EDITORIAL: Resolve Mumias woes

Efforts to revive the State-owned Mumias Sugar Company from the throes of collapse have so far come a cropper pushing the KCB Group to put the miller into administration over a Sh545 million debt it owes the lender.

The latest report from the miller, which was once an industry leader with more than 60 percent of the sugar market share, paint a grim future of the ailing company. The news that KCB has offered each of the 743 workers it laid off Sh20,000 as terminal dues should alarm us all.

The "package" adds to a paltry 0.625 percent of the Sh2.4 billion it owes employees in salary arrears. The move signals a desperate situation that the debt-ridden miller finds itself in. Understandably, the KCB as well as creditors the miller owed Sh12.5 billion in defaulted loans as of June 2018, have every reason to find ways of recovering their money. However, the lender should try every means possible to return Mumias on its feet and with it help secure the future of thousands of farmers, employees and businesses that depended on the miller for their livelihood.

The government, which owns 20 percent of the miller, should also crack down on past managers that abetted plunder of the company bringing it to its knees and be made to pay for their sins.

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