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Pay back Mumias money, Uhuru tells Raila

 

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy joins Bungoma county Jubilee aspirants in a dance during Jubilee campaign rally at Amudala stadium in Kimilili on August 1, 2017. photo by BENJAMIN SAKWA

President Uhuru Kenyatta has challenged NASA presidential candidate Raila Odinga to pay back the debt he allegedly owes the sugar miller.

In a scathing attack on the Opposition leader, the President accused Raila of failure to pay a molasses debt he owes the company.

This was not the first time the President was directly linking Raila to the woes facing the company.

Early this year, the President dragged the Odinga family into the troubles facing the miller and asked the ODM leader to pay the company millions of shillings.

The President said this at Bomani grounds in Mumias town, moments after Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Willy Bett revealed the Government had allowed cane millers to import sugar to meet the deficit in the country.

The President also delivered Sh500 million to Mumias Sugar Company to pay cane farmers.

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“NASA leaders should carry the blame for the financial constraints facing Mumias Sugar Company. Raila should be made aware that he owes the company some money and he must pay it,” said the President.

He told the NASA leader to stop claiming the Jubilee government was  behind the woes facing the miller, saying that amounted to “using the company to raise campaign money”.

He alleged that NASA leaders looted the company when their cronies were at the helm of the miller, adding that they would soon be made to account for the lost millions.

Resume operations

“I promised to give Sh500 million to the sugar miller to pay farmers and I have honoured that promise today. The money will be paid directly to the farmers and not through middlemen. The Government has so far pumped Sh3.7 billion into the company in a bid to revive it,” Kenyatta said.

Deputy President William Ruto, who accompanied the President, said the Jubilee government meant well for sugarcane farmers in the region.

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Ruto promised that the company would soon resume operations.

He said after it is revived, the company would boost the economic growth of the region and offer employment to hundreds of youths.

“Some leaders in NASA owe this company. They should pay their debts so that farmers can be paid. Farmers should be the top priority in payments,” said Mr Ruto.

He said the Government had also injected Sh300 million into Nzoia Sugar Company to pay farmers.

Mr Bett, who was speaking at Mumias Sugar Company premises on Monday, said the millers facing financial problems would get good proceeds if they import and re-brand the sugar.

[Nathan Ochunge, Alex Wakhisi and Raphael Wanjala] 

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