By Karanja Njoroge
Dairy farmers have demanded a bigger stake in the proposed privatisation of New Kenya Co-operative Creameries (New KCC).
The farmers from Nakuru, Baringo and Nyandarua counties said they should be allowed to own 51 per cent of the company.
During a meeting with Cooperative Development Minister Joseph Nyagah, the farmers said the process of privatisation should not be hurried to avoid ripping them off.
“We are apprehensive about the issue and the Government should take us through the process slowly. In the past, we have witnessed major farmers’ corporations go down and property sold at throwaway prices,” said Joseph Leboo from Baringo County.
The minister informed farmers that the process had been delayed because of lack of a privatisation commission, which is expected to oversee the process.
“Since nominees to the commission have been forwarded to Parliament, we expect it to move with speed once the names are approved,” the minister said.
He said the planned privatisation would see a major portion of the shares sold to the farmers with consumers and farmers also getting a chance to own the company.
Some of the farmers objected to the privatisation this year terming it risky due to the forthcoming elections.
“Why does the Government want to sell the company during the elections? Why the hurry? We should first be educated on the issue and the entire process to ensure we are not given a raw deal,” said Jonathan Tanui.
The minister, however, said the process should be completed before the elections as the coming into place of the county government may interfere with the sale,” he added.