More trouble for struggling Chemelil Sugar Factory over workers deductions

Struggling miller Chemelil Sugar Company is embroiled in a fresh legal tussle with the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) over failure to remit statutory deductions amounting to Sh33 million.

On Wednesday, the company’s managing director Gabriel Nyangweso pleaded with Senior Principal Magistrate Robison Ondieki to give the miller more time to settle the matter with NSSF.

In the suit, the company has been accused of failing to remit worker’s statutory deductions amounting to Sh20 million between November 2016 and February 2018.

Nyangweso who has been listed as the first respondent in the case has also been accused of failing to remit statutory deductions amounting to Sh13 million.

An inspection assessment report by NSSF in court indicated that Nyangweso failed to pay the arrears and fine, which amounted to Sh33.9 million.

He denied the charges and is out on a Sh1 million bond

On Wednesday however, Chris Ayieko, a lawyer representing the MD told the court that they had started negotiations with NSSF.

“We are negotiating with NSSF and we are requesting to be given another date,” said Ayieko.

The prosecution has lined up five witnesses to testify against the miller and its MD with its hearing now pushed to April 9, 2020.

The suit comes at a time when the miller has restarted its operations more than a year after it closed down under huge debts and cane shortage.

The closure of the factory had affected more than 20,000 contracted farmers from Nandi and Kisumu regions who supply cane to the miller and businesses in neighbouring towns.