Category Archives: Sugar


Writes Leo Odera Omolo in Homa-Bay own.

Poverty index in Rangwe constituency in general and Homa-BAY County in particular is the highest, and means and ways must be found of stamping out the abject of poverty in the area. And the only sensible and quickest way of enhancing the purchasing power of the locals is for the elected leaders in the region to support the proposed white sugar mill slated to be established in Rangwe as soon as the government give its okay for the project to start.

These views were expressed by the Rangwe MP George Oner at the weekend. Speaking during an exclusive interview with this writer in Kisumu city. He expressed the home that his fellow legislators fro the region, MCAS professionals, businessmen, traders and rural folks will join him in supporting the noble project which is said at lifting the standard of living of the residents of the regions involved.

The MP said the project has received wider support and unanimous blessing and backing from the County governments of Homa-Bay, Migori and Kisii. On completion and during its operational, the proposed new white sugar processing mills to be located at Aoch Muga in Gem West Location, Homa-Bay district will receive the bulk its raw cane material from Homa-Bay at the rate of 9 per cent, and 10 per cent from Migori, and Ndhiwa as well as the same percentage from the southern part of kisii and Kasipul constituency.

The youthful MP said the new mill will enhanced the income of the rural farming population in the region because there will be better schools, better and modernized health facilities such as private, hospitals. Rural farmer will have an easy access to market for their farm products next door as the purchasing power of the locals would be enhanced considerably.

The MP thanked the Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture Felix Kosgei who made an extensive toured the region on July 6th and personally listened to the pleas of the farmers and their cries for the project. The MP said he was too optimistic that president Uhuru Kenyatta’s government would soon sanctioned the licensing of the project so that the construction of the mill to start the earliest, and that the CS Kosgei would soon return to Homa-Bay County to officially officiate I the groundbreaking ceremony so that the construction work on the new mill could start immediately.

The MP also thanked the CEO of the Kenya sugar board Rosemary Mkok who accompanied the Agriculture CS Kosgei during his tour and the representative of the HOMA-bayanbd MIGORI county governments. H was also thankful to governors Cyprian Awiti of Homa-Bay and Zachary Okoth Obado of Migori county for the blessing of the new sugar project. He said the feasibility studies of the projects were completed several years ago. The developers had strictly observed the rules and regulations lay down by the KSB which stipulates that those intending to establish new sugar factory must ensure that the new facility is located in a location which is 40 kilometers apart from the existing factory in distance. In the case of the Rangwe project, it will be located about 46 kilometers from Sukari Industries in Ndhiwa and 41 kilometers from the Awendo based SONYSUGAR factory.

The MP, however, strongly abhorred the alleged secret maneuvers by an unnamed senior politician from the region who is reported to have raised an objection against the licensing of the new sugar mill under the pretext of flimsy and lame excuses, adding that such a leader should be classified and isolated as someone who is anti-development character.

Unemployment in our region is the highest and anyone who has the capacity of putting up a project of this magnitude should be highly appreciated and give the necessary assistance.

Meanwhile the former vice chairman f the defunct County council of the greater Southern Nyanza EX-Coun, Elisha Adeny Rachilo has threatened that he would mobilize about 100 elders from the region to travel to Nairobi and visit State house to petition President Uhuru Kenyatta and ask him to intervene on the matter with the view to ensure that the Homa-Bay sugar mill is licensed as soon as possible should there be any further delay in granting of the same.

Speaking on a different forum Ex Coun Adeny Rachilo said that the rate of unemployment among the youth in the region has reached an alarming proportion and because President Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto are known to be totally committed to economically empowering the youth of this country his team would request the President to visit the region and see for himself what his people on the ground are saying about this most important economic project, the only one of its kind I the vast region.

Meanwhile this writer made an extensive visit to Hom-Bay and Migori Counties over the weekend and conducted interviews with the stakeholders, politicians and opinion leaders who appeared to be unanimous in support of the Rngwe sugar mill project.

The writer visited Rongo, Awendo and Migori towns and wound up in Oyugis. The surety revealed that there would be close to 30,000 hectors of land readily available to be used as sugar cane growing zones, in areas covering Kodera and kotieno in Ksipul. Kagan nd Gongo Locations, Gem Central east and South locations ,Kamagambo West, north,Kitutu Chache South and North Bonchari and south Mugirango regiona. All these areas are potential for sugar cane growing and could produce as many as 60,000 hectare of sugar cane growing potential area which will br sufficient to sustain a larger sugar mill.



reports Leo Odera Omolo

THERE were circuses and near physical combat on Tuesday this week when a group of local land foreign investors toured the facility for the purpose of making assessment about its viability ahead of its privatization ,which is scheduled in two months time.

The investors were accompanied by the officials from NEMA, but they were confronted at the gate cf the facility by rowdy goons masquerading as local farmers and stakeholders who threatened to beat them up forcing the group to cut short and call off their mission.

It has since been established that a cartel of wealthy Kisumu based Indians with the vested interest in Miwani Sugar Mills had held a secret night meeting the with the goons previous night at undisclosed venue within Miwani and instructed the youth not to allow any other groups of potential investors to access the facility.

Mi9wani sugar Mills the oldest sugar factory in Kenya which was the first to be established in the country in 1927 by an Australian white settler farmer is currently closed. It went burst in 2001 and was placed under the joint official protective official receivership together with the Muhoroni Sugar MILLS by the government which is the sole shareholder.

The goons acting at the behest of their invisible hirer masters insisting that there should be no visit to the facility before it was advertised for privatization and were adamant not to allow any such visit. They also threatened to burn down the vehicles that conveyed the investors to the facility unless the owners made a quick about-turn.

Businessmen intending to make their bid for Miwani Sugar Mills are said to be very much scared after getting the information about the expected cut-throat competition involving the hiring of criminal thugs. \they have expressed the fear that unless the government moves much faster with speed and advertise when it plan to off-load its shares as all the five public owned sugar factories in Western Kenya the possibility of the exercise being sabotaged by the interested parties cannot be ruled out.

All the previous attempt to have Miwani sold to private entrepreneurs have always hit the snag. The attempts were followed with series of court cases filed on flimsy grounds deliberately to have the exercise time barred. When the cases were finally over and determined, some unnamed officials at the lands Ministry corruptly and deliberately withheld the facility’s land title deeds pre-empting the transactions.

The major source of all the commotions is the 10,000 hectares Miwani nucleus estate farm, which some wealthy cartel of RICH Indians tycoon based in Miwani and Kisumu have focused their attention and hell-bent grab through the hook or crook. These cartels of crooks have been putting all sorts of barriers on the path of Miwani Sugar Mll’s privatization, while its owner which is the government seemed to be toothless bull=dog on the issue.

The carcasses which erupted at the facility is the clear indication that something fishy is going on, which calls for the government action.



Industrial feature By Leo Odera Omolo

It is indeed encouraging that the government of Kenya welcomes and encourage both foreign and local investors wiling to invest their money in the agro – based and manufacturing sectors, therefore the time is ripe for the government to set up certain conditions which must be met by the investors willing to invest their money in this country. The time is ripe for the government to set up certain conditions and terms conducive to employment regulations and rules before their investments kick off.

As for now, the multinational Tea companies operating in Kericho and Nandi Hills regions are the ones which have set up good examples by way of making sure that senior management positions are in the hands highly skilled and semi skilled in indigenous Kenya Africans.

The British multinational tea manufacturing companies, like the uniliver (formerly Brooke Band Tea) in Kericho, and the Finlays tea and Flowers in Kericho, and the Finlays tea and Flowers, also operating in Kericho and bomet counties have engaged the highly trained local personnel . The two terms even have promoted to high and middle management positions, some of them trained on-the-jobs.

The same could be said of Eastern Province tea company which own chains of tea plantations and processing factories in Nandi Hills, Kericho and Sotik Highland and Kibabet tea companies in Sotik region of Kericho county.

In most of the above multinational tea companies nearly all the top managers, engineers, doctors, Chief Accountants, Financial Directors positions, are held by indigenous Africans with the exception of the positions involving foreigners who are specilaized on highly technical work.

