Devki Group of Companies has today Friday, June 4, withdrawn bid to lease Mumias Sugar Company after it expressed interest in reviving the miller following an invitation by the receiver manager.
Chairman of the group Narendra Raval today said they have withdrawn and it will only express interest if the exercise is conducted in consultation with all stakeholders.
“However, given the ongoing public interest which the matter has attracted and the call for a publicly run bidding exercise, we have found it worthwhile to take out our application.”
Its decision to pull out comes after Western Kenya sugarcane farmers and politicians on Thursday, yesterday, asked the Ministry of Agriculture to stop the proposed takeover of Mumias Sugar Company by a steel manufacturer until due process is followed.
ANC Party Leader Moses Mudavadi on Wednesday said; “I am calling on KCB to be transparent and effectively engage farmers and locals who are critical stakeholders in ensuring that the once-leading sugar miller is brought back to glory.”
KCB Bank was the one that placed Mumias Sugar Company under receivership and the sugarcane stakeholders are accusing it of unilaterally awarding the lease without following due procedure that includes asset valuation and farmers’ debt accountability.
Kenya National Alliance of Sugarcane Farmers Organisation Chairman Saulo Busolo said that a comprehensive selection process that would capture the interest of farmers had not been realised.
“We should not gamble with the critical sector of our economy. If the cane growers are ruined, everything else will tumble down,” he said.
Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala together with Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula raised issues concerning the takeover process during Wednesday’s proceedings in Parliament terming it unprocedural and sought intervention from the Standing Committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries on the state of affairs of factory.
Senator Moses Wetangula demanded that Mumias Sugar Company Receivership Manager and Kenya Commercial Bank to produce an Asset Evaluation Report, Farmer’s Debt Repayment Plan as well as a complete Financial Audit Report from 2016 to date.