A meeting in Athi River Sub-county to discuss a proposed law to guide the sale of government firms ended in chaos yesterday after a group of disgruntled locals stormed the venue.
Over 200 participants from the Lower Eastern region were left in shock as the rowdy group took the organizers to task over allegations of a scheme to lock them out of the talks.
The locals accused the organizers of carrying out a skewed public participation exercise to discuss the Public Entities Privatisation Bill.
“We will not allow a few individuals to rubber-stamp a process on behalf of thousands of other residents,” one angry local said.
The bill seeks to allow the National Treasury to exclude Parliament from approving the sale of state-owned firms in changes aimed at shortening the approval process for the sale of government assets.
The state-backed bill comes at a time when the government has announced plans to sell between six and 10 public entities through initial public offerings at the Nairobi Securities Exchange this year.
As the debate over the controversial bill continues, the events of yesterday’s meeting serve as a reminder of the tension surrounding the future of Kenya’s state-owned firms.