Mudavadi urges President to heed calls to form sugar commission of inquiry

87
ANC party leader Musalia Mudavadi
ANC party leader Musalia Mudavadi. FILE PHOTO

Amani National Congress (ANC) party leader Musalia Mudavadi has urged President Uhuru Kenyatta to listen to the pleas from Western Kenya leaders on the need to establish a commission of inquiry to probe the crisis in the sugar sector in Kenya which has heavily affected cane farmers.

He said residents of the Western region depend so much on cane farming and it’s an issue that needs to handled immediately. “As Uhuru leads the destruction of contraband goods, he must have the hindsight that over 500,000 Kenyans are dependent on the cane industry and lives are being destroyed,” he said.

He added that these Kenyans require the President’s attention, adding that failure to institute an inquiry into corruption in the sugar sector will dent his avowed commitment to a wholesome war on corruption.

He noted that the ray of hope that Parliament will uncover those responsible for ruining the livelihoods of cane farmers and running factories through illegal importation of contraband and poisonous sugar is now dimmed.

“The Speaker of the National Assembly ruled with finality that the assembly will not re-introduce and debate the report of the Joint Committee of Agriculture and Trade on Sugar.  It seems that the lords of the contraband sugar saga have won over oversight institutions seeing that there are no on-going investigation; not by the DCI and not by the EACC,” Mudavadi said.

The ANC Party leader reiterated that it’s his opinion that Parliament as currently constituted is ill-prepared and it’s not committed to solving the longstanding problem within the sugar industry in Kenya.

“That sugarcane farmers have been abandoned by the very institutions that should protect them is not surprising. Not even recent stop-gap intervention by regulations gazetted by the CS Agriculture will rescue the industry. The measures are not sustainable or enforceable,” noted the ANC leader.

He, however, said there is a silver lining after Speaker Justin Muturi blocked any attempts to re-introduce the sugar report in parliament, noting that a commission of inquiry can now be formed. “I, therefore, beseech President Uhuru Kenyatta not to hesitate anymore in creating an overdue Judicial Commission of Inquiry to probe the sugar crisis. The justification now exists given that the incoherent encumbrance of Parliament has been removed, and the overwhelmed DCI in the fight against corruption and inertia EACC on the matter, is obvious,” said Mudavadi.