KENYA – Mumias Sugar whose plant has been undergoing routine maintenance Mumias Sugar Company has started crushing cane after more than eight months of maintenance.
The company closed for maintenance early this year, even though inadequate cane also contributed to the closure.
Board Chairman Dr Kenneth Mulwa said the factory started operations at the weekend. “I can confirm to you that the company is operational after maintenance. The factory is crushing cane,” he told Financial Standard.
He noted that the board had overhauled the firm’s management, adding that they have confidence in the new Chief Executive Nashon Aseka, who is expected to turnaround the company.
“We conducted changes to the management. We have a new chief executive officer and we are confident that he will drive the company to profitability,” he said.
The company chairman asked farmers to continue supplying their cane to the factory, promising they would be paid promptly.
He also urged stakeholders to support the company’s revival. Performance contract Dr Mulwa had earlier promised a major shake-up in the company, including the sacking of non-performing staff.
“Every worker at the company must deliver what is expected of them in their performance contract. Non-performers will have to be sacked,” he said.
Mumias East MP Benjamin Washiali said the factory’s refurbishment and enhanced capacity would help boost the region’s economy, ending the suffering of cane farmers who have had to contend with dwindling returns.
“I got the report the company is operational. This will mark the end of suffering for cane farmers,” said Mr Washiali.
The company has been facing financial problems that has affected its operations. So far, the Government has pumped in Sh3.7 billion.
Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya has been pushing for the National Government to relinquish its 20 per cent shares to the county government.
“The Government should consider allowing the county government own the 20 per cent shares so that we can revive the company.
The company needs over Sh12 billion for operations to go back to normal,” said Mr Oparanya. The company’s products have been missing on the shelves for months now, forcing the Government to import sugar.