Firm fights back cane smuggling accusations

A truck bearing Ugandan registration number plates parked near Nambale Boys High School on July 24, 2019. [Ignatius Odanga]

The management of the Busia Sugar Industry (BSI) has denied claims that it has been smuggling sugarcane into the country from Uganda.

In a statement to the media, Public Relations Officer Stephen Siachire said the firm crushes raw material sourced from its locally contracted farmers.

He said some of the farmers had their land located on the border between Kenya and Uganda.

“The allegation by some individuals that we are smuggling sugarcane could have resulted from the sight of our tractors and other private trucks contracted by BSI to ferry cane from border areas on the Kenyan side,” stated the firm.

The company was responding to concerns raised by representatives of farmers in the region at a news conference last weekend.

The National General Secretary of the Kenya Association of Sugarcane and Allied Product Peter Odima and Busia Outgrowers Company director Lambert Ogochi, had accused the sugar factory of engaging in illegal importation of raw materials from across the border.

Mr Odima claimed the smuggled cane mainly passed through the porous border at Alupe and Buteba in Teso South Constituency. He called for investigations.

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“We suspect the due process is not being followed by the miller when bringing in the sugarcane,” said Odima.

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Busia Sugar IndustryUganda