Struggling Kenyan State abattoir KMC forms debt collection task force

State abattoir KMC forms debt collection task force

Cash-strapped Kenya Meat Commission (KMC) has formed a task force to spearhead collection of debts as it moves to settle liabilities.

The State-owned meat processor owes livestock farmers Sh254.4 million for supplies and has outstanding payroll deductions totalling Sh144.7 million.

Managing commissioner James Ole Seriani told Parliament that upon recovery of the money, the company will settle the debt, starting with the oldest.

“We have formed a task force to collect what is owed to us and the criteria we use upon receiving the money will be to settle the oldest debts first,” he told the Senate committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries.

Among KMC’s customers are government institutions such as the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH), universities, schools and colleges.

The KMC also supplies supermarket chains, including Tuskys and Uchumi.

The company has grappled with poor performance since the 1960s because of political interference, obsolete machinery, and loss of the European Union market due to animal diseases.

The unreliable supply of raw materials and frequent breakdowns of the plant have slowed down KMC.

Failure to pay livestock farmers has disrupted its supplies.

The Athi River plant slaughters 200 cattle per week, despite it having capacity to process the same number of animals per day.

Taxpayers have pumped in more than Sh4.1 billion into KMC in 13 years even as it suffered low production and growing bills.In the year to June 2018, KMC posted a net loss of Sh228.1 million.

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