A parliamentary committee has retreated to write a report on Kenyans’ views on planned nationalisation of Kenya Airways.
The National Assembly Transport Committee last week received over 20 written submissions and 30 verbal presentations on the National Aviation Management Bill, 2020 that proposes formation of a holding company under which the national carrier should operate.
Two weeks ago, National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi asked the committee to conduct fresh public participation after it emerged that MPs and the public had not clearly understood the nationalisation plan.
“If public participation is raised at this stage you are preparing the ground for its challenge in court,” he said.
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“Therefore, even if you proceed to the second reading the evidence is already in Hansard. If some of your members have raised issues of public participation, the lesson learned is that we should listen to those concerns.”
The Speaker cited some laws passed and successfully challenged in court for lack of citizen engagement.
He said he would find himself in an awkward position whenever a Bill passed by the House is challenged on the basis of public participation because he would be listed as a respondent in court.
But according to the committee Chairman David Pkosing, the process began in 2018 and had gone through all required steps including public participation before the report was tabled.
“This Bill is a creation of public participation, from the proposed PIIP document from the ministry to where we are now. We have several views and the Bill is Kenyans’ document,” he said.
Since the Ministry of Transport presented the PIIP, Pkosing said the entire process had involved consultation with the ministry, committee and industry players.
“The nationalisation and formation of the holding group seeks to grow earnings from the sector to Sh200 billion and double passenger numbers to eight million in five years. Once this is done, we will be the continental hub,” said Pkosing.
In the arrangement, Kenya Aviation Corporation will also hold the shares in other operating entities including Kenya Airports Authority and Aviation Investment Corporation.