Sugarcane farmers call off demo

Sugarcane transporter drives a tractor to Chemelil milling factory on August 27, 2018. Farmers in the sugar belt region of Kisumu dialogue over zoning as factories that went under receivership plan to start milling. [Denish Ochieng/ Standard]

A demonstration called by cane farmers in Awendo sugar belt to press for delayed payment of their dues amounting to Sh552 million has been put off due to security risks.

The Standard established that the protest scheduled for to start over the weekend was canceled at the eleventh hour on the advice of the Migori County security team led by Commissioner Joseph Rotich.

The planned demo, which would have seen all roads from Rongo town to Migori blocked, was put off indefinitely. The demonstrations were to run throughout this week.

“We held a meeting with security officers chaired by the county commissioner. He advised us against holding the demo citing security risks,’’ said Kenya National Federation of Sugarcane Farmers Migori branch secretary Argwings Adongo, who had called the demo together with chairman John Omollo.

The farmers had notified transporters and business community along the busy Migori-Kisii -Isebania highway of the intended strike.

Sources revealed that although the farmers had notified the security in advance, they were advised against taking to streets due to fears goons could take advantage to loot.

“We agreed that we call off the strike and arrange for a meeting with the commissioner and the Sony Sugar management to offset our arrears soon,” Adongo said.

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“We want the farmers to discuss the matter with us and the management this week,’’ said Mr Rotich.

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Awendo sugar beltJoseph RotichMigori County