Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi and Busia Women Representative Florence Mutua have appealed to President Uhuru Kenyatta to order the burning of contaminated illegal sugar imports to save the local sugar industry from imminent collapse.
Speaking at during a funds drive in aid of the completion of Igara Spiritual Ministries Church in Nambale Busia on Sunday, the two leaders also called for the freezing of sugar imports for the next five years, adding that this will allow the millers to be fully revived for the benefit of the cane growing communities.
Mutua said, the open window allowed excess sugar in the Country. ‘’We can’t keep on allowing sugar imports while we can grow cane which will benefit our people. Cartels don’t care about the welfare of our people but their own profit,’’ she said.
Wandayi who is also the Public Accounts Committee chairman blamed sugar cartels for the crisis facing the local sugar industry, thus the need to find a lasting solution to the current impasse in the sector.
‘’ There is no need for the President to wait for the joint parliamentary committee report on contraband sugar since the truth is already known. The Head of State should use the powers conferred on him by the constitution to save local industries,’’ he said.
Mutua exonerated the committee which she is a member over blames by MPs claims that the report was a waste of taxpayers’ money since it failed to provide Kenyans wanted over the contraband sugar.
Defending the committee Mutua said the report was not conclusive. “We had summoned the Kenya Bureau of Standards to shade light on allegations of presence of mercury on the sugar imports.
They asked for four more days to submit the report but the Speaker added ten more days before we table the final conclusive report “she said.
Mutua said in the 11th Parliament she chaired the Sub Committee that tabled the report titled “Crisis Facing The Sugar Industry” which she said if fully implemented will help sugar farmers a great deal, adding that the report has strong recommendations on how to deal with porous borders that flood the market with illegal sugar and also how to revive the sugar factories among other key recommendations.
National chairman Kenya National Federation of Sugar Ibrahim Juma said the delay to open the Sh5billion Busia Sugar Industry was a cause for concern and urged West Kenya chairman Singh Rai to withdraw the case he has against Busibwabo factory to enable it open the doors to the public.
He said the immediate opening of the factory will enable farmers take their children to school, adding that excess sugar in the country arising from illegal imports has denied over 10 million people who depend on sugar directly or indirectly their livelihoods.