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Mumias Sugar accuses politicians for company woes




Mumias Sugar accuses politicians for company woes

A section of the Mumias Sugar Factory. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Vested political interests are making management of Mumias sugar industry inefficient and causing the miller not to attain self-sufficiency in sugar production.

Company acting managing director Isaac Sheunda said bad politics was infiltrating the entire system as the miller grapples with its revival strategy amid biting shortage of raw material.

Mr Sheunda, who was appointed to the management seat in an acting capacity in mid-January after serving as the company’s chief security officer for 15 years, has shed light into the politics surrounding the management of the one-time country’s leading sugar producer.

Mr Sheunda blamed a section of politicians from Kakamega County of frustrating efforts to revive the ailing miller that is riding high on debts.

He said politicians who have benefited from the factory through dubious deals with the former management were opposed to the change of guard at the miller that has in the recent years been producing half of all sugar consumed in the country.

Speaking to journalists at the company’s main office in Mumias recently, Mr Sheunda attributed the company’s decline to two MPs.

The former Sukari Sacco chairman claimed the politicians were conspiring against his elevation because they fear he might follow up on them because he understands what they have did at the factory.

“They are worried about my appointment because they were in power when this company was at its peak. We know what they did here and they understand how Mumias went down,” said Mr Sheunda.

He claimed one of the MPs engaged in shoddy contracts with the former management that fleeced the company billions of shillings while another influenced employment of his relatives to safeguard his interests in the company.

Mr Sheunda’s allegations follow similar concerns from Mr Errol Johnson, who quit from the company management in 2017 amid claims that politicians wanted him to pay a fee in order for the company to be given the Sh3 billion government bailout cash.

Mr Johnson unceremoniously surrendered his job after leaving behind a letter that revealed how the miller was a cash cow for politicians

The government has pumped more than Sh3.7 billion meant to turn around the factory operations but there is little to show for the money.