COUNTIESNEWS

MPs back Oparanya bid to revive Mumias sugar miller

Enock Amukhale

Leaders from Kakamega county have backed the move by Governor Wycliffe Oparanya’s administration to take over management of the cash-strapped Mumias Sugar Company.

Speaking on Saturday during the Madaraka Day celebrations at Bomani grounds in Mumias West, the leaders vowed to support the bid to put the sugar firm back to its feet.

Led by Mumias East MP Benjamin Washiali, Ikolomani’s Benard Shinali and Nominated Senator Naomi Shiyonga, they asked farmers to support Oparanya with a view to protecting the company’s assets and reviving the factory.

Last month, Oparanya formed a 12-member committee to oversee Mumias revival, including managing the company’s assets.

The team was tasked to manage the firm’s estate, safeguard its assets and map out a revival plan that would be used to resuscitate the grounded factory.

MPs said the current Mumias management has failed to alleviate the company’s woes, and only  succeeded in auctioning its property.

Oparanya maintained the county has what it takes to steer the company back to profitability and urged farmers to resume cane growing.

Cash injections

The giant sugar firm has been grounded for a long time and the government’s bid to boost it through cash injections has proved futile.

But the company’s board protested Oparanya’s  takeover of the management, terming it unlawful and worrying. “Mumias sugar is a private company whose liability is limited by shares,” said board chairman Kennedy Ngumbau.

Meanwhile, Oparanya has put criminal gangs in the county on notice, saying the government will stop them.

Citing recent killings in Matungu and Khwisero in which 14 people including children lost their lives, the governor said they will deal with those found culpable accordingly.

“The killings are not different from those of terrorists who kill innocent people,” he said.

County Commissioner Abdiruzak Jaldessa said the onoing security operation in Matungu had borne fruit and would be sustained.

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