President William Ruto has hinted at the government bailing out cash-strapped Mumias Sugar Company by writing off its debts and bringing in a new investor to replace Sarrai Group from Uganda.
Addressing leaders and residents from Western Kenya at Kakamega State Lodge on Thursday, Dr Ruto said he had promised to revive the sugar sector and time was of the essence.
“If things are not done right, we are going to bring an investor whether short or tall, black or white. We want to see the factory running so that every month it gives Sh100 million to the County Government of Kakamega,” said Ruto.
He said despite the State pumping in a substantial amount of money to revive the miller, its woes had continued to the detriment of the people.
“No roads have been constructed lately by Mumias Sugar Company. Its employees have not educated their children yet the company has been gobbling up national government money,” he said of the factory that collapsed due to mismanagement even after the national government gave it some Sh5 billion.
The President was particularly concerned that about 8,000 acres that locals gave the company to be used as its nucleus estate for cane development were largely lying idle months after Sarrai took over.
“The people expected to benefit from the deal but after all those years they have not seen tangible benefits from Mumias Sugar Company,” he said.
He hinted at looking for a new investor through a process that would be above board to ensure the factory was in safe hands.
“Let nobody lie to you that another trick will be applied when awarding tender to the investor who will take over Mumias. I am going to be part of the process either directly or indirectly,” he said.