OPINION: The Smoke At Mumias Sugar Is No More

Bungoma governor Wycliffe Wangamati has promised to set aside funds to repossess Webuye Panpaper Mills from the notorious Rai family of Raiply and West Kenya sugar.

This is a very good idea which should be borrowed by his Kakamega counterpart Wycliffe Oparanya in ensuring that Mumias Sugar Company (MSC) gets back on its feet.

But even as we wait to see the usual black & white smoke which for many years happened to be the trademark of MSC we should put things into perspective by going down the memory lane to find out what really went wrong.

The fact that Mumias East MP Ben Washiali has been in the forefront of fighting for MSC and the sugarcane farmer I do not vindicate him for having been part of the problems the once East & Central Africa giant MSC is facing today.

Washiali and his Jubilee compatriots should squarely carry the blame for sending MSC to its death bed by forcing out former CEO Peter Kebati who had started bringing the Company back to its feet.

Kebati who was falsely accused of mismanagement was replaced by Dan Ameyo a former Secretary General of United Democtratic Front (UDF) a party that later joined President Uhuru’s Party of National Unity (PNU). Ameyo and his team would later hammer the final nail onto MSC’s coffin.

Right now farmers have lost confidence in the company that even if the National government pumped billions of shillings into the Company it would just disappear into thin air because no one is willing to be associated with MSC or even supply his or her cane to the Company.

To make the situation even more worse is the fact that the Jubilee administration has allowed two companies namely West Kenya Sugar and Kibos Sugar to set up a factory and a weighbridge respectively within Mumias sugar zone which is against the 40 KM radius sugar law to scramble for the little raw material left that would help breath some life into the Company.

As the people of Western most of whom earned a living from MSC for many years continue to suffer Washiali and the Jubilee government are busy reaping and cheating that they would revive the Company in a way of getting votes from the region.

As a people we should therefore not cheer up leaders who are rewarded by sending our economy to the dogs the likes of Ken Lusaka and Benjamin Washiali.

Lusaka has been rewarded with Senate speaker job for helping Uhuru Kenyatta through his friend Rai to buy Panpaper through backdoor and at a throw away price while Washiali who was part of the UDF team and even took over the Party’s leadership rewarded with National Assembly Chief Whip job for helping kill Mumias so that it can be bought by the same cartels just like Panpaper.

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