Oparanya pushes for 20pc of Mumias under counties

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto are taken on tour. FILE PHOTO | NMG
President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto are taken on tour. FILE PHOTO | NMG  

Governors have asked the national government to release the 20 per cent shares it holds in Mumias Sugar Company to counties to enable the firm stabilise.

Council of Governors finance committee chairman Wycliffe Oparanya yesterday said that the shares need to be offloaded to the county governments in the sugar belt zones for them to have a better say in the management of the collapsing factory.

Mr Oparanya, who is the Kakamega governor, said it was difficult for county governments to inject funds into the revival of sugar factories because they have no say in them.

“The county government of Kakamega injected Sh200 million in the factory but the money could not make any change in the management of the firm. My government could not hold the company management to account for the money because we are still missing that mandate,” said Mr Oparanya.

Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale and Mumias East MP Benjamin Washiali have in the recent past claimed Mr Oparanya gave the money to his cronies instead of targeting farmers.

Dr Khalwale and Mr Washiali have demanded that the anti-corruption commission come investigate if the money was misused. Dr Khalwale claimed that the Sh200 million injection was among high level corruption scandals in Mr Oparanya administration.

However, Mr Oparanya has maintained that county governments should have a say for Mumias to survive.

“Since agriculture is a devolved function, there was no way the national government could keep the county governments out of the shareholding equation. It must release the shares it is holding for Mumias to my government so that we can put our representatives on the board of the miller and have our input in the management,..” of he said.

“There is a plan for an elaborate cane development programme in the county.”