KENYA – Mumias Sugar Company has temporarily suspended operations for urgent maintenance work.
Outgoing managing director Coutts Otolo Thursday said the month-long break will enable them fix equipment which had contributed to the company’s poor performance due to inconsistency in maintenance.
The closure comes barely a month after President Kenyatta toured the cash-strapped miller and gave Sh1 billion as part of the bailout strategy.
Mr Otolo said Mumias Sugar brands will be off the shelves until the company resumes operations.
“We have sold all stocks produced up to yesterday, we call upon consumers and all other players to bear with the situation as the sugar factory undergoes urgent maintenance,” he said.
He said faulty machines at the factory were partly to blame for the problems at Mumias Sugar which accounts for over 50 per cent of sugar produced locally.
“We are certain the company will return to profitability once we are done with the repairs.”
According to the MD, 8,000 sugarcane farmers’ accounts have been verified to facilitate clearance of debts owed to them by the milling firm.
“We have had suspicions that our list has ghost farmers, a situation that forced us to verify the accounts before we can make payments,” said Mr Otolo.
He said half of the Sh1 billion released to the company last month by the government for the firm’s bailout plan will be committed to clearing debts owed to the farmers.