembly on Wednesday, Ichung'wah defended the government's plans describing the plans as a shrewd move that would enable the companies to realise their true potential.
However, in a statement, Miguna dismissed this argument holding that there was no empirical evidence to justify that a sale would guarantee profitability.
“Governments all over the world run profitable hotels, banks, and other enterprises. Nothing stops the government from leasing KICC space to private enterprises at a profit. However, ownership must remain public,” Miguna said in a statement.
“You don’t have to sell parastatals to make them profitable. You have to hire competent and incorruptible managers to run them,“ he further stated.
To justify his point, Miguna gave examples of state-owned enterprises that were sold but ended up sinking into bankruptcy anyway.
"Many private companies have collapsed due to mismanagement. It's financially illiterate to argue that privatisation makes anything profitable," he added.
According to Miguna, the solution is to rein in on corruption, nepotism, tribalism, cronyism, and incompetence in public service which he pointed out as the main problems facing state corporations.
While making his argument a day earlier, Ichung'wah explained that the Privatization Act passed by Parliament will provide a roadmap on how Kenya can attract investors going forward as a means to net more revenue for the country.
Ichung'wah further complained that the news of the government's plans to sell the parastatals had been tainted by propaganda from various quarters. He expressed concern that most Kenyans were not well versed with the facts and were likely to be fed incorrect information.
"90 per cent of the occupancy at KICC is Parliament and it's paying peanuts due to the government-to-government agreement. This is a prime location that can generate more for government if leased," he explained.
On Monday, the government published a gazzete notice wherein it expressed its intentions to sell 11 state corporations among them the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) and Kenya Pipeline.
The privatization of the parastatals has elicited mixed reactions among Kenyans who expressed fears over whether the whole plan is legal.