Jaswant Rai loses KESMA chairmanship to rival

West Kenya Sugar company Chairman Jaswant Rai(Right) and MD.Tevjeer Rai 

KISUMU, KENYA: West Kenya Sugar Company chairman Jaswant Rai has lost Kenya Sugarcane Millers Association (Kesma) chairmanship to his business rival, Butali Sugar Company boss Jayanti Patel.

The elections held in Kisumu unanimously ended Rai’s three year stint at the helm of the association, coming at a time when controversies surrounds sugar sector in the country.

The election saw the giant miller slide from the association leadership, with Kibos Sugar Company’s Joyce Opondo retaining the secretary position.

It was a big boost for Butali which had held the treasurer position, while Mumias was introduced into the association’s top leadership with Managing Director Patrick Chebosi being elected treasurer.

Mr Rai has recently been on the spot over allegations of illegal importation of sugar which saw millions of tonnes of sugar brought into the country.

The country is still reeling from the shock of allegations of presence of heavy metals in some of the sugar imports with various government agencies investigating the claims.

And yesterday, sugar millers which have remained silent came out for the first time, saying they want to claim their space in the sector.

Speaking to the press after the elections, Ms Opondo said the exercise marks the beginning of active involvement of the millers in the issues facing the sector.

According to Opondo, the millers have not had better engagement with the stakeholders as the leadership has not been proactive.