Mumias replaces MD amid plans to resume operations next month

Workers at Mumias Sugar Company. /FILE
Workers at Mumias Sugar Company. /FILE

Mumias Sugar Company has replaced Managing Director Patrick Chebosi barely seven months after he was appointed to steer the firm out of financial crisis.

Chebosi has been replaced by Isaac Sheunda in an acting capacity. Sheunda is the former chairman of Sukari Sacco.

Dalmas Wala is the new acting risk management officer.

The changes aimed at turning around the debt-ridden factory were confirmed by board chairman Kennedy Ngumbau.

Chebosi took over from Nashon Aseka in June last year. Aseka had been at the helm for a year.

Previously, Errol Johnson wasmanaging director but he resigned while on holiday abroad, citing unspecified conditions under which he could not operate.

Ngumbau said the appointments were focussed on structural and policy changes to streamline operations.

He did not discuss Chebosi but sources told the Star the former boss had been sent on compulsory leave.

Attempts to reach Chebosi for comment were futile as calls to his mobile phone did not go through. He also did not respond to short text messages.

Sheunda yesterday said he will ensure that the company resumes operations by the end of next month.

Mumias crushes cane and produces electricity and ethanol.

The company has remained shut since April last year due to financial instability and lack of cane.

Sheunda promised to prioritise farmers’ welfare, saying delayed payment

has

damaged the company’s relationship with its key stakeholders.

CANE POACHING

“For the past years, we have done wrong by taking our farmers for granted. Farmers’ payments will be a top priority for me. Other employees will be getting their salaries after farmers have been paid,” Sheunda said.

He said he will meet all farmers “so that we can agree on how to revive” the company. “We’ll also focus on cane development to ensure the factory has enough raw materials,” Sheunda said.

The MD said they will ask the sugar task force to recommend that Mumias be given additional funds for maintenance because it has been out of operations for a long time.

In October last year, President Uhuru Kenyatta directed

the formation of the task force to explore ways of reviving the sugar industry.

The team is co-chaired by Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya and Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri.