A committee in Kenya’s National Assembly voiced concerns about a proposed merger between Airtel and Telkom Kenya announced last month, stating it will not approve the deal until it has more details.

The country’s Daily Nation reported the committee said “the deal has all the hallmarks of a scandal where private individuals are buying off a public entity through the backdoor for a song”.

Government agencies have been invited to appear before the committee to provide details. It is particularly interested to know why recommendations made in a 2014 report by the Public Investment Committee around the privatisation and restructuring of Telkom Kenya’s balance sheet were not implemented.

Nominated MP Godfrey Osotsi, vice-chair of the committee, stated it had invited “all those mentioned in the report and the implementing agencies” to establish the status of the report’s suggestions and why they have not been enacted.

These agencies include The National Treasury, Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, the Communications Authority of Kenya, the Ministry of ICT, which have been asked to appear along with Telkom Kenya.

The proposed deal covers the merger of Airtel Kenya and Telkom Kenya’s mobile, enterprise and carrier services businesses to create a new joint entity, a move which would step up competition with market leader Safaricom