Kenya Sugarcane Growers Association (KESGA) wants investigations launched into the importation sugar into the country.
The Association Secretary General, Samuel Anyango, said stakeholders in the sugar industry are getting concerned following the importation of huge stocks of sugar from Kakira Sugar Company in Jinja Uganda through the Kisumu Port.
Over the weekend, huge stocks of sugar bags were seen being offloaded from a ship into a warehouse at the Kisumu Port.
The Port’s Manager, Michael Disi confirmed that the sugar was meant to be sold locally and was being imported by a Mombasa based business man.
He however could not divulge much on the business man’s details, only saying, “Our business here is to provide the facilitation and warehousing of the goods, but it’s only the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) custom officials who can comment further”.
KESGA Secretary General, Samuel Anyango is now challenging the Kenya Sugar Board and the KRA to come clean on the issue and explain why they allowed the sugar importations, while local factories are still capable of producing enough sugar for consumers.
Anyango also lamented that the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) safeguard on sugar had been extended in 2012 by two years.
He said Kenyans were still not aware of how much sugar was imported by the Ministry of Agriculture in 2011 when the sugar board was not functioning.
At the same time, Anyango claimed local sugar factories owed farmers loads of money in unpaid arrears.
He cited Kisumu’s Kibos Sugar Factory which he says owes cane farmers over 3 million shillings. He further castigated Kibos for paying cane workers meager amount of money.
Anyango is now calling on the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission(EACC) to wade into the matter and conduct thorough investigations over the importation of sugar that he alleged are being re-branded and sold locally.
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