MPs raise alarm over alleged plot to sell off Mumias, Nzoia Sugar factories

Edwin Sifuna, Godfrey Osotsi

Vihiga Senator Godfrey Osotsi and Nairobi's Edwin Sifuna during a church harambee at St Paul’s ACK in Vihiga County on April 1, 2023. 

Photo credit: Ondari Ogega | Nation Media Group

A section of Western Kenya MPs have raised the alarm over alleged underhand deals to sell off Mumias and Nzoia sugar companies.

Led by Vihiga Senator Godfrey Osotsi and his Nairobi counterpart Edwin Sifuna, they alleged a well-orchestrated plot to benefit a few individuals at the expense of thousands of members of the community who rely on sugarcane production.

Citing the approval of Privatisation Bill, 2023, which seeks to shorten the process of selling State-owned corporations without the approval of Parliament, Mr Osotsi said they will oppose the move when it lands on the floor of the Senate.

“The land still belongs to the community and the locals have a right to be involved,” he said

Mr Osotsi cited the Webuye Pan Paper Mills, which he said was sold to a private individual at a throwaway price to buyers who were only interested in getting land and scrap metal, not reviving the company for residents’ benefit.

Senator Sifuna accused some top government officials from the region of failing to defend and articulate issues affecting the community even though they have access to the highest table in the country.

“We have nothing to show when Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi, Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba and his Health counterpart Susan Nakhumicha have chosen to keep quiet when their people get oppressed,” he said.

The leaders, who were also accompanied by Luanda MP Dick Maundu and Makadara’s George Aladwa, reiterated that they will oppose any move to privatise the public sugar mills.

Mr Sifuna challenged National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetangúla to resist any attempt to have the National Assembly bypassed when the motion is presented to the House.

Mr Osotsi also raised suspicion on the recent move to have First Lady Rachael Ruto adopt 200 acres of Kakamega Forest.

“They should tell us which law they used to do this when our people cannot have access to land or the means to get one,” he said.

The First Lady week adopted a portion of the forest for restoration in a move aimed at growing 500 million trees.