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MPs allege government plan to sell out Mumias Sugar Company

By Alex Wakhisi | May 23rd 2017 | 2 min read

Two MPs have said the national government is planning to sell Mumias Sugar Company to foreign investors.

Senator Boni Khalwale and Navakholo MP Emmanuel Wangwe said top State officials were pushing to have the company put under receivership.

"Mumias Sugar Company is a victim of specific people and forces in the Government who want to buy the company. They are pushing hard to have the company sold. They want to buy it cheaply by arguing that it is not viable, just as they did with Webuye Pan Paper," said Dr Khalwale in an interview with The Standard.

The senator linked the plan to some investors in the sugar industry operating in the county. He said the investors wanted to monopolise the sector in the region.

He also accused the Jubilee government of not being genuine in its promise to revive the cash-strapped sugar miller.

Private company

"The investor is a partner of some leaders in the Jubilee government. They want the company to collapse so they can take it over as a private company," he said. "Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya lied to us when he said he supported Mumias. The Sh200 million allocated to the company ended up in the pockets of individuals and never reached the company."

Mr Wangwe said "business scavengers" had been spotted at the county government offices pushing lenders to put the company under receivership.

"Some investors of Asian origin have been seen at the county government with the aim of buying the miller. They are pushing hard to have the company but they should know it belongs to the community," said Wangwe.

He said the company had also ignored farmers and blamed the management for the crisis.

The firm has been facing a serious financial crisis since 2009, which led to the Government issuing Sh3.1 billion for a revival process.

The sugar miller has also requested an additional Sh3.41 billion to settle farmers' payments. It is currently closed for three months for maintenance even though a shortage of sugarcane also contributed to the closure.

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