Telkom Kenya has laid off 6,500 staff in the second phase of its restructuring programme ahead of a planned privatisation. 3,000 employees were axed last year, with the bulk of these workers over the age of 50 who were offered early retirement. The latest cuts have hit staff across the board, with many of the lay-offs being made to semi-skilled and ancillary workers such as clerical assistants, security staff and cleaners, according to a report from The East African Standard. The government is expected to confirm its plans for an IPO later this year. It has raised KES5.8 billion (USD82 million) from a group of local banks to help pay for part of its restructuring but is also expected to offload part of Telkom’s stake in the country’s largest cellular operator, Safaricom, to bring in additional funds.