The government has been urged to quickly salvage the Pan Paper factory in Webuye so as to create job opportunities to residents of Bungoma County.
While addressing journalists, the chairman for industries in Bungoma County Herman Kasili said that President Uhuru Kenyatta promised to revive the factory March but there are no sign and Raiply Company is showing some interest of buying it.
“We are requesting the government to revive the Pan Paper factory because this is now March, the month that President Uhuru Kenyatta promised to reopen the factory.” He said.
“It is my plea that he fulfills the promise because business has gone down, as we are heading for Bungoma International Investment Conference this factory is supposed to be in operation,” said Kasili.
Kasili said the conditions set by Raiply company who have interest in buying the factory cannot be fulfilled.
He said the company wants to buy Pan Paper with the piece of land next to the factory but it can’t happen claiming that after devolution the piece of land now belongs to the County government and they will never allow anybody to grab it.
“We have heard that Raiply has already taken this factory to revive it but has set conditions that the piece of land with the title deeds should also be given to it”, uttered Kasili
“It could be better if the piece of land and the company houses were given to the County government to boost the income of the county and promote economy,” Kasili added.
He also complained of the rising cases of insecurity in the area terming dwindling economy caused by the closure of the company in 2009.
“The closure of Pan Paper factory in 2009 was due to the huge debt and this has led to poverty in the region because the factory usually supported over 5,000 people directly” he said.
There have been several bids and promises to revive the factory but all has never been realized.