These British multinational tea Multinational companies had introduced a crush training program immediately after Kenya attained political independence in 1963. They embarked in phasing out foreign expatriate managers, technician artisans. The two expatriate who stayed on their jobs were compelled to train Africans to understudy the expatriate previously employed on lucrative and plum jobs and replaced Them with the local personnel.

What is happening in the tea industry is reflecting the true picture of job creation in a country like kenya where unemployment situation has reached as alarming proportion. It has at large become the source of rising crime waves. The government policy on job creation and employment regulation in Kenya not exceptional. This is something which is happening every where on the globe.

Certain conditions must be set up for the purpose of scrutinizing rogue investors who discriminate and enslave the locals in their establishment.

In this context, I am referring to the pathetic employment conditions in the sugar mills especially where he investors use local African workers like slaves, petty casuals without approximant letters and term and conditions of services etc.

I have in mind the five sugar companies owned by Indian investors.

To be specific and more clear ,the sugar companies owned by Indians include West Kenya and Butali sugar companies which are based in kakamega county ,while Sukari industries is located in Homa – Bay County , Kibos sugar and Allied industries based in Kisumu county and the latest is the Trans – mara sugar company based in Narok County Kibos Sugar and Allied Industries is situated in Kisumu County with the latest and the newest sugar mill being the Trans-Mara sugar Company in NAROK county

In all the five sugar mills the investors have embarked in engaging foreign expatriate workers with impunity. The Investors in the sugar mills have engaged the largest number of expatriates workers to the chagrins of locals. These expatriate workers, most of them imported from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, are semi-illiterate. Expatriate workers from India. Pakistan and Bangladesh are the ones who are running petty jobs such as time-keeper, junior clerks, cane yard clerks and top jobs from the top and down to messenger and … even cooks for making Indian dishes for the top Indian top managers

The whole set up looked like the modern day apartheid racial segregation in an independent Kenya .some of the positions held by the expartriates involved simple clerical jobs which the forum four school learners cam even perform better than semi-literate expatriates.

African workers are kept in the periphery. While working only as subordinate and manual workers, but with no letter of appointment. In the case of those local comparison to what their expatriate counterparts earns, some of the mills produced negligible tons of sugar per day but have employed close to 200 expatriates compare with the Mumias ugar company which turns the highest amounts of sugar per day, is the highest in the country, at 96000 tons per day . But the mill is managed exclusively and efficiently by the local African Manager from the top to the down trodden office messengers and sweepers

Since the terms of its former contracted management of Booker Agricultural international expired two decades ago and the expatriate left the have turned the company around from the the profit losses to a vibrant facility that is a profit making it rather shameful for Kenya, a country which has been independent for 50 years and has trained and truned out thousands of highly skilled personnel, to make the dumping for illiterate and oldest Indian workers who cannot be employed even in their own country .These undesirable Indian expatriate workers have flooded our sugar sub sector of the economy.

The majority of Indian expatriate workers were told they cannot be subjected to the mandatory safety deduction such as NSSF al NHIF as are allowed to export their package back home to their families .Why should the key a government allow the kind of modern day slavery where in citizens are being subjected to discrimination on few opportunities that are available.




Reports leo Odera Omolo In Kisumu CITY

Members of the Luo Council of Elders held an urgent meeting in kisumu city on Monday and passed several far-reaching resolutions, one of them urging president Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto to visit Luo-Nyanza in the near future at their on convenience time.

The meeting chaired by Ker Meshack Riaga Ogalo and attended by 30 elders from all the four Counties within Luo-Nyyanza was held at the Museum view hotel within the posh milimani estate within in Kisumu CITY also urged the community to re-brand itself and avoid the politics of confrontation with the government og the day in order to foster fast development in the region.

This was the meeting of the management steering committee of the Council. It will be followed by another meeting of the governing council scheduled to be held at the Ofafa Memorial Hall at a later date net month.

The elders issued a stern warning to the youthful members of parliament from Luo-Nyanza most of them the so-called “Green Horns” to humble themselves to the government of President Kenyatta and to stop issuing reckless utterances, which are viewed as hostile to the government in order to attract development in the region.

The elders also called upon the government to use all the means at its disposal to fight the up surging insecurity situation .They expressed concern particularly on the deteriorating security along Nyakach-Kericho border by apprehending those instigating trouble in the area.

Flanked by the Council’s secretary Mzee Edward Adera Osawa the elders said the would like President Kenyatta and DP Ruto to extend their tour of Nyanza to cover all the 20 parliamentary constituencies in the region, and to visit all the Counties of Siaya, Kisumu, Homa-Bay and Migori and meet the people.

The meeting urged the government to ensure equitable distributions of the national cake so that all the Kenyan communities could benefit from the country\s recourses irrespective of the party of affiliation.

Party of the affiliation

The elders called upon the two communities living along the Rift Valley-Nyanza Provinces, namely the Kipsigis and the Luos to live in peace and harmony, and to abandon retrogressive practices such as cattle rustling, which caused the losses of lives.

The elders reaffirmed their loyalty to President Kenyatta and his Deputy Ruto and disclosed that the next meeting will hammer out the contentious plans for the members of the Luo Cuncil of elders to visit state house in to discuss political and socio-economic development matters in Luo-Nyanza.

Another resolution asked the government to do everything at its disposal to stop the illegal importation of sugar in to the country saying that the practice is hurting sugar millers in Nyanza, some of them are just about to halt their operations and send thousands of workers home.The situation is getting out of hand and the President should use his political magnanimity dynamism to restore sanity in the sugar industry.




Rports Leo Odera Omolo In Awendo Town.

Unable to sell its made sugar and stuck with huge stockpile of the commodity in its warehouses, the Awendo based SonySugar is on its death bed and on the verge of total collapse. If the production at the government wholly owned multimillion shillings facility, located in Migori County stopped production, this will spill thousands of its close to 2500 workforce out job.

The leader of the majority at the Migori County Assembly Johnson Omolo Owiro has appealed to President Uhuru Kenyatta and the government to bring to a halt the illegal importation of sugar from foreign sources and protect Kenyan workers from being declared redundant.

Omolo Owiro is the MCA representing Central Sakwa ward in which SonySugar is situated. The ward also houses Awendo Town. He complained that the illegally imported sugar from outside and inside Cmesa region has flooded the market and were selling as cheaply as 70 per kg as opposed to SonySugar products, which is selling at Kshs 140 per kg. The company has has reduced the price of its sugar from Kshs 3800 per 50 kg to kshs 3200 per 50 kig, but still is unable to market its sugar due to the saturation of the market which is currently flooded by the illegal imports.

The problem has spilled over to the sugar cane farmers within the SonySugar cane growing zones. The miller is also unable to pay the cane suppliers in time. Most of the millers have reduced the price of raw cane from Kshs4800 per ton to almost kshs 300o per ton, and sooner or later it is likely to go down to Kshs 2500 per ton.

The cost of cane production for an acre is almost close to Ksh 6000. The government should arrest and prosecute the sugar barons involved in this racket. Some of the smugglers are said to be business magnates and politicians with connection in high places. Illegal sugar imports comes from Egypt, Tanzania and via some ports along the Kenya Somalia borders. “This must stop, because we cannot go on paying our hard earned money to the foreign workers at the expense of our own people. “Kenya must protect its citizen working for the sugar millers, ” said Omoloo Owiro.

SonySugar, he added is the largest manufacturing industry in Southern Nyanza and therefore a major source of employment to the locals. ITS collapse and closure would therefore impact negatively to the economic growth and development of the region.

Meanwhile reports reaching us say that nearly all the sugar millers in Western Kenya have got huge accumulated stockpile amounting to over 50,000 tons of sugar worth millions of shillings. The illegal sugar imports by smuggler has also affected the sales of the same commodity in other mills like Mumias, Chemelil, Muhoroni, Trans-Nzoia, Sukari Industries, Kibos and Trans-Mara millers.

Omolo Owiro, who is the former Mayor of Awendo, said his people, particularly cane farmers, were experiencing a lot of difficulties, unable to pay for their children’s school fees and to buy basic food commodities because SonySugar has run short of money to pay for the cane bills in time. The company is limping, though its top managers are making concerted efforts to keep it afloat and in business, but it can not go on like this when it can not sell its products to the consumer who most have opted for the illegally imported sugar ,which is selling cheaply.

