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February 22, 2019

Outa wants EABL to hire residents for Sh15bn plant

A section of Kisumu Kenya Breweries plant on repair on March 21,2018.Photo/Enos Teche.
A section of Kisumu Kenya Breweries plant on repair on March 21,2018.Photo/Enos Teche.

Kisumu Senator Fred Outa wants East African Breweries Ltd to hire residents when its Sh15 billion brewery starts production.

It is not clear when the plant will start production.

He said residents should be given priority in hiring. Outa’s call follows numerous inquiries at his Kisumu’s office by residents, who said they have been denied jobs at the brewery.

The plant is anticipated to create close to 100,000 jobs directly and indirectly throughout Western region.

Outa, who on Friday met the company’s representatives, said he will convene a meeting of county leaders to discuss employment issues and allow plant operations.

“As the representative of the people, we will discuss matters with the brewery management and come up with amicable solutions,” he said.

Outa supported the revival of the plant, saying the county has both skilled and non-skilled workers.

He said he does not object to the company’s hiring experts and expatriates, but wants the management to consider residents for other jobs.

Concerning sorghum farming, he said farmers should be given clear terms for their contracts to supply EABL.

The company has contracted more than 30,000 farmers to grow sorghum, which is the main raw ingredient of Senator Keg.

Outa urged farmers to form societies to ensure large-scale production. “When farmers come together, they will produce more sorghum,” he said.

The Senator told farmers to be wary of middlemen buyers who are out to swindle them of their hard work.

The senator said the revival of the company will present an opportunity for residents to work and make a living.

The factory is being built at the location of EABL’s old facility, which closed in 2002 because of improvements in beer-production technology.

This led to excess production capacity at the Nairobi plant.

In March, EABL managing director Jane Karuku said construction was on schedule.

Karuku said the Senator Keg has been a huge success. It is safe and affordable, thus, preferred by consumers, she said. The plant is expected to produce 100 million litres a year.

"Its production in Kisumu makes perfect sense because the climate is right for sorghum. Kisumu residents are delighted," Karuku had said.

The plant is the largest project in the Nyanza region and Kenya in decades.

EABL says it will be an engine of economic development and help transform the lakeside city and neighbouring counties.

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