The Senate Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Committee has directed Mumias Sugar Company Receiver Manager PVR Rao to within two weeks advertise for the bidding process that will aim at identifying the new investor who will take up the operations of the Sugar miller for it to fully function again through the intended leasing process.
Appearing before the Senate Committee Rao was tasked to explain how the ongoing bidding process that is said to have reached the financial evaluation process was reached, with his position on engaging the 8 bidders who had shown interest being termed as a process that lacked transparency, accountability and public participation.
The Senate Committee under the Chairmanship of Embu Senator Njeru Ndwiga also found the receiver manager culpable of not authoritatively making a public pronouncement on the rumours that have been going round that already an investor had been identified to take up the operations of Mumias Sugar Company.
DEVKI steel mills ltd one of the bidders which is said to be among the 8, withdrew from the process last week, in a twist that the receiver manager was unable to convince the Senate Committee that he only learnt of the withdrawal of DEVKI through the Media.
However, that not with-standing, Rao said that the bidding process was ongoing and at no point any investor had been cleared thus raising more fundamental questions on the manner in which the receiver manager had conducted the whole process from its initial stage.
The Receiver Manager further more could not articulately explain to the committee how the eight bidders knew that the company was in the process of being leased, with Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen and his Kitui Counterpart Enock Wambua citing that disparity as a breach of leasing terms and procedures thus the Senate Committee found the process as to have been opaque.
The questions had been raised by Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malalah who has been on the forefront as one of the Key leaders from Western Kenya, who had questioned the manner in which the leasing process was being undertaken after reading malice in the whole process.
Malalah pointed out several other pertinent issues that the Receiver Manager has to consider before undertaking the leasing of the company for him to win public trust with Kenyans now being treated to the twists and turns.
Among them was the number of years that the investor will lease the company and details of engagements with the farmers after the new investor takes over the operations of the sugar mills.
Malalah castigated leaders allied to Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya, Mumias East MP Benjamin Washiali, Former Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale and former Sports Minister Rashid Echesa to have duped Kakemga residents, Cane farmers and Kenyans that ANC Party Leader Musalia Mudavadi and Kakamega County Senator Cleophas Malalah had approached DEVKI Steels Limited for financial favours for them to allow DEVKI win the bid.
Malalah now wants the leaders who have been staging demos in pretense that him and the ANC Leader were blocking DEVKI from winning the bid, to come out and tell the farmers and Kenyans the truth now that the receiver manager has laid bare the facts after a scrutiny by the Senate Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Committee.
Malalah says they acted in good will together with the ANC Party leader and now it is clear, no investor had won the leasing bid and furthermore he says they were not interested in any investor in particular but for a transparent process that would see all parties and especially the farmers and the public gain from the revival of Mumias Sugar Company.