The smugglers of sugar should be arrested and charged with economic crime and treated as saboteurs. Sabotaging the national economy of the Kenya nation. Owiro called upon the Senators and MPs from the sugar producing region to introduce a motion authorizing the immediate arrest of the racketeers.



News Analysis By Leo Odera Omolo In Kisumu City

CAMPAIGNING for his second term re-election in 2007 the retired president Mwai Kibaki made a pledge that his PNU government would create 500,000 jobs for youth and school leavers annually.

Indeed several half a dozen of newly established industries sprung up during the period of 2007-2013 giving Kenyans the hope for more employment opportunities.

Five new sugar mills were established during the period under review with an opening up of close to 1500 employment opportunity for Kenyans. This was in the agricultural sector where new five sugar factories were established and commissioned to be begin their production operation.

These factories included Sukari Industries in Ndhiwa, Homa-Bay Count, Trans-Mara Sugar Company Limited in Trans-Mara, Narok County, Kibos Sugar and Allied Industries limited based at Kibos near Kisumu City, West Kenya Sugar Com0-any and Butali SugarCompany both located near Kakamega town in Kakamega County. The sixth sugar mill is the relatively much smaller Soin Sugar Works , which is located in Ainamoi constituency within Kericho County.

Most of the investors in all these facilities were locally based entrepreneurs and Indians from India.

However, the dream of many Kenya technocrats of securing jobs in these new sugar mills were dashed, when the investors arms-twisted the PNU/ODM coalition government headed by two principals in the name of President Mwai Kibaki and the Prime Minister Raila Odinga, and made sure that they imported their Indian kith and kins from India ,Pakisan and Bangladesh for all senior managerial positions.

Strange things happened. The very government which issued hundreds of work permits to hundred of expatriate workers in the new facilities, leaving Kenyans with nothing to be proud of.

The most shocking thing, however, is the categories of imported expatriate workers. Most of them are said to be semi-illiterate consisting of motor vehicle and electrical mechanics, store-keepers, account clerks, time keepers, cane yard clerks, cashiers, salesmen, warehouse clerks, messengers and the like.

The existing laws and regulations governing the employment of expatriates in Kenya were flagrantly ignored. The existing law says that expatriates may be engaged to fill up a vacancy on jobs categories where a local indignant Kenyan African is not available to take up the position.

The man who was at the helm at the Ministry Immigration and registration of Persons in the coalition government was none, but Raila Odinga right hand man Gerald Otieno Kajwang’ who is currently the Senator for Homa-Bay County.

Expatriate workers, from Indian, were issued with work permits through the back door and within five years they flooded the five sugar factories. In one factory, the proprietors even imported a Cooke specialized in Indian dishes to be In hand to prepare the meals for their expatriate foreign Indian managers and other Indian workers.

This is a very said situation taking into account that after 50 years of independence, Kenya has trained and turned out thousands of technocrats, artisans and so many skilled workers in excess of its industrial output. These highly skilled personnel are jobless while many unqualified foreign workers sits on plum jobs in their doorsteps

A survey recently carried out by this writer revealed that more than 60 Indian are working at the West Kenya Sugar Company, 47 Indians are engaged at the Butali Sugar mill .The two mills are located in Kakamega County. 49 Indians are engaged In KibosSugar and Allied Induaatries ,which is located at Kibos near Kisumu City, 50 are working at the Sukari Industries in Ndhiwa, Homa-Bay County while 45 are engaged on jobs at the Trans=Mara Sugar Company in Narok County.

These expatriates are earning between Kshs 40,000 and 85,000 per month and do repatriates their salaries back home to their families without being subjected to mandatory deductions such as NSSF and NHIF.

All these anomalies happens while the outspoken Secretary General of the COTU{K} Francis Atwoli, who is also the General Secretary of the Kenya Plantations and Agricultural Workers Union is keeping a total mum. Also silent is the Secretary General of the Kenya Union of Sugar Plantation Workers Francis Wagara.

The few lucky African who got top jobs such as supervisors, clerks and in most cases Human Resources Managers, their salaries are so discriminative in comparison with the salaries earned by expatriates. The highest paid African only take home between Kshs 6,000 and 25,000 per month. And in most cases their employment is treated as casuals without any letter of appointments. Some of the expatriate workers are too old and arguably pensioners in their home of origins.

In this context the Kenya government is silent while its citizens are being discriminated on a few jobs which are available and being enslaved in their own motherland with their elected government is keeping mum. And at the same time speaking loudly about its plans to attract foreign investment with the purpose of jobs creation, and yet it cannot give the direct to the existing firms of foreign investors, Who are flagrantly and defiantly contravening the labor laws of the country?

Do we really need clerks, mechanics, fitters, welders, plumbers cookes, account clerks, cane yard clerks and time-keepers from India?

The government should send a team of experts to the five Indian owned sugar mills to carry out a thorough surgery and jobs evaluation so as to ascertain if the hundreds of foreign expatriate workers are necessarily required.



Sugar industry feature By Leo Oder5a Omolo in Kisumu City

Sugar millers in West Kenyan have huge stockpile of unsold produce in their warehouses.

The millers have reported that they are unable to sell the commodities as the local market is currently flooded with cheap sugar imported from Brazil and Egypt finding its way into Kenyan market via unscrupulous folk working in cohort with sugar barons who are reportedly importing cheap sugar from foreign sources. The sugar barons are said to be having connections with the powerful government officials in high places.

The traders in question are the same people responsible for poor cane prices but the Kenya Board, which is the industry regulating body is unable to intervene.

Farmers and millers have appealed to the KSB to come out of its slumber and rescue the sugar industry from totally collapsing.

Frustrated Millers are now said to be in the process of declaring thousands at their workers redundant because of sugar worth millions which the companies were unable to sell in the local market which is currently flooded with imparities sugar. The situation is so pathetic as it threatens to drive Kenyan workers in the sugar industry out of their jobs while we are exporting our money to benefit came farmers and workers in Brazil, Egypt and other sugar producing foreign countries.

Perhaps the Jubilee government headed by the hard working President Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta is kept in the dark about multiple arts of economic sabotage through the malfeance the dumping from regions outside COMESA .

A structure deficit exists in COMESA with their surplus from domestic sources and weak compliance for that portion destined to Kenya.

There is urgent need for Kenya key players in the industry to lobby for the exclusion of sugar from rules of origin teamwork and only all our COMESA FTA countries with surplus trafrom domestic production to expert to Kenya.

SNC of Egypt, a government corporation, imparts on government authorization from Brazil over one million metric tones annually for local market supply stabilization and the export the sugarcane into COMESA FTA under rules origin; a glaring loophole must transfer economic welfare to Brazil and producers at the expense

Kenyan sugar cane farmers in the Lake region and western Kenya SIIC of Egypt, a government corporation, imports an government authorization to aim Brazil over one million metric tones annually for it local market supply stabilization and le-export the same quantity into COMESA FTA under rule of origin, a glaring loophole that transfers economic welfare to the Brazilians producers at the expense of the Kenyan sugar cane farmers in the Lake region and in Western province.

It is worth to be remembered that. Egypt is pursuing a mixed economic model of country and free market approaches.

Tax evasion, which is so rampant among private millers who under declare production and sell sugar-un-invoiced. Immigration breaches on work permits through the use of low skilled migrant labor from India and Paikstan…is prevalent in some privately owned sugar mills………some process sugar millers who under dealer production and sell sugar uninvoiced immigration measures on work per unit through the use of low skilled migrant labour train Pakistan and India is prevalent in privately owned sugar mills.

These breaches of fair labour practices allow transfer across traction mixing through inflated repatriated remuneration and contribute to you unemployment in the country

Transfer prices for imported parts and materials act through our country’s own incorporated supplies companies in the UK and India.

Dumped sugar from UAE and Somalia, India, Brazil is fueling crime through financing it. Contraband dumped sugar is used to under through “duty money.”

