Governors on the sugar task force committee want farmers paid the Ksh2.6 billion owed to them before any public participation can be initiated.
In a meeting held at the Grand Royal Swiss Hotel in Kisumu, the leaders faulted the Agriculture Ministry over their slow pace of processing farmers’ payment despite a presidential directive that farmers be paid before end of last year.
Led by Kakamega Governor and co-chair of the committee Wycliffe Oparanya, the leaders suspended any planned public participation with farmers until their demands were met.
Agriculture Chief Administrative Secretary Andrew Tuimur was confident of treasury releasing the funds on time despite delays experienced.
The government he said had already audited submitted farmers’ lists and it was only a matter of time before their dues were paid.
Oparanya however moved in to stress the government stance on the matter after a phone conversation with Treasury CS Henry Rotich.
The Governor confirmed that Rotich had assured him that payments would be made to farmers by end of next week.
Senators Fred Outa (Kisumu), Cleophas Malala (Kakamega) and their Homabay counterpart Moses Kajwang voiced their displeasure over the slow pace despite farmers delivering their end.
They accused the government of hoodwinking farmers with fake promises as they demanded solutions not stories on the payment stalemate.
The sugar task force constituted by President Uhuru Kenyatta is co chaired by COG chair Wycliffe Oparanya and Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri.They were tasked with finding the solutions on problems bedevilling the sugar sector.
By Collins Owuor