Reprieve for Nzoia Sugar Company farmers as high court stops its leasing

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The high court in Bungoma has temporarily stopped leasing of Nzoia Sugar Company.

A sugar cane farmer and an activist Jack Munialo had sought orders to stop leasing of the firm.
Issuing the interim orders on October 15, 2020, Bungoma high court judge Stephen Riech said that leasing of the company should not proceed until the matter is heard and determined.
The petition was filed under the certificate of urgency owing to the importance of the matter.

In his petition the activist had sue Cabinet Secretary ministry of Agriculture, attorney general, livestock, fisheries and irrigation, CS finance, director general agriculture and food authority, Chairman Nzoia Sugar company and county government of Bungoma as respondents.
The application was heard via video link in the presence of the petitioner, the sixth respondent  lawyer Annet Mmalasi and Mr.Tarus for the first, second, third and fourth respondents.
“It is noted that the order alluded by Tarus does not mention Nzoia Sugar Company or County government of Bungoma which is subject to this petition,” read the interim order.

It added, “There issue an order that pending the hearing and determination of this application, an order is hereby issued suspending the implementation and execution of the process of the intended leasing of Nzoia Sugar company by its respondents as advertised in the Two national newspapers on July 10, 2020,”.
The case will be mentioned on October 28, 2020 at 3:30pm.
Ford Kenya party leader Moses Wetang’ula, Kimilili Mp Didmus Barasa, Mwambu Mabonga of Bumula and Dan Wanyama of Webuye West have opposed the leasing of the firm.

“We will not allow the leasing of Nzoia Sugar company minus public participation, we will not accept our ancestral land that forms over 4,000 acres to be taken away, we will resist,” said the Bungoma senator.
Wetang’ula said that leasing the firm for 30 years to a private investor equals to selling it.
The council of governors chairman who is also the Kakamega governor Wycliffe Oparanya, his Bungoma counterpart Wycliffe Wangamati and MPs Wafula Wamunyinyi (Kanduyi) and Eseli Simiyu (Tongaren) support the leasing.
The government has earmarked leasing of several sugar factories including Nzoia, Chemelili, Muhoroni, Miwani and Sony.

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