The United Nations trade chief yesterday refuted claims that Uganda has surplus sugar.
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development secretary general Mukhisa Kituyi warned that Uganda could be used as a conduit for illegal sugar into Kenya, as it has no capacity to export.
The remarks came on the day a report by the East African Community’s Directorate of Customs and Trade indicated that Uganda does not have enough sugar.
“If there is pressure for sugar to enter Kenya from Uganda, when Uganda obviously has no surplus sugar being produced there, then what does it mean?” Kituyi told the Star.
“It means the lords of poverty are using Uganda as a conduit for smuggling sugar from third parties into East Africa and loading it into the Kenyan market.”
Kituyi said Kenyans have a right to block “greed that could sound the death knell for Kenya’s sugar industry”.
He said Uganda should be allowed unfettered access to the Kenya market under the EAC Common Market Protocol, if it were a surplus country.
On Saturday, the Cord brigade led by Raila Odinga will pitch tent in Kakamega and Bungoma – the heartland of the sugar belt – to try and turn the tables on Jubilee and ring-fence the vote bloc it considers its political epicentre.
The country’s largest sugar milling factory, the Mumias Sugar Company, is in Kakamega county, while the Nzoia Sugar Company is in Bungoma county.
Other smaller companies like Kabras Millers and the Butali Sugar Factory are also in Kakamega county.
A statement from Orange House, ODM headquarters, said Cord will be in Bungoma and then to Kakamega to have “consultative forums with farmers”.