Disclose details of sugar deal, Mudavadi tells President Kenyatta
13 August 2015, 22:13
Nairobi - President Kenyatta should disclose the details of the cheap sugar pact he reportedly made with his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni, Amani National Congress (ANC) party leader Musalia Mudavadi has said.
In a press statement sent to newsrooms Thursday, Mudavadi termed the alleged agreement between the two head of states on importation of sugar into to Kenya as ‘disheartening’ and one that is bound to hurt the local industry.
“The report that the government has entered into a trade pact to allow imports of sugar from Uganda while the local sugar industry is struggling is disheartening,” said Mudavadi.
“The excuse of balancing trade between our sister countries should not be used to enter into pacts that undermine local production. It amounts to placing a ransom on citizens for the befit of external friends. It is in bad taste,” he added.
The former presidential candidate questioned why President Kenyattta and his Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary, Amina Mohamed are reading from different scripts in as far as the matter is concerned.
“President Uhuru Kenyattta owes Kenyans full disclosure on the details of the alleged agreement. It cannot be that his Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed says there is no agreement while the President defends the alleged agreement. There is a smoking gun somewhere. Is there a pact or not? This contradiction needs correcting,” said Mudavadi.
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“Under section 153 of the Constitution, a cabinet secretary must make full and open disclosure of any pact entered with a foreign entity to Parliament. This means public disclosure,” he explained.
Mudavadi noted that importation of sugar to plug shortfalls is not new, but noted that caution should be exercised so that unscrupulous traders do not reap a windfall from the deal.
He noted that the sugar industry is in need of urgent intervention and added that livelihoods in the western sugar belt are threatened due to unscrupulous practices, leading to weakened and collapsing factories like Mumias, Nzoia and Chemilil.
“Even with commendable efforts at bail out, the government as the major shareholder in the factories still owes Kenyans an explanation on how the situation was left to deteriorate this far,” he said.
“However, this alleged deal throws away the goodwill the government had earned through the recent injection of KES 1 billion bailout for Mumias,” concluded Mudavadi.
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