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.


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