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President Uhuru to tour western Kenya amid CORD opposition

24 June 2015, 10:43 Arap Yego

Nairobi - President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto will Wednesday visit western Kenya and present KES 1 billion to bail out Mumias Sugar Company, amid opposition by some Cord leaders from the region.

Western Kenya is considered an opposition stronghold because Raila Odinga received overwhelming support in the last elections, but the Jubilee government has been trying to woo the region through state appointments.

On Tuesday, Cord Co-principal Senator Moses Wetang'ula accused the President and his deputy of cashing in on the sugar firm's woes to advance Jubilee's political agenda, insisting that the company will still have to repay the money.

“Part of the money being given to Mumias is from the Sugar Development Levy, which is basically a loan to the miller. The balance will come from Treasury and will be accounted for by scaling up national government shares. There is therefore no free money being given to Mumias by the President," said Wetang’ula, who is also the senate minority leader.

Read Also: President Kenyatta taking law-making mandate from MPs, says CORD

Vocal Kakamega Senator, Boni Khalwale also joined Wetang’ula in dismissing the head of state's KES1 billion bailout for Mumias, noting that the money is too little and will not make an impact.

“KES 1 billion is a drop in the ocean because Mumias is indebted to the tune of over KES 5 billion.

The head of state tour follows a meeting at State House in Nairobi with over 20 western MPs led by Ababu Namwanba early this week.

The leaders pleaded with the government to step forward and save the largest sugar company in Kenya, which is on the verge of the collapse.

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