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Stop opposing leasing of sugar factories, CS Munya tells leaders

Monday July 20 2020
munya

Agriculture CS Peter Munya speaking in Nzoia on July 20, 2020. PHOTO | BRIAN OJAMAA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By BRIAN OJAMAA

The government has urged leaders and residents from the cane growing zones to support the leasing of State-owned sugar industries.

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya Monday said that leasing the ailing sugar factories will be good for the industry that over 10 million people depend on.

Speaking at Nzoia Sugar Factory’s guest house in Kanduyi Constituency, Mr Munya asked those politicising the planned leasing of the factories to stop, terming them enemies of development.

Mr Munya said that the government has waived Sh11 billion debts that Nzoia Factory was owing the State in readiness for leasing.

He said that the factory has previously been revived seven times after it collapsed.

He said that the State decided to do so since no investor was willing to invest in a company that has debts.

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"The government waived Sh11 billion to allow the private investors to come and lease the company and revamp it," he said.

The CS further said that the government has written off debts amounting to Sh62 billion owed by the ailing sugar factories across the country.

He said that a task force that recommended for sugar reforms led to the gazettement of sugar export and import regulations.

"Treasury is cleaning up the books so that the Sh62 billion debts can be removed immediately," he said.

He said leaders from western Kenya met the President and agreed to get a long term solution for the sugar issue that has been a thorn in the flesh to cane farmers for many years.

The CS told those who doubt the government’s resolve to solve the matter to be patient and wait for the completion of the process.

Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya said that the government’s move to resolve the issue of stalled projects in western Kenya should not be politicised.

"The waiver of the Nzoia debt and Sh20 billion for Mumias is to help the factories have a face that can attract investors who can streamline the industry," he said.

He said that the privatisation process has stalled because of legal hurdles.

"That is why we said we will release the factory to a good capable investor with conditions that the investor takes all workers, accepts agreements made between the company workers, outgrowers’ interests, say how much he will invest in to avoid brokers coming in and have performance bonds to reach our targets. All these conditions will be in the lease agreement," said Mr Munya.

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