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Kenya: Gov’t Moves In To Restore Order At Chemelil Sugar Company

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The Ministry of Agriculture has announced a raft of measures to restore operations at the Chemelil sugar company noting that it will appoint a Board of Directors to oversee the management of the sugar mill that has been dogged by workers strikes paralyzing operations.

The Ministry last year abolished all the Boards of the five government owned mills in anticipation for the leasing of the factories, leaving the Managing Directors to take charge.

The Ministry’s Chief Administrative Secretary Ann Nyaga who spoke in Kisumu after holding a meeting with company management and the Kenya Union of Sugarcane Plantation and Allied Workers Union (KUSPAW) said the company management had also been ordered to pay workers’ one month salary arrears, undertake major maintenance at the factory and pay all retirees.

“As a result of the Chemelil Company workers strike that stopped and paralyzed the operations of the factory, a series of meetings have been held to unlock the stalemate,” she said in a circular.

Nyaga further noted that the company management has been directed to resume full payments of salaries by July this year after the major completion of the major maintenance.

The Company was also ordered to renew contracts for employees whose contracts expired in December 2021.

She regretted the indiscipline among the workers which she says has been the undoing resulting in the closure of the factory.

Nyaga says the factory has the potential to operate continuously and generate the much-desired revenue only if discipline is maintained.

“All workers are expected to maintain discipline and commitment at their places of work at all times and desist from activities that can lead to losses,” she said.

It was revealed that some workers were switching off engines without express authority from the engineers thus sabotaging the operations at the factory.

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