Mumias Sugar company’s decline has been fascinating, its wrangles epic, having been led by four bosses in just three years – with little to show of for the billions pumped into the firm’s recovery.
As the company seems to sail rudderless towards its death, each of the bosses is leaving a paper trail exposing the conspiracy of politicians using the travails at the miller to siphon money from the State for personal gain.
Mumias Sugar listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange in 2001, which would have freed it from political influence but mismanagement sent it begging to the Government for bailout loans with strings attached.According to Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala, the most recent changes at the helm of the ailing sugar miller, have all had political motivations.
“Those who are appointed as managing directors of the company are sacked after a short period of time for failing to dance to the tune of senior Government officials,” he said.
While politicians are known to fire from whatever barrel that gets them prime time attention, Australian boss Errol Johnson, who quit in 2017, voiced similar concerns when he was asked to pay a fee to access the Sh3 billion State bailout cash.Mr Johnson fled the country fearing for his life and penned a tell-all letter painting the miller as a cash cow for politicians even as disillusioned farmers watch the institution rust and crumble.
Fast forward today and three other bosses have sat in Mumias Sugar hot seat, each with a tale of the skeletons in the company’s closet.
Errol was replaced by Nashon Aseka who ran the company for a year before Patrick Chebosi, former agriculture manager and head of Kwale Sugar Industries, took charge in June 2018.Seven months later, Mr Chebosi has now been sent on leave in what is widely seen as another succession battle, and replaced by the chairman of Sukari Sacco, Isaac Sheunda.
The board also appointed Dalmas Wala as risk management officer in acting capacity.