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Wind of sweetness blows from matokeland

By Maftah Yusuf | August 22nd 2015

NAIROBI: Weather reports indicate that unscrupulous winds are blowing sweet clouds of sugar from the land of matoke. Unofficial meteorological analysts claim the thunderhead has already drifted over the islet of Migingo and will be raining hard in the country anytime.

As usual, the government is reassuring that our disaster preparedness will handle the deluge, which by the way should not be different from Brazilian showers of sweetness that have plagued the country in the past.

Ugandan rainmakers claim the candy-coated raindrops will make our cattle grow the Banyankole horns that make them produce better milk and tastier beef for mutura. Even Kidero grass might finally grow after this shower. When the deal is too sweet, think twice. If we are to indulge the wisdom of Wahenga and read between the lines, the details assume an aftertaste of vinegar.

But trust Kenyans to slam the door at development whenever opportunity knocks at the national door. Some begin exploiting historical injustices for their own personal benefit while others mobilise ethnic blocs to reject projects which pay commission to their business rivals. When we are not winning wars on twitter, we are shooting ourselves in the foot. This must be addressed if we are to attain Vision 2030.

We have to understand why those who did not attend negotiations in Kampala are catching feelings. Guests were served matoke and second generation Waragi which flavoured the deal even further. A milk processing plant was allegedly branded Maziwa national colors with rumours of exporting nyamchom taking shape. All this from a diplomatic delegation sent over to represent national interest. Since when did diplomats engage in barter trade?

They forgot our sensitivities cannot condone sexist, tribal or anything not 100 per cent nationally inclusive. If there was across board representation, local millers would have no one speaking on their behalf. That is the real reason why the sugar deal is so tasteless. But this situation can be salvaged. All those concerned have to do is include all hecklers in the value addition chain of this sugar fiasco. Unless of course Uganda indeed is a superior sugar belt than Kenya.

In case Uganda runs short of the surplus sugar to be exported to Kenya after the first truckload crosses the Busia border we need not worry. Our enterprising brothers know exactly what to do. Shiploads of unmarked sugar will dock at the port. The loot will be shipped on land to Uganda where it will be packaged and stamped with the Ugandan Bureau of Standards certification. Then hawking cartels and peddlers at River Road will be offloading M7 sugar to supermarkets and wholesales along the same routes narcotics are distributed.

Truth be told, much as there may be shadiness in this deal, whistleblowers are going about the whole thing the wrong way. Going by accusations and counter accusations playing out on national TV, complicity in this sort of crime cuts across the political divide. Those who might be doing it now feel they are entitled the same peace they extended criminals in the past.

At this rate cane farmers will be forced to sell idle land to Singh Incorporated. That is the only way development will devolve to the grassroots. We do not need to revisit who killed the sugar industry in the first place because we can never get to the bottom of the circus it would generate. May the sleekest dealers win.

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