Cabinet has rescinded a decision to purchase a 60 per cent stake in Telkom from Helios Investment Partners for Sh6.09 billion, and now wants the the company to refund the money.
Helios Investors LLP is based in the UK while its partner/subsidiary Jamhuri Holdings Limited is based in Mauritius.
“By dint of this decision by Cabinet, Jamhuri/Helios will refund to the Government of Kenya the amount paid as consideration for the takeover,” reads dispatch from Cabinet.
The resolution was reached during a cabinet meeting chaired by President William Ruto that was held at State House on Tuesday.
According to the dispatch, the move is set to address governance issues at the telco.
The purchase of the stake by the Jubilee administration was made in the last days of retired President Uhuru Kenyatta's rule on August 5.
This was four days before the August 9, general elections which saw then Deputy President William Ruto emerge victorious.
A parliamentary probe discovered that the purchase was done without parliament’s approval.
Controller of Budget Margaret Nyakang’o told the Budget and Appropriations Committee (BAC) that she refused to sign off the sought Sh6.09 billion for the purchase but then Treasury CS Ukur Yattani went ahead with the deal.
Helios Investment bought its stakes in Kenya’s third-largest telco from Orange in 2015 for an undisclosed amount.
“Cabinet’s intervention will enhance the operational capacity of Telkom Kenya and make it a competitive player in the telecommunications market,” reads the dispatch.