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Non-performing sugar factories to be closed in six months

By Raphael Wanjala | November 14th 2018
Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri (PHOTO: FILE)

KAKAMEGA, KENYA: Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri has revealed that all state sugar millers that will not be financially stable in the next six months will be closed.

Speaking when he toured Nzoia Sugar Company in Bungoma County on Tuesday afternoon, Kiunjuri said many top managers of the sugar millers were underperforming.

He said the collapse of the millers was due to mismanagement and challenged those who will try to run them once shut to do so at their own peril.

“In six months any sugar miller that will not be independent financially will be shut. If the leadership is failing we will have to disband the board of management,” he stated.

Kiunjuri revealed that a team of auditors from his ministry had been dispatched to audit the accounts of Nzoia Sugar and other state millers.

The CS stated that the government would not pay any ghost worker, supplier or farmers once they send money to the factories.

Kiunjuri stated that they were working hard to ensure that the government pays only genuine farmers from the money that will be released and any farmer that owes any miller money will have to pay the miller.

“We are working round the clock to ensure that we have a clean register of those to be paid. Farmers should expect their money by Christmas and if anyone owes the miller money be assured that I will deduct,” stated Kiunjuri.

Bungoma Governor Wycliffe Wangamati stated that Nzoia Sugar Company has the highest impact in terms of economic growth of Bungoma County and called for a long term solution to challenges bedeviling the sugar sector.

He stated that the importation of cheap sugar into the local market was part of the problem that was affecting the local millers and called or a speedy publishing of the regulations for the sugar sector.

“More than half a million people depend on the Nzoia Sugar Company in Bungoma County and beyond but what is ailing this firm is the importation of sugar by some selfish sugar barons who are killing our economy,” said Wangamati.

Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala asked the auditors to engage farmers to ensure that only genuine ones receive payments from the government.

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