By Dr. Jean Kamau for the Diaspora Times
Corrupt Governments the World over- are not capable of investing wisely in any venture when those entrusted have a past of money embezzlement. President William Ruto well aware that he has a team of corrupt individuals, has already sensed failure and wants to get out of the mess already created.
Many may ridicule him over his suggestion to sell the airline- but knowing that the people he can entrust to such ventures are all corrupt, he is saving Kenyans from more debt crisis that will accumulate during his tenure.
That is why the President is proposing to sell the airline, in a desperate move, as he already knows it will still be mismanaged under his tenure. It’s unfortunate because the many Kenyans who voted for the UDA Government- believed that the team could make Government investments profitable, but many will be disappointed, for he already has demonstrated that he cannot make the only airline Kenya owns the majority shares profitable. That alone, proves that his administration- will only mismanage all the rest- and may even result in selling them one by one.
President William Ruto- is directly hinting that his administration does not have the expertise, or the kind of honest people needed to manage profitable Government ventures and institutions that are already broke. They may not even know how the same can be made into profitable income generating ventures, and the only wise thing to do is to agree with the President and sell them until such a time Kenyans will vote committed leaders to revive them.
Kenyans should also not involve themselves in a mess created by stakeholders or even make noise to safeguard entities that have not benefitted them or the country since their inception. Even with the introduction of direct flights and the subsequent demand for airline bookings, the airlines have continued to make heavy losses due to corruption. After reviewing the airline’s financial status over the past years, and the lack of a committed Government- it is only fair to sell Government shares of the heavily indebted investment to private investors.
Wealthy institutions own Kenya airways, and the 49.8 percent owned by the Government does not go into people’s pockets or even the Government itself as each year it’s reported as losses. It is, therefore, appropriate if the Government can get out of the mess and let those interested handle their mess. I believe privatization is a good thing in a situation where the Government is comprised of individuals with a record of corruption and incapable of reviving the same. The Government should, therefore, not involve itself in enterprises it does not benefit from, and if the proceeds are used elsewhere, it might benefit the country more than is the case now.
We all must stress accountability in the whole transaction so that the proceeds can be directed to resurface our debt or directed at the housing or health sector to fulfill the five-pillar agenda.
Excerpts: Kenya Airways Ltd., more commonly known as Kenya Airways, is the flag carrier airline of Kenya. The company was founded in 1977 after the dissolution of East African Airways. Its head office is in Embakasi, Nairobi, with its hub at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
The airline was owned by the Government of Kenya until April 1995, and it was privatised in 1996, becoming the first African flag carrier to do so successfully. Kenya Airways is currently a public-private partnership. The largest shareholder is the Government of Kenya (48.9%), with 38.1% being owned by KQ Lenders Company 2017 Ltd (in turn owned by a consortium of banks), followed by KLM, which has a 7.8% stake in the company. The rest of the shares are held by private owners; shares are traded on the Nairobi Stock Exchange, the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange, and the Uganda Securities Exchange.