Former workers of Mumias Sugar Company have written an open letter to President William Ruto to speed up the revival of the troubled miller.
In the letter, the workers are urging the President to revoke the award of a 20-year lease to Uganda-based Sarrai Group whom they accused of running down the company instead of reviving it.
“It is for these reasons that former employees of MSC are writing to the President to request him to intervene in the matter of MSC.
“Revoke the lease awarded to Sarrai Group and order the preservation of all MSC assets pending the outcome of the findings of a commission of inquiry established to find out the best way to revive the company,” they said.
The letter was signed by officials representing former Mumias workers led by Vitalis Makokha, Patrick Mutimba, Anne Wekhornba and Johnson Shiundu.
The workers said by the time being pushed out of the sugar miller, they had not been paid for 30 months.
They are now calling on the President to instruct the National Treasury to pay the salary areas and expedite its revival process.
“Form a commission of inquiry to investigate the reasons that led to the collapse of MSC and provide recommendations on the best way to revive the company.
“Order Treasury to settle all salary and pension contribution arrears of former employees of MSC,” they said.
At the same time, the former workers have called on the President to ensure the executive orders he issued last December are executed.
“We hereby demand that the executive orders issued by yourself to the leaders in western during your official visit to Kakamega County late last year be implemented forthwith.
“We remain patriotic to the republic of Kenya. Signed for and on behalf of former employees of MSC,” they said.
While in Kakamega County last December, President Ruto promised to get a new investor to revive the troubled miller.
"The government will clear all outstanding debts of the miller and bring in a new investor under an agreement that he will be remitting Sh100 million monthly to the County Government of Kakamega to improve standards of education, health and improve the road network," he said.
Sarrai controversially won a 20-year lease tender in December 2021 following a bidding process that saw higher bidders locked out of the investment venture.
However, in April 2022, High Court judge Justice Alfred Mabeya ordered Sarrai to leave the premises and removed Ponangipali Venkata Ramana Rao as the company's administrator.
Mabeya further appointed Kereto Marima as the new administrator of Mumias Sugar Company and ordered Rao to hand over the company to Marima.
“This court has considered the allegations made against the leasing process. Rao awarded the lease to the lowest bidder while there were higher bidders, without giving any justifiable explanation,” the judge ruled.
Justice Mabeya said public interest demands that receivership that has yielded zero results takes a back seat and a professional administration of Mumias is given a chance.