Coalition of Reforms and Democracy (CORD) leaders want President Uhuru Kenyatta to cancel the recent sugar importation deal with Uganda, claiming it will increase smuggling and dumping of cheap sugar in the country.
Led by Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale, CORD claims that the deal will cause more harm than good especially on the already ailing sugar sector in Kenya.
Khalwale adds that they do not understand why Kenya had to import sugar from Uganda which has no surplus of the commodity hence the reason they want that deal done away with.
“Ugandan businessmen, together with business cartels in Kenya, among them government officials, will source sugar from other parts of the world, route it to Uganda and return it to Kenya as Ugandan sugar. They will make a killing for themselves while killing our factories and our farmers,” he said during a press conference on Thursday.
He said opposing importation of sugar from Uganda will not only affect Western region sugar factories but the sugar sector as a whole in Kenya.
“We are talking about the impact of this deal on Mumias Sugar, Nzoia Sugar, West Kenya Sugar, and Butali Sugar in Western. We are also talking about Ramisi Sugar in Kwale, Sony Sugar in Migori, Transmara Sugar in Narok, Muhoroni Sugar, Chemelil Sugar and Kibos Sugar in Kisumu and Sukari Industries in Homa Bay County,” he said.
On his part CORD leader Raila Odinga added that they are not opposed to working with Uganda as a neighbouring East Africa nation but the impact the importation of sugar from the country will have on Kenya’s Sugar sector in Kenya.
“We can never be against importing of products from another African country. There are so many goods that Uganda produces which we don’t produce and which we can import. But sugar is not one of them and as the figures show, there is no surplus of sugar from Uganda,” Odinga told journalists.
He says CORD’s voice on the matter should also not be viewed as just mere politics as has been the case by the Jubilee side, and be ignored, but as a matter of public interest.
They however did not state the steps they plan to take if the government remains adamant on the matter.
The agreements on Sugar importation from Uganda to Kenya were signed during last week’s three-day visit to Kampala by President Kenyatta where he also addressed the Ugandan Parliament.