Sugar troubles began when Raila was PM, Jubilee MPs say as Ruto takes campaign to Western
They dismissed the opposition’s calls for the publication of details of the sugar deal with Uganda saying it is seeking “cheap publicity”.
Led by National Assembly majority leader Aden Duale, the leaders said the sugar problems began during the coalition government when Raila was PM.
“The sugar industry did not start facing problems recently. The problems we are witnessing now were worse when there was a coalition government where Raila was a shareholder,” Duale said.
The leaders addressed rallies in Kericho, Webuye and Nambale High school in Busia county, accompanied by Deputy President William Ruto, on Friday.
They said those criticising the government’s Sh1 billion bail-out to the Mumias Sugar Company, and facilitation of a Sh4 billion rights issue, did nothing when they held senior positions under the coalition government.
They asked Raila, former VP Kalonzo Musyoka and former ministers Moses Wetang’ula, Ababu Namwamba and Paul Otuoma to say what they accomplished for the sugar industry during their tenures.
Duale questioned Raila’s response at the time, and condemned Western leaders for declining to meet President Uhuru Kenyatta over the sugar deal at State House on Thursday.
“It’s only the government which can sort out the mess in the sugar sector. The opposition can only lament,” he said.
He accused Raila of “hoodwinking” Western leaders “when he has done nothing for the region”.
“What can Raila offer Western Kenya now that he did not when he was the Prime Minister?” he posed.
Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen said the agreement between Kenya and Uganda will wipe out cartels controlling the industry.
“Those who destroyed the sugar sector are now turning against the government because their cartel is being fought,” he said.
Western Kenya MPs at the rally in Nambale said they did not meet Uhuru as a result of miscommunication, not in a show of disrespect.
Busia Senator Amos Wako and MPs Benjamin Washiali (Mumias East), Dan Wanyama (Webuye West) and John Bunyasi (Nambale), who attended the meetings in Webuye and Nambale, said they will meet the government over the crisis.
“We will meet the government soon so that we can revive the sugar sector. There is no one else who can assist the industry. It is only the government that can sort out our problems,” Washiali said.
Noting that the MPs should have met the President, Wako said Western leaders want transparency concerning the deal.
Busia Governor Sospeter Ojamoong, who attended the meeting at the school, asked the government to improve the livelihoods of Western residents.
Ojaamong said the government should revive the region’s industries for the locals to have markets for their produce.
Among those present were Senate majority leader Kindiki Kithure, Kericho Senator Charles Keter and Kuresoi North MP Moses Cheboi.
Others were Belgut MP Eric Keter, Isiolo Woman representative Tia Galgalo, Bureti MP Leonard Sang and Turkana South MP James Lomenen.