Leaders drawn from the Western Kenya Sugar belt now want the government to hand over running of Nzoia Sugar Factory to the County Government of Bungoma.
Led by Bungoma Senator, Moses Wetang’ula, the leaders said the miller ought to be left to the County Government to manage since the National Government has been unable to run the company.
Wetang’ula spoke in Webuye at the weekend during the burial of Painito Musiambo ,, the father to Deputy Head of Public Service, Wanyama Musiambo,
“Nzoia sugar is in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) now, let the National Government hand the miller to the County Government of Bungoma to manage,” Wetang’ula said.
He said the County Government would get a suitable investor and ensure farmers have the largest shares in the miller that provides livelihoods to thousands of families.
“Earlier, plans to privatize the miller was ill-advised and meant to impoverish the local communities growing sugarcane in the region,” added Wetang’ula.
His sentiments were echoed by Bungoma Governor Wycliffe Wangamati , who revealed that there are no operations currently going on at Nzoia Sugar Factory
He agreed with Senator Wetangula on the need to hand the factory to Bungoma County Government, noting agriculture is a devolved function.
“As the producers of the raw material, we want to take over the ownership of the company from the government to end the continued suffering,” said Wangamati.
The Nzoia Sugar Company was to be privatized by August 2018 with a strategic partner scheduled to take 51 percent while the government would remain with at least 25 percent shares.
By Paul Mwangi/Roseland Lumwamu