Incorporate businessmen from Somalia community posing as large sugar traders are the one funding crime from sugar trade, which 15 million Kenyans who depends on locally produced sugar supply chain both directly and indirect arein danger of t of further impoverishment if order is not restored.

Sugarcane farmers / producers have suffered a deadline in farm produce prices from Kshs. 4,300 to Kshs. 3,200 per t0n of produces in the last 18 months and is in danger of further declare to Kshs. 2,500

Unprecedented counterfeiting of packaging for leading sugar brands of Mumias Sugar Company and Sony Sugar is blatantly being carried out by contrabands and sugar traders dumping the non-COMESA sugar in local market.

The produce packed in counterfeit packaging of these two leading companies are openly sold in the coastal towns, North Eastern and part of Eastern, Rift valley and Mount Kenya regions of Kenya. The government therefore should out a thorough investigation about the source of repacked and trended sugar calling in the main supermarket outlets and tact for wholesomeness.

The government should also address public health concerning that radioactive waste and harmful heavy metal could be released to un-susceptive consumer public in Kenya.

Surplus production stocks from prior years, kept in open shortage in countries such as Brazil, India one reproduce of choice for dumping to countries with weak regulatory regimes. The open manner of handling could expose Kenyan Public Health concerns since such sugar is meant for further KRA and KEB’s are powerless in contending the vice involving trip money in Kick back.



Writes Leo Odera Omolo.

DISCONTENT has arisen in DISCONTENT the three highly agriculturally productive regions in Western Kenya following claims and allegations that the tax regime and the KRA have unrealistic increase the highest percentage of VAT charged on farm inputs and implements.

Previously farm inputs did not attract any taxation. Exempted from paying duties included trucks, tractors,and all the equipments used in farming.

However, according to the VAT Act, which was recently enacted by parliament, all these machineries now attract tax of 16 per cent, making them inaccessible to the farmers.

At the same time the Vat taxation system, it is being alleged, has exempted equipments used in the building construction industry.. Analysts say the construction work is only booming in Central Province and in the capital, Nairobi.

The players in the agriculture sector see some elements of discriminative taxation by the tax regime, which is deliberately and systematically targeting the communities living in the three Agriculturally rich Western Kenya region consisting of the Rift Valley, Nyanza and Western Provinces

Members of parliament representing the various electoral constituencies, which are close to maize producing, sugar cane growing and other areas with high insensitivity of farming have been asked to come out of their slumber .They should introduce motions in both Parliament and in the Senate challenging this discriminative taxation,” said one key player in the agricultural sector who requested for his identity to be kept secret for fear of possible reprisal.

The highly mechanized sugar industry is the hardest hit. There are so many prohibitive taxes charged such as ncess. “If the situation remain unaddressed for long, then Kenya will not be able To beat the COMESA deadline, “hr added.

A visit by this writer in the farming regions 0f Trans-Nzioia, Uasin Gishu, Nandi, Kisumu, Kericho and Trans-Mara region revealed that due to heavy VAT taxation now imposed on tractors and other farm inputs farmers can no longer afford to purchase new tractors and other farm implements owing to the skyrocketing prices..

VAT charges have also affected the sales of spare parts. One key player in the sugar industry6 asserted that may be there is a cartel of top government officials working in cohorts with the sugar barons to facilitate the importation of the same commodity so that they in turn could make a kill.. MPS should demand an explanation as to whether the high VAT taxation has any elements of political undertone aimed at the economic strangulation against the communities living 8in the agricultural productive regions in Western Kenya..

If It is true, as it is being alleged, that there is a cartel among the government officials collaborating with the sugar barons with the intent of creating artificial shortage of sugar in the country for their own selfish interests then the sooner such groups would be kicked out of Treasury and the KRA the better. It is sad that such people who are out to impoverish members of the farming fraternity.

The tea industry is another sector which is highly mechanized, which is also suffering from the effect of the heavy VAT taxation system.,

The government should set up a parliamentary committee to investigate allegations about unnecessarly high taxation imposed through Vat so that it could protect the farming community. Unless something positively is done to streamline the excesses in Vat taxation the country could in the near future experience acute shortage food grains.

Companies dealing in the sales of farm inputs have also reported sharp decline in business, which has seen the sales going down with huge percentage .No inquiries about the sales of new tractors, trucks and pick-ups are forthcoming, said one dealer in Eldoret, adding that the government need to move much faster and have the VAT btaxati9n rectified.

Sugar cane is grown in abundance in Western and Nyanza Provinces, whereas maize, wheat, barly is produced in the South Rift region of Narok County and some parts of Uasin Gishu, Tea is grown and produce in the North Rift regions of Nandi and also in the South Rift counties of Kericho, Bomet and also in parts of Trans-Mara.

Other areas where farming is thriving in the ift alley included Nakuru, Molo, Kuresoi,Naivasha, Gilgil, Subukia, Rongai and Molo.



Writes Leo Odera Omolo In Kisumu City

DISCONTENT is high up among the sugar cane farmers in the Nyanza sugar belt over the seemingly endless official receivers management of two sugar companies.

Miwani Sugar Mill and Muhoroni Sugar Company Limited, all government owned parastatals, were placed under the official receivership management in April, 2001. The then Agriculture Minister, Chris Mogere Obure, said at the time that the two companies were to be under the joint official receivers for protective purposes. THe receivership for Miwani was to last for three months while the Muhoroni Sugar Company was to last for six months

In the case of the heavily indebted Miwani Sugar Mills, Obure said government was to appoint financial experts to write its books of accounts and offset its debts. Miwani was heavily indebted to banks, suppliers, cane farmers and workers to the tune of about Kshs 4 billon.

At the time, Miwani had planted cane crops in its 9,700 neucleus farm, which experts had estimated that when harvested, crushed into made sugar and sold would generate sufficiently enough cash money which could offset its debts.

HOWEVER, Reports making the round says that the resources of the two public companies were later subjected to massive vandalization of the highest order. Following the appointments and dismissals of team of joint receiver managers after the other.

And ever since 2001 year after years passed without any signs as to when the joint receivership management would be lifted. Miwani the oldest sugar factory I the country grounded to a halt and stopped crushing cane about five years ago, while the ailing Muhoroni Sugar Mills is still functioning, but and ailing and limping.

Muhoroni MP James Onyango K’Oyoo recently raised objection to the latest appointment of the joint receiver manager of persons of not well proved credibility who however, stood his ground

The songs about the privatization of the five government owned sugar companies have been in the air for the last two decades while the joint receiver managers have continued milking the resources of the two companies. The deals also involved the Kenya Sugar Board KSB}, which is the official regulating body in the sugar industry as well as the parent Ministry.

The appointment of joint official receivers is said to be attracting a lot of goodies, thus confirming allegations and claims that the two companies have since become the “milking cows” for some unscrupulous Ministry’s officials and board members.

The farmers in both Nyando and Muhoroni districts now want the government to expedite the privatization of Miwani and Muhoroni Sugar Companies.

Other rumors making the round within Kisumu and its environs the round within Kisumu and its environs is say that an influential and crafty entity is currently working in cahoots and clandestinely with the wealthy Indian business while targeting the Miwani’s 9,700 acres nucleus estate land for the grab. A source has confided to this writer that it won’t take long the farm which has been subject to a heated exchange between the farmers and the receiver managers as well as protracted legal tussle through courts between the wealthy Indian businessmen in Kisumu is grabbed by the politicians and his collaborators.

The residents of Kano plains and the surrounding rural location are now urging the government either to hand over the two sugar mills to credible investors altogether with their assets including farms. They are insisting that anybody interested in Miwani and Muhoroni Sugar Mills should be ready to invest in the two companies with their crucial land farms intact as it could only play pivotal role in boosting the economy of the region if they are resuscitated and floated for privatization to investors.

The Kano people as well as farmers in the Muhoroni, Chemelil, Kibios,Koru, Fort-Tennan and those farming in the surrounding Locations of South East and North East Kano, Miwani and Kibos. Anything short of this will not be tolerated by the stakeholders.

