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Arsonists cost Kwale Sugar Company 100M loss

15 January 2015, 20:45 John Kioko

Kwale - Kwale International Sugar Company Ltd (KISCOL) is counting losses of close to KES 100 million after unknown arsonists torched 400 acres of sugarcane plantation.

KISCOL's deputy general manager Patrick Chebos said the cause of the fire that burned sugar cane farms belonging to the company at Kinondo, Mwisho wa shamba, Kidzumbani and Gonjora in separate incidents is yet to be known.

“Some were burned at night and others during the day, we tried our best to put off the inferno but the damage had already happened," he said.

He said they are now applying the Nyumba Kumi approach to help reduce such cases since they no one has been arrested in connection with the incidents.

“There are people living near our sugarcan farms and we will be using them as our security agents. We hope that this will work out," he said.

He said they are questioning a few individuals on the same as they try to find out who the arsonists are.

He said that they have not yet started commercial sugar production.

“What we are doing is testing the factory but commercial production of sugar will start after the process is officially commissioned,” he added.

Msambweni leadership led by area MCA Khatib Dzugwe condemned the incident and said that those involved should stop.

He said that if there are issues that the community around feel they are not working well with the company leaders can be used to solve them but not sending message by burning sugar canes.

“I want to urge parents to warn their children not to be involved in the acts of setting KISCOL sugarcane plantation to fire because that is not good. Those who will be found they will be to blame,” he said.

Locals have been complaining about poor payment of workers at the company while there has been several land disputes between the company and the community.

It is not clear if such issues might have led to the burning of the sugar cane plantations.

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