Nashon Aseka

Mumias Sugar in cost-cutting bid to turn around its fortune

A source not authorised to speak for the miller told the Sunday Nation workers will now have to foot water and electricity bills as part of the plan while the company is understood to be finalising details of a staff retrenchment plan affecting employees who have attained 65 years.

Mumias chief executive Nashon Aseka told the Sunday Nation that the management of the firm is finalising details of a turnaround plan, which will be submitted to the Treasury.

He, however, declined to delve into the details. “We will make the details public at the appropriate time. There are still consultations in progress and it will not be appropriate for me to discuss them at this stage,” said Mr Aseka.

“We are still planning how to restart milling. We are actually in the season when factories shut for maintenance, but we hope to start crushing when the weather improves to ensure there is no disruption in cane supply.”

Sugar millers in the region, however, continue to grapple with shortage of cane which has persisted since the beginning of the year due to the prolonged dry spell which affected production.

Earlier, Mr Aseka had said the miller was seeking an additional Sh5 billion to kick-start operations to avoid running into another round of financial hiccups and disruptions, which have plagued the firm for the past few years.

Mr Aseka has maintained that they are doing their best to restore the confidence of farmers and other stakeholders in the miller.

Mr Aseka said no major decision was made during the meeting between Governor Wycliffe Oparanya and the management of Mumias, but the committee is expected to start work this week.

But he said West Kenya is still operating with the available cane. He said the rains had washed away roads leading to sugarcane farms, disrupting transport services.

“The good news is that next year we are hoping to have improving cane supply because of the heavy rainfall this year. We have intensified planting of cane to ensure adequate supply to sustain operations,” he said.

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