Lake Region Economic Bloc (LREB) governors are now calling on the Ministry of Agriculture to urgently appoint boards of management in three State-owned sugar millers to improve efficiency.
Despite disbanding the boards with effect from July 16 last year, they accused Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya of failing to issue direction on the way forward.
“As we speak today, the management of Chemelil, Sony and Nzoia sugar companies is in turmoil as the managing directors have no one to account to,” said Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya.
The bloc’s chairman, who stated that they are seeking an audience with CS Munya, warned that any delays could worsen the situation in the already ailing companies.
The government while dissolving the boards intended to give room for the leasing process and hand over the management to private entities.
Kenya Union of Sugar Plantation and Allied Workers (Kuspaw) General Secretary Francis Wangara has also pointed out that lack of boards is paralysing some key functions of the millers.
Currently, noted Mr Wangara, CEOs have to seek consent and approval from the Ministry of Agriculture.
“Unfortunately, ministry officials are delaying the approval and implementation of significant programmes and financial obligations,” he said.
The union boss indicated that most managers have been forced to suspend making critical decisions involving huge sums of money without the relevant approvals.
The government, while revoking the appointment of the board members, called for bids from interested investors to run the factories for 25 years and return them to profitability as well as pay accrued debts owed to cane farmers and lenders.
However, Mr Wangara, who was incorporated into the Interim Management Committee on the leasing of the factories, accused the ministry of failing to spearhead the process.