Orange Democratic (ODM) Party leader Raila Odinga has vowed to rescue the ailing Mumias Sugar Company if he becomes Kenya’s next president.

Speaking Sunday at Shiatsala town in Butere, Kakamega County, Raila termed the factory as a major economic pillar in the Western Kenya region. The former Prime Minister also said if elected president in the 2022 polls, his government will ensure that more devolution funds are sent to the grassroots.

The run-down Mumias Sugar Company was in September 2019 placed under receivership by KCB Bank Group to protect its assets and maintain its operations. The lender has been barred from auctioning the plant to secure assets used as security for other loans, making leasing the company the only option.

Mumias owes French finance firm Proparco Ksh1.84 billion, the Treasury Ksh2.83 billion. It additionally owes over Ksh.4.5billion to local banks including KCB, Ecobank, NCBA and Stanbic Bank. Before Sunday’s rallies, Raila held a meeting with a council of elders from Kakamega, who unanimously vowed to support him next year.

In his procession, the ODM leader was accompanied by Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya and some MPs from the western region. Raila’s Kakamega tour on Sunday saw him hold meetings with various groups, and two rallies thereafter; in Shiatsala and Butere.

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