Ex-Mumias Sugar employees appeal to Ruto, demand expulsion of Sarrai Group

Mumias Sugar Company

Mumias Sugar Company.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • The former employees said at the time of their termination of the contracts by the sugar miller, they had not been paid for 30 months. 
  • The affected employees also want the head of state to form a commission of inquiry to investigate the reasons that led to the company's collapse.

Former employees of Mumias Sugar Company have written an open letter to President William Ruto to speed up the revival of the troubled miller. 

In the letter, the workers have urged the President to revoke the award of 20-year lease to Uganda-based Sarrai Group whom they accused of running down the company instead of reviving it. 

“It is for these reasons that former employees of Mumias Sugar Company are writing to the President to request him to intervene in the matter and revoke the lease awarded to Sarrai Group and order the preservation of all company assets pending the outcome of the findings of a commission of inquiry established to find out the best way to revive the company,” the letter reads in part.

The former employees also said at the time of their termination of the contracts by the sugar miller, they had not been paid for 30 months. 

They are now calling on President Ruto to instruct the National Treasury to pay their salary arrears and expedite the company's revival process. 

Company's collapse

The affected employees also want the head of state to form a commission of inquiry to investigate the reasons that led to the company's collapse and provide recommendations on best way to revive the company.

At the same time, the former workers have called on the President to ensure the executive orders he issued last December are executed. 

While in Kakamega County last December, President Ruto promised to get new investor to revive the troubled 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 Sh100 million monthly to the County Government of Kakamega to improve on standards of education, health and improve the road network," President Ruto said. 

Sarrai Group had controversially won 20-year lease tender in December 2021 following a bidding process that saw higher bidders locked out of the investment venture. 

Leasing process

However, in April 2022, High Court judge Justice Alfred Mabeya ordered Sarrai Group to leave the company premises and removed Ponangipali Venkata Ramana Rao as the administrator of the company. 

Mabeya further appointed Kereto Marima as the new administrator of Mumias Sugar Company.

“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,” the judge ruled. 

Justice Mabeya said public interest demands that receivership that has yielded zero results takes a back seat and a professional administration of Mumias is given a chance.

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