Navakholo MP Emmanuel Wangwe has said the sugar taskforce led by Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri and Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya will deliver its mandate. Wangwe, who is part of the task force, said the task force will come back to the cane farmers because they are the people facing the problems and they are also the ones with the solutions, “We’ll ask them what are the problems and what are the likely suggestions of solution then we’ll combine and move forward,” he said.
The taskforce which was unveiled on 7th November by CS Kiunjuri under the direction of President Uhuru Kenyatta is set to deliver a report on the issues facing the sugar sector including the sugar mills and the way forward within 30 days. Speaking on Friday, Wangwe noted that politicians have used the sugar mills’ woes to campaign for themselves but said that President Uhuru Kenyatta is on a different plane at the moment, “The President has nothing to lose, other than leaving a legacy….he is not in any political competition.”
He affirmed that cane farmers will be paid, and an approximate Kshs 2.6 billion is set to be disbursed, “The Treasury has agreed and is making arrangements to make money available. We expect every farmer, every genuine farmer, to be paid,” he said. However, he admitted that previous attempts by the state to revive sugar mills and pay sugarcane farmers may have been compromised, adding that the money the government gave to Mumias Sugar Company wasn’t sued appropriately and that farmers still weren’t paid, with about Kshs 700 to Kshs 900 million in dues.