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Gov't rekindles plans to revive Mumias Sugar [Details]

The government had previously invested Sh5billion in the revival of the sugar miller unfortunately, the efforts did not yield positive results

Mumias Sugar company

President William Ruto has issued a stern warning to private entities attempting to grab land belonging to Mumias Sugar Company, emphasizing that it rightfully belongs to the people of Kakamega.

The president's comments come in light of a recent High Court decision that found Uganda's Sarrai Group in contempt for continuing operations at the miller amidst a legal dispute over a controversial lease.

During a speech at Christ Church Cathedral in Kakamega County on Sunday, President Ruto asserted that the land should not be taken by individuals seeking to exploit it for personal gain.

He stressed that the 15,000-acre parcel must be utilized for the benefit of the people of Mumias, and he pledged to revitalize the sugar miller.

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"When I came here in December, I made a commitment to address the challenges facing Mumias Sugar. It was not a mere promise; it is outlined in our manifesto. We will decisively tackle the issues plaguing Mumias Sugar once and for all," stated the President.

President Ruto further revealed that the government had previously invested approximately Sh5billion in the revival of the sugar miller, but unfortunately, the efforts did not yield positive results. He expressed determination to rectify the situation this time and assured that appropriate action would be taken.

"I have instructed the relevant ministry, and I have presented a proposal to the Cabinet to address the problems at Mumias Sugar," he disclosed.

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The President highlighted that during the Cabinet discussions, the revival of Mumias Sugar would be thoroughly examined, with a focus on securing the land and making it profitable for both the county and the sugarcane farmers in Mumias.

In December 2022, President Ruto had previously threatened to evict the Sarrai Group from Mumias, citing their failure to bring about positive change in the sugar miller.

He announced that the government would settle all outstanding debts and bring in a new investor under an agreement to remit 100 million Kenyan shillings monthly to the County Government of Kakamega, with the aim of improving education, healthcare, and the road network.

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Ruto expressed his regret that while numerous local youth were in desperate need of job opportunities, Mumias Sugar had not effectively addressed this issue. He emphasized that many investors were eager to collaborate with his administration to assume control of Mumias and enhance the sugar sector in the country.

The Sarrai Group, based in Uganda, had initially been granted a 20-year lease to operate the troubled miller; however, it was later cancelled.

In a ruling on April 14, 2022, Justice Mabeya stated that accepting the lowest lease amount of 5.8 billion Kenyan shillings from the Sarrai Group would not enable the sugar miller to recover its profitability.

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