Kenya Meat Commission plant in Athi River. National Assembly's Public Investments Committee has recommended the privatisation of Kenya Meat Commission. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP
A parliamentary committee wants the Kenya Meat Commission speedily privatised as it can no longer support itself, with plans to revive it having not been successful.
The Public Investments Committee has, in the meantime, recommended that the management abandon plans to set up a new factory and, instead, modernise the current facility.
In a report tabled in the National Assembly, the committee portrayed KMC as being among State corporations that are in a precarious financial position and which are not giving Kenyans value for their money.
KMC was cited as an example of State corporations whose poor financial performance can be attributed to ineptitude on the part of the management and a bloated workforce.
“KMC, which is in a precarious financial situation, continues to rely on old machinery and a large workforce of 1,165, against a recommended workforce of 300,” the team says in a report tabled by its chairman, Mr Adan Keynan (above).
It based its recommendation on a partly completed study of KMC by the Kenya School of Government.
The recommendations by the committee were made after scrutiny of reports by Auditor-General on KMC’s financial statements from the 2007/2008 financial year to 2011/2012 and 2012/2013.
KMC Managing Commissioner James Tendwa told the House team that the plant was operating below capacity, which has brought about operational inefficiency.
Running inefficient old machines contributed to the high cost of operations and led to frequent breakdowns, high consumption of power and more manpower.
This has seen KMC relying on the Government to stay afloat, when it should be making its own money and contributing to the revenue collected nationally.
KMC initially wanted to modernise its machinery but an audit recommended building a new one and replacing all the machines. An incomplete technical study also informed that decision.
When a tender for the modernisation was floated, bidders were of the opinion that it would be better to build a new factory. They added additional details to the tender to include the construction of a new facility and got six bids. Four of these asked for Sh1.1 billion for a new facility and two of Sh3.3 billion for modernisation. That is yet to be implemented.