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Kenyan MPs 'conspire to kill' sugar crisis report

By Daniel Psirmoi
Updated Fri, January 29th 2016 at 00:00 GMT +3

Legislators are yet to debate the report on the crisis in the sugar industry, one year after it was completed.

Some leaders claim there is a conspiracy by MPs from both Jubilee and CORD to ensure the report by the National Assembly Committee on Agriculture, which was written in 2014, does not see the light of day.

Despite being put in the order paper at the National Assembly two times, the controversial committee report titled 'The Crisis Facing the Sugar Industry in Kenya' was not debated after it was withdrawn under unclear circumstances.

Amani National Congress (ANC) Party Leader Musalia Mudavadi is the latest politician to raise concern over the report. He accused MPs of conspiring to keep quiet over the matter.

"Instead of the two coalitions rallying their troops in Parliament to prioritise debate and adopt the report as their duty to the country and by extension to save the sugar belt communities from the economic distress they are facing, they have conspired to kill the report," said Mudavadi.

Kareke Mbiuki, the vice chair of the committee, said he is aware that 'some forces' have been preventing the debate of the report, but vowed that the committee will do everything possible to ensure that they defeat these forces.

"I acknowledge there has been a lot of push and pull over the report considering that it has radical recommendations to punish individuals cited for being behind the woes facing the sugar industry," he said.

And he promised: "Once Parliament opens next month, we are going to push the leadership of the House led by the Speaker Justin Muturi and Majority Leader Aden Duale and others to allocate the report time for debate and passage."

Over six million Kenyans are dependent on the sugar-cane industry, majority of them being from Western Kenya.

Apart from recommending harsh punishment for individuals responsible for the woes facing the sugar industry, the report also names sugar barons.

It also names major companies dealing in illegal importation and exportation of the commodity, who should take blame for bankrupting Mumias Sugar Company and running down other milling firms.

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