How Cabinet Cancels Ksh.6B Telkom Kenya Buyout Deal, Demands Refund

Cabinet Cancels Ksh.6B Telkom Kenya Buyout Deal, Demands Refund

The Cabinet has announced a decision to cancel the government’s purchase of a 60 per cent stake at Telkom Kenya valued at slightly over Ksh.6 billion.

 

The Cabinet, in a despatch to newsrooms after a meeting chaired by President William Ruto, stated that the government will now be seeking a refund of the said amount from Jamhuri Holdings and Helios Investment Limited for the buyout deal.

“In addressing the governance challenges posed by the nationalization of Telkom Kenya Limited in the run-up to last year’s General Election, Cabinet rescinded the decision that the Government of Kenya shall purchase from Jamhuri/Helios sixty per cent (60%) of the ordinary shares of Telkom Kenya,” read the Cabinet despatch.

“By dint of this decision by Cabinet, Jamhuri/Helios will refund to the Government of Kenya the amount paid as consideration for the takeover.”

 

It added: “The decision by Cabinet offers Telkom Kenya an opportunity to source and onboard another strategic investor, subject to the receipt of all regulatory approvals. Cabinet’s intervention will enhance the operational capacity of Telkom Kenya and make it a competitive player in the telecommunications market.”

 

The probe into the controversial buyout of Telkom Kenya in March this year took a twist after former Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani revealed that the

government was the majority shareholder.

 

Yatani, speaking when he appeared before the Parliamentary committee probing the buyout, said that contrary to claims that government paid and did not receive the shares from Helios Limited, all the transfer documents are at the National Treasury.

 

He however told the joint committee that the shareholding status had – at the time – not been changed at the State law office since the Telkom Kenya board that was supposed to initiate the changes was not properly constituted.

Yatani said then that the payment had been approved following a sitting by the National Security Advisory Council that wanted Telkom to be fully government-owned as it handles critical security installations including office of the President, State House, the Defence headquarters, the National Intelligence Service as well as running the IFMIS portal.

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