Farmers body fingers West Kenya in Mumias Sugar lease standoff

By , K24 Digital
On Fri, 21 Jan, 2022 21:19 | 2 mins read
Mumias Sugar company. PHOTO/COURTESY

Gakwamba Farmers’ Cooperative Society has now accused West Kenya Company of using their name in the Mumias Sugar lease saga legal battle.

The farmers through their chairperson Elisha Huma, argues that the application seeking to stop the lease of Mumias Sugar filed by five farmers is an abuse of the court process and should be dismissed with costs.

The five farmers last week obtained orders stopping any operations at the sugar milling plant after they filed a suit challenging the lease on the basis of not being transparent.

The five are; Lambert Lwanga Ogochi, Augustino Ochacha Saba, Prisca Okwanko Ochacha, Robert Mudinyu Magero and Wycliffe Barasa Ng’onga.

The society however through lawyer Danstan Omari wants the orders vacated claiming the farmers do not have the right to challenge the bid process in which they were not a party and that they are just being used by one of the parties that lost the bid to frustrate the operations of Mumias Sugar Company.

The society has dragged West Kenya Sugar into the lease saga claiming that its purpose was to interfere with the revival of the operations of the Mumias Sugar.

“We are the farmers to Mumias Sugar Company. We don’t know anything about this suit neither do we have any minute passing any resolution to institute any suit,” court papers read.

The society claims it is not in the interest of justice to entertain an application by individuals who did not participate in the bidding process whose sole aim is to frustrate the political and commercial goodwill to turn around a mill to profitability through modernization and efficient management.

"That we are aware that the firm of Kibe Munai Advocates represents the interest of Jaswant Signgh Rai who is a director of West Kenya Co.Ltd which also bid in the same tender and is only using our society with an ill motive and in an unethical and unprofessional manner to file this suit so as to benefit from the leasing of Mumias Sugar Co.LTD," court papers read.

Ugandan firm Sarrai Group and Tumaz and Tumaz Enterprises (Tumaz) are embroiled in the lease tussle of Mumias Sugar Company.

Several cases have been filed in court regarding the lease of the Sugar milling plant and in December last year, the court had suspended leases that were issued to Sarrai and Rai Group and stopped them from going on with works at the sugar milling plant.

Sarrai on the other hand has filed an application seeking to have the order suspending the lease lifted. The application will also be heard on January 21.

Last week, Tumaz filed a contempt case against Sarrai Group accusing it of starting work at the sugar milling plant despite the existence of a court order barring them from doing so.