Telkom Kenya Takes Graft Agency to Court for Interfering with Airtel Merger

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Telkom Kenya has filed a suit to bar the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) from interfering with its merger with Airtel.

According to Business Daily, the carrier is seeking court orders to bar the anti-graft agency from claiming a list of its properties.

They claim that they are a private entity with no public assets, which is a category of properties that the EACC is mandated to investigate in line with Chapter 6 of the constitution.

Telkom argued that allowing the EACC wishes will adversely affect its ability to fund recurrent expenses and operate its business which puts it at risk of running into irreparable losses.

Apparently, EACC had written to Telkom in October 2015 requesting documents without indicating the nature of the investigations. The telco also said they received clearance from the parliament Public Investment Committee through an April 2014 report which did not recommend any scrutiny in regards to misappropriation of assets before and after privatization.

The anti-graft agency had suspended a planned merger of Telkom Kenya and Airtel Kenya over the process details that saw Treasury transfer its ownership to Orange which later sold it to Helios and the carrier became Telkom Kenya.

The merger was still approved by the Competition Authority of Kenya back in December 2019 but it had some conditions. In January, Telkom Kenya and Airtel Kenya appealed over those conditions set by the Competition Authority of Kenya which was to be reviewed by the Competition Tribunal. Interestingly enough, Airtel said the deal will not involve Telkom’s real estate holdings and some government contracts for unspecified services.