Sugarcane farmers from Lwandeti ward in Lugari constituency demonstrated to Butali and West Kenya sugar companies satellite offices at Lwandeti market before ejecting officials and closing the offices lamenting over delayed harvesting of the crop.
The enraged farmers bewailed that despite their canes being ready for harvesting in 2019 they have been denied harvesting permits accusing the officials at the offices of demanding bribes of up to Kshs. 10,000 before giving them the permits.
“Our children have been sent back home from schools due to fee arrears, we have no money to pay until we sell our canes but what is going on in these offices is unacceptable. There’s high level of corruption going on here, one is expected to part with some cash before being given a go ahead to harvest his or her canes,” they lamented.
They said it was more disappointing that those who cut their canes without giving bribe to the officers, their canes are left to dry on the farm without being ferried to the millers thus incurring losses.
The farmers have threatened to block all roads in the area and ensure no tractor from the two companies pass there ferrying canes from the neighboring Bungoma and Uasin Gishu counties.
Efforts to get comment from representatives of the two companies were futile as they could not be reached.