Kwanza MP Ferdinand Wanyonyi has opposed the leasing of 5 state owned sugar industries to private entities, faulting the government backed deal. “Look at Rai Paper, what happened to it? It has now become a store where sugar from the neighbouring state is stored,” he stated. Speaking during an interview on West FM’s Crossfire on Sunday night, Wanyonyi said there are other leaders from the region who have opposed the leasing, “They want to lease Nzoia for around 1 billion shillings…Nzoia has land, about 12,000 acres, assets, including road infrastructure. Surely, it must cost more than that.”
He said farmers should be involved and another solution sought out. The MP also criticized ODM leader Raila Odinga’s sentiments on the leasing process. Raila on Friday said the Kenya Union of Sugarcane Plantation and Allied Workers shouldn’t have moved to court to try and block the leasing process, stating that the move negatively impacts the whole leasing deal. “Let Rails stay away from the leasing issue. He should leave it to us as leaders from the region, we know what is good for our people,” said Wanyonyi.
On Thursday last week, the Employment and Labour Relations Court in Kisumu issued an injunction stopping the ongoing leasing process pending hearing and determination of a case filed by the Kenya Union of Sugarcane Plantation and Allied Workers. The Union claimed it had been sidelined in the whole process and cited the government’s failure to settle arrears for workers amounting to Kshs 5 billion.