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MP questions Raila's silence on revealed corruption at Mumias Sugar

18 February 2015, 09:19 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi – Bumula MP, Bonface Otsiula has questioned former Prime Minister, Raila Odinda’s silence on an audit report that revealed massive corruption practices that beset Mumias Sugar Company.

Otsiula said Odinga’s silence on travails of Mumias raises questions because is always on forefront of condemning corruption practices and mismanagement of public funds in the country  in addition to calling for the prosecution of responsible perpetrators.

The audit report covered in the dailies conducted by an audit firm KPMG that formed part of the National Assembly Agriculture committee probing into woes of the ailing sugar sector in the country unearthed sugar barons and rogue companies that colluded with the company’s management to fleecy it over the years.

“Why is the former Prime Minister extremely quiet on revealed Mumias Sugar factory corruption issues yet he is nationally known in the push for accountability among public officers and the fight against corruption?” Otsiula posed.

Despite the country having more than seven sugar factories, Mumias is the largest and highest producer hence the Bumula MP held that the collapse of the factory not only affects Kakamega County’s economy but also the entire nation.

“Webuye Pan-Paper collapsed completely and no action has been taken. Board members of any company have the responsibility of ensuring there is financial prudence and Mumias Company Chairman, Dan Ameyo’s has no substantial reasons to defend the board and lay blame on the previous management,” said Otsiula.

He added dissolving Mumias board of management and appointment of competent new members in addition to proper restructuring exercise of the company by the National Government before injecting any bail-out funds is the only solution to end its poor management woes.

Also read: Oparanya wants those who swindled Mumias Sugar arrested

Otsiula had also petitioned the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) to hastily investigate the rot in the company when the commission’s heads appeared before the National Assembly Justice and Legal Affairs committee to brief it on the status of graft cases it has been probing.

Bumula MP said sugarcane farmers have not been paid for months because of the lost billions of funds. EACC Chairman, Mumo Matemu said the commission had received a petition from Mumias residents on the corruption allegations and were probing the matter.

Despite the audit report exposing irregular dealings at Mumias, Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero, who was the Company’s Managing Director has denied his involvement and said media reports are unfounded and malicious to destroy his reputation.

Kidero dismissed the KPMG audit report linking him in the billion shilling scam claiming that its contents are unjustified since it is only a draft and lacks his side of story.  

He adamantly held that he helped the company attain an accumulative profit of KES 14,825,557,000 billion as an MD from an outstanding loss of KES 244,858,000 million but accused the current management fleecing the factory through misappropriation of funds and increasing their salaries and allowances.

"The people who have since been charged with running the company should answer questions on the woes betiding MSC. With insignificant changes here and there, the board of directors remains the same as it was when I joined the company," said Kidero.

KPMG named 20 people including Kidero and his successor Peter Kebati as officers to be held responsible for the scandalous procurement, commercial and importation deals that rocked the Mumias almost bringing it to its knees.

Kidero is accused of irregularly awarding tenders, including a multimillion fertilizer supply tender to an individual who had already sent a quotation prior to the commencement of the tendering process, a tender for pest control and fumigation services to a company without the approval tender committee, issuing a tender to a company to supply Urea, without the knowledge of the tender committee and the sale of the miller's strategic assets to a competitor among others.

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