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State seeks major investors for local sugar factories

By Nikko Tanui | Jul 7th 2015 | 2 min read
By Nikko Tanui | July 7th 2015

National Assembly’s Committee on Finance, Planning and Trade chairman Benjamin Langat has said the State is scouting for an investor to purchase 51 per cent of shares in each of the sugar factories and run the factories as part of the privatisation programme of the sugar industry.

Speaking during a fundraiser at Kapchebwai Primary school, in the sugarcane growing area of Soin/ Sigowet constituency in Kericho County, Langat claimed Mumias sugar factory plunged into management and financial crisis since shares had been sold in small fragments to around one million shareholders.

“The situation led to confusion since the shares had been so fragmented to a point that as the company’s resources were being plundered, no one could stand up and claim to own the company and restore order in the factory,” he said.

Enough funds

The Ainamoi MP added that the investor should also have enough funds to overhaul the machinery as well as for promptly paying sugarcane farmers their dues for the farm produce. Langat added that farmers would be allowed to purchase 24 to 30 per cent of the share of the factories in the initial public offer.

At the same time, the MP appealed for calm among the local residents, assuring they would not lose their farms since the farms would be on lease to the factories in the privatisation programme deal. “No one is going to take away your farms, the pieces of land would only be on lease to the factories because there is no way an investor can purchase a factory and he or she doesn’t have a sugarcane nuclear estate,” said Langat.

Members of Kericho County Assembly (MCAs) led by the Deputy speaker Jonathan Maritim, former Belgut MP Kiptarus Kirior and prominent businessman and politician Jonah Keter among others attended the function.

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