The farmers are now bold and want the government to kick out the official receiver managers out of Miwani and Muhoroni as their presence is undesirable. This is because their resources. Five sugar companies, which are still under the public investments included the Awendo-based Sony Sugar, Chemelil, Nzoia, Miwani and Muhoroi sugar companies.



Reports Leo Odera Omolo In Kisumu City

Reports appearing in heal media stating that there is discontent among sugar cane farmers over high cost of cane production in Kenya despite the country’s commitment to lift COMESA safeguard by March next year.

Cane farmers are taling myriads of production which are slowly driving farmers out of cane growing moving to other cash crops with letter return.

High cost of cane farm inputs, exploitation by millers , expensive credit and poor execution of regulations governing business in the sugar industry have seen farmers paint give in the production of sugar sub sector of the economy this year.

Nearly all the millers in the sugar cane growing areas have drastically reduced the price of van materials (cane) which had hit Konsoro two years age. The millers are charging huge transport fees.

On top of all the production, train cane farmers, corruption is also rampant in relation to cane harvesting programes rolled out by millers. Delayed payment and indication of deductions

Two new medium size white sugar processing factories were in southern Nyanza region Owal Wachara in Ndhiwa district, the other one in Trans-Mara, Narok county

At the commence business, the two mils when paying the farmers very competitive price of Ksh. 5,000 per metric from. In fact the seller industries in Ndhiwa was paying Ksh. 5,000 and not charging the farmer for transport credit. It has since reduced this to 3,800 per tonne and extra enhanced on the cost of transportation.

The Maasai farmers violently, protected against the unilateral increase in transport charge. They blocked the roads leading to the factory, forcing the operation to an halt at the Trans Mara suffer factory, said the same loader.

Similar problem has risen in industry mills, which is located at Wachara near Oria Narket on the border of Ndhiwa and Levivi Districts . Two mills, one located in places less than 5km from the area to base sony sugar company mills.

However, sony sugar has maintained its prices as rain comes at 480/- @ tonne plus transport lorry fees.

These are allegations and complaints that the Manager charged with the responsibility of harvesting in the Sukari Industries. as one solution of managing, demanded bribes from the poor farmers before carrying out harvesting cane from the farmers field.

This stop and move behind the scenes should he expose and investigated. It is even very sad at this time stage for it to occur.

The ailing Muhoroni Sugar Company has turned out to be a field for trading receivers at the expense of turning the factory around and selling it to strategic indicator with cane farmers getting 51 per cent.

Records and background of those being traded in may be shocking. How were they arrived at during this era of openness and transparency? Could one of the RECEIVERS have been involved in the run down of Mumias Out Powers Company where money COULD have been SWINDLED in purchase of very exorbitant and inflated priced cane transport trailers? Could one of Board which ensured that a situation that was meant to last only 4 month lasted forever on that the low rolled continue to the Milked?

If Milking has been enough can’t he call for a break so that the cow can be attended to by some health expert to ensure its health does not lead to total collapse and death instead of going for any “miller” who has no basic understanding of the cow’s health requirement?

Is it that those who tested other during the last elections must now eat?

Farmers are helpless.



By a Special Correspondent

There are no plans for the establishment on a new sugar processing factory at Riana in Rongo in the near future, according to farmers in the area.

The only plan which is in the pipeline is the construction of a new white sugar plant at Aoch Muga in east Gem Location, Rangwe constituency In Homa-Bay County. The farmers have scathingly criticized the Rongo MP Dalmas Otieno who recently made an announcement that two new factories would take off in the area In January next year.

The farmers, who spoke to this writer and requested for their anonymity, said the MP”s statement has caused a lot of the area. NDEGE oriedo in Riana near Opapo is very close to the Awendo-based Sony Sugar company whereas the Kenya Sug to establish a new sugar plant must ensure its continuous source of supplies of raw material which is the sugar cane.

This rule is meant to ensure that there will be no cut-throat scrambling for the raw material. In the case of Riana the area is less than 40 kilometers from the existing sugar plant at Awendo, there fore what the MP has been telling his constituents is a phantom with not an iota of truth.

In the recent past the Ringo MP has been criss-crossing the region telling his constituents that a new sugar plant would be constructed at Riana and that the investors have already intentions on the site and were training dozens of farmers ahead of the construction. He said 124 acres of land has already been set-aside at Riana for the site of the new plant.

One farmer lamented that it could be that the MP is out to sabotage the new project, which is far away away from Riana. The project has already received the blessing of the Homa-Bay governor Cyprian Awiti and his team.

The multi-million project has also received the blessing of the Kenya Sugar Board, which is the official body tasked with with regulating the sugar industry, therefore we really don’t know what the MP is talking about. We have checked through the relevant Ministry and the KSB and discovered that no second sugar plant has been licensed for the area.

ONE farmer from Rongo disclosed that the MP has recently bought and acquired several parcels of land In and around an area called Ndege Oriedo perhaps in anticipation that when the project takes off at Aoch Muga he would be able to make a kill in the re-selling the pieces of land which he had acquired and this is the 124 acre of land, which he has been speaking about.



To: “”

By Agwanda Saye

Sugar millers in Western Kenya have asked the government to find measures of stopping he entry of illegal sugar into the markets that threatens their operations.

The Kenya Sugar Manufacture Association says there is an influx of cheap sugar crossing the border into the Kenyan market without paying necessary duties.

The association chairman Peter Kebati says the government needs to seal the loopholes at the border where illegal sugar passes into the country.

Kebati says the mills will be forced to reduce the cane price that now stands at Sh. 2,900 per tonne if the issue is not addressed by the government.

Addressing the press in Kisumu after their meeting, Kebati who is also the managing director of Mumias Sugar Company says that the government should advance funds for development of more cane.

He says there are numerous millers in Western Kenya but there is no effort to develop more cane for the mills.

Kebati noted that more research should be done in other areas in the country for expansion of the development of more cane.



A Special Feature By Leo Odera Omolo

The government of Kenya is being accused of insincerity in its declared plans to resuscitate the ailing sugar industry. Instead the sugar sub-sector which, is so vital in the country’s economic growth, is said to have been neglected and turned to a milking cow.

A recent tour of the Nyanza sugar belt by the cabinet secretary for agriculture Felor Koskei has provoked sharp criticism of the government whose sincerity to introduce a crash programme for the rehabilitation of the sugar sub-sector is now put into a big question mark.

Koskei announced that five sugar mills which are currently in public investments and under the parastatal management would be privatized soon.

He said the move will be to comply with a resolution passed by parliament in January this year. The five sugar factories included Nzoia, Muhoroni, Sony Sugar, Chemelil and Miwani.

The five sugar companies are heavily indebted to the turned US 525 million with their annual books of account not very attractive.

Koskei issued a directive that sugar cane farmers may now be forced to sell their crops to any millers without zonal restriction. This he said will be on willing seller willing buyer basis.

The cane farmers in Western Kenya through Kenya Sugar Cane Growers Association (KESGA) have reacted angrily and vehemently opposed the new directive.

Sugar cane farmers view the new directive as aimed at protecting the errant millers at the expense of cane growers.

The farmers in the sugar cane growing regions said they have a feeling that if Koskei directive is implemented it will automatically trigger chaos worse than the current pathetic situation in which cane poaching crisis has threatened to cripple the sugar industry.

Koskei, they said has missed the point. How do the farmers who are specifically contracted to sugar companies that had advanced them with millions of shillings in land preparation and development loans deliver their harvests to other millers that did not invest a cent in the same crops development, even if they are offering better terms?

For a farmer too develop an acre of sugar cane from the land preparation to harvesting cost approximately between Ksh. 40, 000 and Ksh. 50, 000 respectively which poor farmer can not afford, hence for partnership with the millers who can only recover their money upon the farmer delivering the cane to the same miller, who had advanced the m with the land preparation and cane development loan.

The government is equally blamed for not having put in place certain binding conditions when signing contract with new investors in the sugar industry especially on issues related to the employment of top management staff in the sugar companies.

There are five privately owned sugar factories which are currently operational. In all the five with the exception of one, Miwani sugar Mills which went burst and presently under the official receivership, all top managers are foreign expatriates recruited from either India or Pakistan.

