TRANSPARENCY

Don't sell sugar industries secretly, farmers say

Let them (cartels) continue with their boardroom meetings with a few brokers but they should know that farmers will have the final say

In Summary

•Kenya Sugarcane Growers Association Secretary-General Richard Ogendo said the tendering process must be public and done in a transparent manner.

•The secretary-general said those interested in taking over the factories should follow the right procedure and tender.

Tractors ferrying sugarcane to Chemelil Sugar Company in Kisumu
Image: MAURICE ALAL

Public-owned sugar companies in Kisumu county should not be sold in secret, a farmers union has said.

 

Kenya Sugarcane Growers Association Secretary-General Richard Ogendo said the tendering process must be public and done in a transparent manner.

Ogendo claimed that some private millers were planning to buy Chemelil, Miwani and Muhoroni mills both in Muhoroni sub-county through a backdoor transaction.

He warned that any unprocedural sale of the mills will be resisted by local leaders and farmers, who are the major shareholder in the sugar industry.

“Let them continue with their boardroom meetings with a few brokers but they should know that farmers will have the final say,” Ogendo said on Thursday.

The secretary-general said those interested in taking over the factories should follow the right procedure and tender.

“We are aware some Asian tycoons are working day and night to manipulate the process and take control of the three factories," he said.

He added: "The process must be transparent and accountable. Nothing else.” 

 

Ogendo told potential investors to deal with farmers and not cartels, who are only out to push for their selfish gains.

“Work directly with farmers in the cane growing zones and instead of taking a few people in a hotel in disguise of meeting farmers,” he added.

He also told off those galvanising support to defeat the re-introduction of the Sugar Act 2011, which will see the return of Kenya Sugar Board into operation.

Ogendo has also challenged Lake Region Economic Bloc leadership to champion the interest of farmers and not millers.

The bloc, he said, should work closely with farmers on how they can better their livelihoods and not be allowed to be used to push for individual interest.

Sugar at Chemelil Sugar Company in Kisumu
Image: MAURICE ALAL