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Cotu wants President Kenyatta to cancel sugar importation deal

17 August 2015, 13:22 Philomenah Chebet

Nairobi - Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) wants President Uhuru Kenyatta to cancel the cheap sugar importation deal he recently made with his Uganda's Yoweri Museveni.

Francis Wangara, a first trustee of Cotu, faulted the President for signing the deal without consulting the relevant stakeholders and vowed that they will mobilize their members to reject the deal if it is not cancelled.

In a press statement, Wangara who is also the General Secretary of the Kenya Union of Sugar Plantation Workers (KUSPW) said the pact will not only kill the potential of the struggling local sugar industries, but also hurt local workers and cane farmers.

"It is very shocking that even as the Kenyan sugar industry grapples with challenges, the government is already brewing another problem by allowing importation of cheap sugar from Uganda, further adding salt into the fresh wound of Kenyan sugarcane workers and farmers," said Wangara.

Read Also: Kamanda defends President Kenyatta on sugar deal

"We wish to bring to the attention of Kenyans that this deal will not only deny sugarcane farmers and workers of their livelihood but will also leave many of our members jobless and as such must be rejected," added the trade unionist.

Wangara explained that stakeholders in the sugar industry want the Head of State to make the details of the agreement public, so that they give their input.

"If it is true that any agreement was reached concerning this matter, we as representatives of the sugar industry workers demand that the details of such an agreement be availed to Kenyans for scrutiny as this will afford us an opportunity as workers to arrive at an informed decision," said Wangara.

"If the President fails to cancel the deal, we will be left with no option but to mobilize our membership and indeed six million Kenyans who depend on the sugar sector for their living to protect their industries jealously," warned Wangara.

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