Former workers of debt-ridden Mumias Sugar Company have now taken their quest to revive the miller to State House. In a letter addressed to President William Ruto, the former employees are pleading for the revocation of the 20-year lease awarded to Uganda-based Sarrai Group, over claims of poor management and running down the company instead of reviving it.
“Revoke the lease awarded to Sarrai Group and order the preservation of all MSC assets pending the outcome of the findings of a commission of inquiry established to chart the best way to revive the company,” the letter reads in part.
The group led by Vitalis Makokha, Patrick Mutimba, Anne Wekhornba and Johnson Shiundu also revealed that they were kicked out without being paid for 30 months.
They are requesting President Ruto, through the National Treasury, to clear the salary areas and expedite efforts to revive the operations at the Kakamega based miller.
They want the president to establish a commission of inquiry to probe the circumstances that led to the collapse of MSC and give recommendations on the appropriate way to revive the giant company.
The group also wants Ruto to ensure that the executive orders he issued last December during his visit to Kakamega County are executed.
Ruto pledged that his administration will clear all the outstanding debts and get new investors to revive the sugar miller.
“The government will clear all outstanding debts of the miller and bring in a new investor under an agreement that he will be remitting Ksh100 million monthly to the County Government of Kakamega to improve on standards of education, health and improve the road network,” Ruto said.
Sarrai won 20-year lease tender to manage MSC in December 2021 through a controversial bidding process that locked out higher bidders but in April 2022, High Court judge Justice Alfred Mabeya ordered it to leave the premises and removed Ponangipali Venkata Ramana Rao as the Administrator of the troubled sugar miller.
The judge further appointed Kereto Marima as the new administrator of MSC and ordered Rao to hand over the company to Marima.
“This court has considered the allegations made against the leasing process. Rao awarded the lease to the lowest bidder while there were higher bidders, without giving any justifiable explanation,” Justice Mabeya ruled.
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