Raila’s failure in saving one of the costliest industry in Kenya


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Business Mogul Jaswant Rai has eventually acquired the financially crippled Kisumu Molasses plant owned by the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga family the mega price of Ksh seven billion.

Its reported that Rai who is the owner of Raiply Mills is further going to acquire Dominion Farms in Siaya and Miwani Sugar Company.

Sugar task force meetings recommended that state owned sugar farms be privatised to which Raila Odinga at the last meeting expressed that in doing so things should take place in a modelled manner.

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The molasses plant, then properly called the Kenya Chemical & Food Corporation Ltd, had been inaugurated in 1977 and abandoned five years later, one of the costliest failures in Kenya’s industrial history.

The original proposal for the plant’s establishment had come from Nitin Madhvani, of the influential Madhvani family, investors in Kenya, Uganda and elsewhere, particularly in the sugar industry, of which molasses is a by-product.

The Odinga family acquired the Molasses Plant in 1995 following a public auction using Kisumu Development Trust and was inaugurated in 1997. At the time members of the public contributed money towards its purchase but there has not been any annual general meeting with those who ask for AGM threatened by goons believed to be supportive of Raila.

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Former Rarieda MP the late Odeny Ngure was the chairman of the trust which raised millions of shillings towards purchase of shares at the company.

Kisumu Molasses Plant was a white elephant by 1982 when the government which owned 51pc of the plant, on account of its Sh 86.7 million investment, abandoned it as did the major private shareholder, Nitin Madhvani.

By the time of its abandonment the government-private partnership had invested about Sh 170 million in the venture to produce ethanol.

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Jaswant Rai new owner of Kisumu Molasses plant

Despite its outstanding success in the past, residents near the plant have been up in arms over land related issues and pollution by the firm.

Every time Raila is challenged about the purchase of the moribund molasses plant and every time he talks about his dalliance with Kanu, the narrative has been that he went to Kanu to demolish it from within, and that he bought the plant at an auction as the highest bidder after Kenya Commercial Bank advertised its sale.

Its also believed that there was, of course, mischief on the sale price as somebody wanted the plant to be sold minus the land.

Politics was hot when opposition leader Raila Odinga and William Ruto hit out at each other over Ksh seven billion missing in the scandalous dams projects.

Raila has boldly condemned corruption has since in his own dramas threatening his big reputation.

While dismissing Raila’s meeting with a section of leaders from Western Kenya over how to salvage troubled Mumias Sugar Company a section of the Members of parliament blame Raila for the company woes.

Flanked by Ayub Savula (Lugari) and Emmanuel Wangwe (Navakholo) the legislators told Raila to first ensure Kisumu Molases plant, Odinga’s family business, pays Mumias  a debt of KSh 300 million.

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Ayub Savula

That Mumias Sugar supplied Molasses to Raila’s plant but the bill has never been settled thus contributing to the millers current cash problems.

The MPs accused Raila of playing politics with Mumias troubles and that Western Kenya has never benefited from him.

Do you believe Raila is responsible for the fall of Molasses plant?

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