Local African staff and workers in those factories are only engaged to work as casuals without letters of appointments. Local Kenyans are employed but earning discriminative salary scales in comparison to their foreign counterparts

The expatriate are the one earning the highest salary scales, but not subjected to mandatory deductions such as NSSF and NHIF, while their counterparts (Africans} are forced to pay the mandatory deductions.

Expatriates are employed on petty and odd jobs such as time-keepers, store-keepers, junior account clerks, cane yard clerks, casuals, messengers, accountants, electricians tractor drivers, sweepers etc.

Salaries for the expatriate varied from Kshs 30, 000 up to 80,000 per month. The highest paid African worker earns between Ksh 6000 and Ksh 15, 000 per month, but without being issued with letters of appointment.

In actual sense this is purely case of new slavery when indignant Kenyan workers are being discriminated in their own country.

All the jobs specifications on which foreign workers are doing can easily be filled by local personnel.

Kenya has trained and turned out thousands of skilled workers, in excess of its industrial needs therefore does not require any foreign workers of the above mentioned categories.

The Indian sugar companies, it is being alleged, are said to be spending fortunes in the way of corruptly obtaining the work permit for the expatriate workers, which runs into millions of shillings.

The Indian owned factories incTrans-Mara lude Butali, West Kenya, Kibos Sugar and Allied Industries, Trans Nzoia, Mara Sugar Companies and Miwani Sugar Mills. All are located in Western Kenya.

Some of these rules stipulates among other things that the new mills must be established at a distant of not less than 40 km apart from the existing one, cut the invest must provide to the KSB with evidence that they had acquired enough land acreage for sourcing continued cane supplies to avoid scrambling and cut throat cane poaching.

These r KSB regulations are defiantly and flagrantly ignored by excessively arrogant Indian investors and hence the source of discontent leading to near violence cane poaching that has been witnessed in Western province and in the Nyanza sugar belt and also Awendo sugar cane growing zone which Sony Sugar is violently competing for cane harvesting with Sukari Industries and Trans Mara Sugar Companies as located less than 15 km apart.



Reports Leo Odera Omolo In Kisumu City

Kenya is expected to commission its tenth white sugar processing factory next July. This will place the country to a near self-sufficiency in sugar products. Already the country has nine sugar mills most of them are located in the sugar growing region in Western part of the country.

Once fully operational, the new sugar mill, which is currently under construction in the Coastal district of Kwale will help the country cut-down its perennial deficit in sugar preproduction for its domestic requirement and needs.

Available statistics shows that Kenya is currently producing close to 500,000 of made sugar, while domestic needs stands at about 700,000 tons annually. This leaves about 200,000 tons, which the country is sourcing from foreign countries. At the present the bulk of these imports come from Egypt, a country which is outside the Preferential Trade ArEA for East and Southern African countries [COMESA}. However it has since been discovered that Egypt is a country which is producing less sugar for its domestic supplies, but only imports the commodity from Brazil, which in turn is re-exporting to Kenya.

Sugar products sale into the domestic and international market would boost the economy. The firm which is constructing the new factor is called Kwale International Sugar Company Limited [KISCO} The firm is expected to invest about USD 200 million which is equivalent to KJSHS 17 .1 billion. The project is also expected to generate 80 megawatt of electricity with 25 per cent being used to the plant and 75 per cent to be used for water supplies to the mill, and the rest would be connected to the national grid.

The new factory is expected to go into production on or about July 24, 2014 when its products would be introduced into the regional and local market. The project director Mr Harsil Kotwxha was recently quoted by the media as saying that that because sugar cane takes a year to mature in the coastal region due to unfavorable weather, compared to between 18 and 24 months in other sugar cane growing zones in Western KENYA.

The firm is currently embarked in constructing green field system of sugar cane growing. It started land preparation and cultivation in 2010 through the cultivation and plugging of a 5000 hectares nucleus estate farm.

The entire project is expected to cost Kshs 17.1 billion. It was launched by the retired President MWAI kibaki in 2007. It is owned by members of a family of business men through their family business flagship IPabari investment.

Endshich undertook the initiative following the collapse of Ramisi Sugar factory in 1980,which later sold 25 per cent share equity to Omni Sugar.

The project was partly financed by CPC/Stanbic and the PTA bank. At the same time about 1,200 local farmers were registered as the cane out growers. They have so far put about 4000 hectares of land read for sugar cane plantation2. The government of Kenya had leased 15,000 hectare of land for the same purpose..



By Our Reporter.

SUGARCANE farmers in Nyando, Muhoni and parts of Nyakach Districts within Kisumu Kisumu County have welcomed the newly proposed Muhoroni Sugar Factory Receiver Managers saying the duo Dr Hezron McObewa and Oda Wakwabi will alleviate problems of cane farmers within the region.

McObewa is the current CEO of National NGO’s Council Board and runs a chain of hotels,schools, hospitals, orphanages and rescue centres while Wakwabi is the former Mumias Out growers CEO.

The farmers said they want managers who have knowledge in sugar industry like the two and called on Muhoroni MP James Onyango Koyoo and the man who contested Kisumu Senatorial seat James Ocholla Ogoda to cease interfering with the smooth operations of cane factories and farmers within the region..

They distanced themselves from the recent sentiments of Kenya Sugarcane Growers Association Secretary General Richard Ogendo who said that said the right procedure was not followed in selecting the candidates saying they are that was hired by Ogoda and Koyoo to attack Macobewa and Wakwabi .

“We know that Koyoo has taken a lot of money from some quarters promising them the said positions but has now backfired that’s why he is employing such underhand deals and he thinks Mcobewa can sponsor a candidate to challenge him as Muhoroni MP”said Joshua Owuor who is one of the farmers from the region..

He added that no any farmer stormed out of the meeting 500 farmers stormed out of the said meeting adding that many farmers had demanded to know what Koyoo and Ogoda have done to the farmers from the region

“Ogoda is fighting McObewa because he was the chief financier of Kisumu Governor Jack Ranguma and he became distant last during the interviews for Kisumu Public Service Board, I think that’s why he is fighting back thinking that McObewa had a hand in his rejection” they added

Wakwabi is said to have been rewarded by her close ally Billy Wanjala who chaired the Selection Committee of the Receiver Managers.

The farmers want the current managers Asa Okoth and Thomas Makeni out of the factory.

“The incoming Receivers Managers they can do commendable job,given their diverse administrative background ,they can pay farmers their bonuses and we hope they will pay Sh 300 million out of the Sh 500 million tax debt to KRA,” the farmers said.

The farmers also opposed the plan to disband Kenya Sugar Board saying it should left to regulate the sector.

“We want the government to let the farmers to be in charge of the sugar sector,” they added.

He said only a few individuals have been mandate to control the sugar sector hence minting money at the expense of the farmers.

“The state owned mills’ board must be reformed as required in the sugar sector to eradicate corruption,” Ogendo said.

On privatization, the farmers have demanded a share of 51 percent saying they are the key contributors in the sugar sector.

They warned both Koyoo and Ogoda that they risk facing the wrath of famers if they continue to incite idlers and outsiders who have no interest in cane farming against the incoming receiver managers was witnessed recently when they ferried people from as far as Siaya and Migori Counties and portrayed them as cane farmers during a recent Kenya Sugar Board meeting .

“Koyoo was elected by cane farmersand he should be very careful what he does to farmers as we are capable of making his leadership ungovernable” they added


COmmentratry by Leo Odera Omolo

It is very encouraging that the government of Kenya has declared its reform exercise of its parastatals and other loss making – quasi-government organizations. However the inefficient and perennial loss making Kenya Sugar Board should be scrapped and axed and another vibrant body be established to perform the KSB duties.

The board was created by an act of parliament a few years ago to look after the sugar s-sub sector. At the time of its inception the performance of the industry was well, but gradually this got derailed such that it is not effective in making what used to be a robust industry almost totally collapsed.

The reasons for the decay in this important dub-sector include {1} Composition of a new board that include farmer representative elected more or less along a line similar to that of electing ward representatives to the regional assemblies. At the present electoral system, it is doubted if the farmers have got adequate and effective representation for improvement of their lot.

