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Wetangula shuts down Nzoia Sugar privatisation talk

National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetangula maintains Nzoia Sugar Company will not be privatised.

During a public address in his Bungoma backyard, Wetangula said the sugar factory, which has suffered its fair share of financial and administrative woes in recent times, will remain under state ownership.

“Nobody and I want to repeat, nobody will sell Nzoia and let it become an arena for political prequel. Nzoia is our heritage,” he declared.

Wetangula’s comments come amid speculation and concerns over the future ownership of the company.

The government recently announced that Nzoia was among five public sugar factories that will be privatised in a bid to professionalise production.

Other factors affected by this decision include South Nyanza Sugar Company, Chemelil Sugar Company, Muhoroni Sugar Company (in receivership), and Miwani Sugar Company (in receivership).

Nzoia Sugar Company holds a prominent position within Kenya’s sugar industry, producing sugar, contributing significantly to the country’s economy and providing livelihoods to thousands of individuals in the region

The government owns a 98.8 percent stake in South Nyanza, 97.93 percent in Nzoia, 96.22 percent in Chemelil through the Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC), and 1.42 percent through the Development Bank of Kenya (DBK).

It also owns an 82.8 percent stake in Muhoroni and 49 percent in Miwani.

“These sugar factories have a combined potential of 30 percent of the sugar market share in Kenya in a market currently standing at 1 million tonnes per annum,” said the Ministry in a notice.

Wetangula’s comments come two months after President Ruto announced Nzoia Sugar company would not be privatised.

The President however challenges the factory administrators to deliver.

“Nzoia Sugar Company is not on sale. The firm that is at the heart of Western Kenya’s economy is neither to be privatised nor leased. The government will install professional management that will inject efficiency in the running of the sugar company,” he said.

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