Mumias to launch bailout cash audit

Mumias Sugar Company Board Chairman Kennedy Ngumbau Mulwa (right) and company Managing Director Nashon Aseka (left) ( PHOTO: BENJAMIN SAKWA)

MUMIAS, KENYA: Mumias Sugar Company will conduct a financial audit to establish how a Sh3.2 billion bailout by the Government was utilised.

Board chairman Kenneth Ngumbau said the probe targets former managers in the finance and procurement departments.

“We shall commission thorough investigations and audit various departments to establish how the money was spent,” Dr Ngumbau told The Standard.

He said the board had invited Government agencies to audit the firm’s financial systems and make the findings public.

“The last tranche of Sh500 million the company received went into reviving the milling firm. We must be told how the Sh3.2 billion given earlier was spent by the former managers,” said the chairman.

He said the new management team led by Chief Executive Nashon Aseka had sealed loopholes used by unscrupulous individuals at the firm to loot and misuse company resources.

“The board and the management are in constant consultations to ensure the revival of the company. We aim to implement our five-year strategic plan to have Mumias back on its feet,” said Ngumbau.

Mr Aseka dismissed claims that the company was repackaging cheap imported sugar as a Mumias brand.

“We have enough sugar in our warehouse. No imported sugar has been brought in and repackaged by the management. People should be keen not to be duped by counterfeit sugar in the market,” he said.

Aseka said the factory was currently crushing between 4,000 and 6,000 tonnes of cane per day and had resumed the sale of electricity to the national grid at between 14 and 16 megawatts daily.

Power station

“Our power station is the biggest in Western (Kenya). We are able to produce 36 megawatts. We use 12 megawatts internally,” said the CEO.

He said the miller had lost most of its contracted cane farmers due to dwindling income, dishonesty by the former management and cane poaching.

“We are engaging our cane farmers and they have agreed to sell their crop to us. It is unfortunate that we lost them when the company was experiencing financial problems,” he said.

“We are grateful to have them back to support us by supplying raw material.”