{2} The current Kenya Sugar Board has failed to achieve equity in financial returns from three tire industry. To – date there is no operating sugar cane payment formula and the poor farmers are so disadvantaged, especially when they have ineffective representation.

The sugar industry in this country could borrow a leaf from Mauritius or South Africa. In the Indian Ocean island of Mautirius, after all made sugar has been sold, about 75-76 per cent of the proceeds are given to the raw cane owners and 24-25 per cent shared by other stakeholders. In this way availability of raw material, cane is assured and there is equity.

As regards COMESA rule, total production of sugar in COMESA countries put together is far less than total consumption in the same region. He Sugar board has not addressed importation of sugar from Comesa countries, which are well known to produce much less than their domestic consumption.

In general, operation of the sugar regulating board should be devolved and placed under County Agriculture docket for close supervision.

In general, operations of the KSB should be devolved and made to fall under County. It is worth noting that this institution has changed names many times. Good agricultural work appear to be conducted in this institution. Effective extension programs need to be created to disseminate research findings to improve the industry. The institution, however should encompass work related to sugar factory as is done in the other sugar research institutions in Mauritius. Research should go to factory level as well. Composition of the board should include people with relevant professional experience, and strictly not seconded civil servants. All the parastatal sugar factories in this country have been run-down. From that time appointments of CEOs had little bearing on professional suitability. Selection criteria of CEOs must be reviewed. The same should go for departmental heads.



By our special correspondent

The sentiment expressed by a section of Western Kenyan leaders who have asked the Kenya Sugar Boards Chief Executive Rosemary Mkok to Resign has received the backing of sugar cane farmers in Nyanza.

A cross section of farmers in the sugar cane farming fraternity there is a teaching that the KSB CEO should pack and go home due to what they termed as “incompetency, inefficiency and poor management style.

Western province Mp who included Kakamega senator Bonny Khalwale, Mwingi West MP Benjamin Wachiali, Mumias West Johnson Nakoccaa an Lugari MP Ayub Savula in a joint statement released in Kakmega last Friday called on the KSB CEO to take responsibility for the problem taking the Sugar Industry in this country.

The \Western leaders were speaking during the stakeholders meeting held at Mumias Sugar Company Guest House.

The team warned that “Sugar Industry was on the verge of fatal collapse because of Mkok’s poor leadership”.

The KSB which is the regulatory body in the sugar industry had irregulsrlym licensed millers to operate in various parts of their region without meeting the mandatory requirements which stipulated in the law and that is why the sector is in the present mess.

The regulation guiding the establishment of new sugar mills have been ignored and violated with impunity hence the source of intensive scrambling for the raw cane.

It stipulates that the new mills might be located about 40 kilometers from the existing for the purpose of maintaining smooth supplies of raw cane.

The regulation was flagrantly violated by the KSB when it licensed both West Kenya and Butali Sugar Mills very close to each other.

In Southern Nyanza the Sukari Limited at Wachara in Ndhiwa is only 10 km from the Awendo based Sony Sugar while at the same time another Sugar factory in Trans Mara is less than 20km from each. This has been the source of excessive cane poaching.

Meanwhile workers within the Sugar Industry in Western Kenya have placed the blame about the woes in the sugar sub-sector of the economy on the unrealistic policy and practice of Cotu (k)

The workers blame the Secretary General Francis Atwoli for having failed the workers in the sugar industry in particular and in the agriculture sector as a whole. Atwoli is fond of double speaking and has contributed largely towards the workers endless problems in this country.

Atwoli is the secretary at the Kenya Union of Agriculture and plantation. He has clandestine interest in the Kenya Union of Sugar Plantation Workers (KUSPW) whose secretary general is Francis Wagara while the union chairperson is Mrs Roslida Atwoli. It has become a family business.

Atwoli has failed to kick out foreign workers from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh who now forms the best part of staff in the Sugar Mills. All the sugar Mills owned by Indian Investors have imported hundreds of foreign workers. Some not even justified for the farm jobs they are holding can be filed by the local Kenyans.

These Mills included Butali, West Kenya, Kibos Sugar and Allied Industries , Sukari industry in Ndhiwa and Trans Mara Sugar. Factory in Narok Countty.

Foreigners are engaged on petty subordinate jobs general office clerks, time keepers, store – keepers, junior clerks, account clerks, messengers, cleaners, mechanics, electricians e.t.c. these categories of jobs can be filled by Kenyans.

The attack on COTU (K) and Atwoli came as realization to his support for the de-regeneration of Buteli at West Kenya Sugar Companies in Kakamega County.

Speaking during a fundraising meeting at Chekalini Secondary School in Lugari Constituency where he supported the blamed move by members of the National Assembly to de-register Butali out then key as saying that some of then licenses to the millers were uncalled for..

Anyone supporting the existence of the two factories is encouraging corruption, he said, abutting Mumias Sugar Man can employ and support over 200,000 people it allowed to thrive without competition.

Atwoli also came in to time for having failed miserably from his vain attempt to block the introduction of mechanized tea plucking machine in Kericho, Bomet, Bituli and Nandi Hills, tea growing regions. These machines were introduced a couple of years ago hence rendering close to 20,000 workers who plucked tea manually further deep then Atwoli vehement opposition to the man, which included a failed strike.

The COTU (K) should stop the mechanized tea plucking machine that instead of interfering with the workers in the Tea industry first before poking his nose into the sugar industry



Reports Leo Odera Omolo In Kisumu City

SIGNS are emerging out of Luo-Nyanza indicating that relations between the Orange Democratic Movement [ODM] and the Wiper Democratic Party may be heading onto the rocks.

This could be judged by the recent events in which Members of Parliament who had won their parliamentary seat on MARCH 4, 2013 elections on WDP tickets have been placed under political siege, and are reported to be having it rough.

Both the ODM and WPD are the leading component of the CORD coalition, which also brings together other smaller parties. ODM is headed by Raila Odinga, while the WDP is under the leadership of the former Vice President Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka.

The symptoms of the rapidly widening gap and differences between the two partners surfaced during last week homecoming party for the Alego-Usonga MP Omondi Muluany. The gathering appeared to have been boycotted by senior ODM politicians in Siaya County. The only ODM luminaries in Siaya County who attended the party included Nicholas Gumbo, The MP for Rarieda and his Bondo counterpart Gideon Ochanda.

Muluany was elected on WDP ticket. Before this homecoming party, the legislator had faced rowdy ODM youth who confronted him and shouted him down during the Mashujaa DAY event held in Siaya town the previous week,

Senior ODM politician who were notably absent included Siaya Senator James Aggrey Orengo, Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo and his two counterparts from Ugenya and Ukwala constituencies. Also absent from the gathering was Dr. Oburu Oginga the former Bondo MP and several Ward representatives from the various parts of Siaya County. The minority leader in Parliament Nyenze from Ukambani was the only senior politician from outside Luo-Nyanza who attended the gathering.

Another MP who is said to be under siege is Fred Kopiyo [Awendo}. He too was voted into parliament on a FORD Kenya ticket. The MP who is prior to his election was living in a rented house within Awendo Town is reported to have relocated to and is now occupying a rented house near Rodi-Kopany within Homa-Bay Town constituency due to pressure mounted by ODM youth in Awendo. He is reported by sources to be as rare visitor to Awendo Town

The same sources say Kopiuypo these days changes his mode of travels whenever he is visiting his rural home which is in Sakwa West Location within Awendo district. He changes vehicles at the nearby Rongo town before he proceeded home where he is reported to be putting up an ultra modern house, which is still under the construction.

Reports emerging from Awendo says that an ugly incident recently occurred at the CDF office, which is also used by the MP as his constituency office when it was invaded by a group disillusioned and frustrated ODM youth who caused a fierce fighting. The attackers are said to have gone to the office with intention of forcefully ejecting the manager and workers out of the office. The fracas left several people inured and needed medical attention. Those who sustained bodily injuries included the MP’s personal assistant {PA}

Unconfirmed reports say the MP”s constituents are finding it difficult to communicate their messages to home because his cellphones are permanent switched off. They included the Ward representatives from the various locations within the constituency. The MP also sent his donations towards funeral gathering during the burial of his fallen constituents through emissaries. The MP could not be reached for his comments over these allegations as his two phone lines are permanently switched off.

