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MAKES AND DESTROYS CAREERS

Nzoia Sugar leasing supporters will be voted out, Wetang'ula warns

Senator says leasing equal to selling off factory that has supported livelihoods for years

In Summary

• The Ford Kenya leader wants the National Government to transfer shares to the county government, which is the "trustee of the Bungoma people".

• He identifies Nzoia's problems as poor management and undercapitalisation, both of which can be addressed.

 

Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang'ula arrives at the burial service in Bokoli, Webuye West on Saturday.
OUTLAWING OUTSIDERS: Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang'ula arrives at the burial service in Bokoli, Webuye West on Saturday.
Image: JOHN NALIANYA

 

Bungoma leaders who support the planned leasing of Nzoia Sugar Company risk being voted out in 2022, according to Senator Moses Wetang’ula.

Wetang’ula, who is the Ford Kenya leader, said Nzoia Sugar Company has made careers and also destroyed them.

“Those supporting the leasing of the firm for 30 years, which equals to selling it, will be shocked because they will lose votes during the general election. I am asking my governor, Wycliffe Wangamati, to tread carefully because Nzoia is our only investment,” he said.

The senator was addressing mourners at Bokoli in Webuye West on Saturday.

Other public sugar mills targeted for leasing include Muhoroni, Chemelil and Sony. 

Wetang'ula wants Nzoia to be transferred to the county government. 

“It is up to you to choose which path to follow. My idea is that the National Government transfers the shares to the county government, which is the trustee of the Bungoma people," he said. 

Thereafter it will be up to the county to look for a strategic partner to manage the firm, he said.

According to Wetang'ula, Nzoia's problems are poor management and undercapitalisation, both of which need to be addressed.

He said agriculture is a devolved function and it is not the business of the National Government to direct counties on local investment.

“We cannot allow our forefathers land to be taken over by a private investor. We will not allow it,” Wetang'ula said and promised to convene a meeting at the Bungoma market to discuss the Nzoia Sugar issue.

“The government did not hold any public participation meeting to allow the sugar stakeholders to raise their voices so that they agree or disagree on various issues surrounding the leasing,” he said.

Among those who support the leasing of the mill are Wangamati, Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa, Kanduyi MP Wafula Wamunyinyi and his Tongaren counterpart Eseli Simiyu.

 

Edited by P.O