Former Mumias Sugar Company workers on Tuesday stormed the miller’s premises protesting salary arrears by Uganda-based Sarrai group.
The workers, who were led by Mumias Sugar Branch Workers Secretary Vitalis Magoha, protested that they had been promised to be paid once the mill starts operating.
“They are now purporting to have started running the factory, and they have not paid workers. They claim to produce sugar, which we cannot see,” Magoha said.
“We don’t have only sugar factory in Mumias. There are ethanol, coal and water plants that are wasting away. Mr. President, we are losing a lot of property and Sarrai Group does not have the capacity to run this company. As you promised, please bring us a new investor to rescue this company,” he said.
Magoha further said Sarrai Group is negligent about workers’ welfare, saying some of them are underpaid while others even die in the line of duty.
“I used to work inside the factory as a loader and was being paid Ksh600 per day. Since Sarrai Group came, we were fired, and when we went back, we were told they could only pay Sh250 per day. Our jobs inside were taken by Ugandans who are paid better than us. We are suffering,” a worker, Patrick Wanga, said.
Other workers complained of not having contracts or insurance to cater to them when they suffer injuries or die while working.
President William Ruto, during his tour in Kakamega County in December, promised to get a new investor to revive the factory and clear all outstanding debts.
“The government will clear all outstanding debts of the miller and bring in a new investor under an agreement that he will be remitting Sh100 million monthly to the County Government of Kakamega to improve on standards of education, health and improve the road network,” he said.
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