The majority leader in the Migori County Johnson Omolo Owiro who represented Central Sakwa Ward is the one who is now handling most problems within the constituency because the MP is nowhere to be seen.

Owiro, the former chairman of the defunct Awendo Town Council confirmed in a phone conversation with this writer that he is also finding it difficult to communicate with his MP, but he is not nursing any ill=feeling towards the legislator and only wished well. He denied the rumor and speculations making the round that he is nursing parliamentary ambition, and might be a candidate for the seat in 2017. Kopiyo used the ticket of the PDP party of Omingo Magara after having losing the ODM ticket during the party’s primaries to his populist challenger Walter Sirawa.

Those politicians in Luo-Nyanza who the elections using other party tickets including those parties which were perceived to be friendly to the ODM and CORD have found the going difficult to integrate smoothly with their ODM colleagues and are therefore in political dilemma.

KOyoo is currently giving sleepless to the manager of the sugar mills which are located within his Muhoroni constituency, and who he has persistently accused of fleecing sugar cane farmers on their harvested cane crops and for the unnecessary delays in paying out raw cane bill after the deliveries.

However, there is only one Luo MP who has defied these political machinations and has integrated well with his ODM parliamentary colleagues. This is the Muhoroni MP James Onyango K”Oyoo. This is due to the fact that the outspoken MP is one of the shrewdest Luo politicians in the 11th Parliament.



Writes Leo Odera Omolo In Kisumu City.

TWO regions in Western Kenya stands a better chance of setting up fast and vibrant development, if the two County governance could pull up socks and redouble efforts in the real task of development.

Both Kisumu and Homa-Bay Counties are rich in natural resources which include fisheries, minerals while endowed with fertile arable land for the production of nearly al cash crops such as sugar cane, coffee tea, and vegetable horticulture.

The two counties are sharing the Nyanza Gulf {formerly Kavirondo Gulf, a narrow and shallow waterway that winds up at the eastern shoreline of Lake Victoria.

However, the two regional assemblies, will have to look for urgent sources of funds with which could be used to eradicate the water hyacinth weeds which has chalked the lake for the last ten years and so.

The fishing industry is arguably the main economic stay of the resident of the two counties. The dreadful water hyacinth weeds has become an impediment to further development of fishing activities, and means and ways must be found for its immediate removal either manually or mechanically.

Ships, steamers an fishing boats are finding it difficult to navigate their way through the water hyacinth weeds, which at time even blockades the narrow waterway into Kisumu Pier and thereby blocking ships plying the narrow water way while ferrying cargoes and goods to the neighboring land-locked counties of Tanzania, Uganda ,Rwanda, Burundi, Central African Republic and the Dr Congo, republic and Southern Sudan.

Recent government statistics showed that Kenya has done well in exporting its fish to the,Israel,Japan and US,though the country owns only small fraction of Lake Victoria waters at only 20 per cent, while its two other partners in the East African Community {EAC} have the Lion’s share with Tanzania 50 per cent, Uganda 46 per cent.

Judging from the type of personnel recently appointed to serve in the two regional cabinets by the two governors o Kisumu and Homa-bay, the resident have a goods reason to smile ,expecting the assembly cabinet and representatives to deliver the goods to the electorate within the quickest period of time possible to deliver.

Both governors Cyprian Otieno Awiti [Homa-Bay}, Jack Ranguma {Kisumu}The two men boost vast and wealth experience in the management of pubic affairs. Rumors making the round that Oil and natural gas were recently discovered in Nyakach area with the potential commercial could boost the two counties economically value could give the region a boost.

The two counties are sharing the Nyanza Gulf with the Homa-Bay have the largest area covering Nyakach Rachuonyo North,Rangwe, Homa-bay and Mbita districts.

Kisumu Countyhas the advantage of hosting five sugar manufacturing companies, namely Chemelil, Miwani, Kibos and Muhoroni, though the ailing industry has permanently on its death bed.These factories need to be resuscitation in order to improve the circulation o cash money in the two regions.

During the recent long rains which had caused the massive flood of many parts of Nyanza, there were the sighs of relief on the faces f the fishermen and those involved inn the fish trade. They woke up in the morning only to find the dreaded water hyacinth weeds blown away by strong wind during the night leaving many parts of the lake clean and clear. However, this did not offer the permanent solution and this is the main reason why the two counties must sources for the funds in order to combat the menace of water hyacinth.

Another value added project, which would soon pace Kiumu city ino theglobal map is the rent expansion o the Kisumu Airport in which the Kenya government has so far sunk billion of shillings into.It is increasingly becoming incentive to the famers I Kisumu, Kisii and Homa-Bay Counties to go for more lucrative earning cash-crops like horticultural, which could be airlifted directly from kisumu Airport to any destination globally


Kenya: Chemelil Sugar Company is insolvent and on the verge of total collapse exposing its 850 workers to extreme danger of hunger and starvation

Writes Leo Odera Omolo In Kisumu City.

CHEMELIL Sugar Company Limited, the wholly state owned sugar manufacturing company based in Muhoroni district within the Kisumu County has ground its production to a halt.

The company owed its suppliers cane farmers, worker and other stakeholders close to Kshs 2 billion.

Its employees estimated to be numbering about 850 have yet to be paid their salaries since December,2012 last year. This has exposed these workers to extreme suffering starvation and diseases as the can no longer afford to cater for themselves and their families or pay for their medical bills due to lack of money.

Unconfirmed reports say one worker had died of what his workmates have described as caused by extreme starvation and hunger. The body of the deceased whose name was given as Walter Marega is still lying at the morgue in hospital.

The facility, which for many years ever since its inception was the centre of excellence, and the mainstay of sugar production within the Nyanza sugar belt has been run-down owing to what an insider has described as “gross political interference” into its day-to-day management, corruption, and “pilferage with impunity.”.

Although aware of the tremendous suffering of the employees of the facility the political leadership in the region couldn’t care less and made no effort to install the sanity in the once vibrant and prosperous sugar industry management.

Human Rights groups and NGOs operating in the area have raised an alarm about the pathetic state of affairs at the Chemelil sugar company to no avail.

The current managing director of the Chemelil sugar Company is Charles Owelle, a man who has for many years been involved in its previous management team, which were discredited with numerous allegations of looting and excessive pilferage and vandalism of the firm’s resources.

Owelle, a Luo, took over from Eng. Edwin Otieno Musebe, a Luhyia, whose concerted effort had turned the facility around from being run-down to a vibrant profit making firm. His removal was viewed as having been instigated by excessive tribalism. Owelle by then was the company’s agricultural manager and had even twice before acted as an interim MD.

The company’s debts have increase to about Kshs 2 billion The most affected groups are the suppliers, cane farmers and the 850 workers who have not been paid their salaries since August 2012 and are still living in squalid conditions in their dilapidated houses while penniless and suffering not to be able to cater for their basic needs such as food and school fees for their school going children.

Sugar can farmers and other stakeholders have also not been paid their dues since last year either the Kenya Sugar Board doing the reportedly never ending annual mechanical maintenance since last year has also been informed of the extreme difficulties the stakeholders were undergoing, but has done nothing.

Other reports emerging from the facility says that on the night of Friday March 15, 2013 an employee of the company by the name Walter Marega had complained to his neighbor about extreme hunger and starvation he was experiencing.

A generous neighbor sympathized with Mr Marega voluntarily offered to take him to a food kiosk in the nearby market so that he could get some porridge. The deceased then went to the estates shop to look for some eggs, but he got nothing because he had exhausted all his credit facilities. All this happened while the late Mr. Marega’s wife had given birth to a new born baby at Nambale hospital. A neighbor offered him 500/- loan to enable him to travel to Nambale, but the same night Marega died lonely inside his company estate house even before seeing his new born baby.

The recent change in political patronage of Muhoroni in which the former immediate MP or the are Prof.Ayiecho Olueny was voted out an a new MP elect James Onyango Koyoo voted in has given the residents, especially members of the farming community the ray of hope that things could change to the better.