•We feel that Mumias is a viable company and can be revived. We’re going to come up with a revival plan for the company in the next one week which we shall share with the creditors and other players on the way forward - Oparanya
•Senator Malala insisted that the national government be the first line option since it owns shares in both the miller and KCB Bank.
Kakamega leaders will seek appointment with President Uhuru Kenyatta on the revival of the troubled Mumias Sugar Company.
On Friday evening, the leaders agreed to seek the president's commitment on the revival of the miller, whose collapse would spell doom to the county’s economy.
“We feel that Mumias is a viable company and can be revived. We’re going to come up with a revival plan for the company in the next one week, which we shall share with the creditors and other players on the way forward,” said Kakamega governor Wycliffe Oparanya, who read the resolutions to journalists.
Kakamega county enforcement officers will be deployed to the company to protect property from vandalism and theft.
The meeting was attended by deputy governor Philip Kutima, Senator Cleophas Malala, nominated Senator Naomi Shiyonga, Woman Rep Elsie Muhanda, and MPs Emmanuel Wangwe (Navakholo), Ben Washiali (Mumias East) and Bernard Shinali (Ikolomani) and ex-Sports CS Rashid Echesa.
KCB Bank, one of the lender to the miller, appointed PVR Rao as the receiving manager for the miller. The move has caused anxiety among both leaders and cane farmers. Sugarcane farming is the only cash crop in the county.
A leader who attended the meeting bud did not want to be named told the Star that Oparanya and Washiali said that there were international and local investors ready to take over the company. Oparanya named two investors from India, the leader said.
He said that Malala insisted that the national government be the first line option since it owns shares in both the miller and KCB Bank.
“Malala demanded to know whether the county’s engagement with KCB was in writing and the governor said no, casting aspersions on any deal that may have been reached,” he said.
Oparanya said that the county leadership had already engaged with KCB to plead with it to halt the receivership until they presented a revival plan and urged other creditors to allow the county come up with a turnaround programme. He said that a legal team was already working on the matter on behalf of the county government.
But even as he said this, a security firm appointed by the receiving manager is said to have arrived at the miller on Saturday demanding to man the gates to the premises.
The meeting also resolved that those who owe Mumias to the tune of Sh1bn should be made to pay up so the money can go towards the revival plans.
Oparanya said that leaders also agreed that relevant investigative agencies should immediately probe those behind the trouble at the miller and make them accounts for their deeds because they are known.