Written by Wanyonyi wa Wasike
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THE Government has released Ksh. 1 Billion for the revival of the stalled Pan-Paper Mills in Webuye.
Trade Minister Moses Wetang’ula announced that the money, factored in the 2012-2013 financial budget will be used to repair old machines and buy new ones to put the paper firm back on track.
He announced that leaders from Bungoma County have formed a committee to oversee the revival of Pan-Paper following complaints from Webuye Mp Alfred Sambu recently that the Ksh.500 million earlier dispatched by the government for the revival of the paper factory had been misappropriated.
“As leaders from this County, we are going to ensure that the money disbursed by the government towards the revival of Pan-Paper is used properly and for the intended purpose,” said Wetang’ula.
The minister assured workers at the firm that they will soon be back on their jobs after reporting back only for the factory to be shut down again four months ago due to huge debts and lack of market for its products.
“We want to advise those who have been given the mandate of managing Pan-Paper to be very transparent in their dealings to ensure the firm is back to profitability because we want to boost the financial status of our county,” said Wetang’ula.
The Sirisia Mp also announced another Ksh.50 million funding from the government to resuscitate the Malakisi Cotton ginnery that collapsed way back in the early 80s.
“I want to appeal to farmers who were dealing in cotton to begin growing the cash crop because we don’t want a situation whereby the factory is back in business but closes down again due to unavailability of raw materials,” said the minister.
He assured Bungoma residents that Kitinda Dairy Co-operative factory that had also been closed due to financial constraints has also received Ksh.100 million towards its rehabilitation and revival.
Wetang’ula warned culprits who have reported to have attempted to sell land belonging to the dairy factory to keep off saying that the government is determined to protect the farmers’ property and put it back to a sound financial footing.
Last week, a scandal involving a civic leader and two junior staff at the Bungoma Municipal Council who had sold off the Kitinda Dairy land estimated at Ksh.100 million for only Ksh.3 million was unearthed.
The private developer who had already moved on the site to secure the plot has, since the revelations, moved out in mysterious circumstances.
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