Uhuru milk deal a final blow to Kenyaâ€™s sugar industry
By Moses K Ingram
How selfish can a human being be? Perhaps, that is a question many Kenyans wouldnâ€™t be worried about, until you mention that the person is none other than our won President!
10th August 2015, is the day the people of the Western Kenya sugar belt will always remember. It is the day, our President Uhuru Kenyatta (legally elected) threw us and our livelihoods under the bus.
In a landmark deal with Ugandaâ€™s President Yoweri Museveni, President Kenyatta chose to market his familyâ€™s milk products in Uganda at the expense of the millions of Kenyans in Western Kenya who depend on Sugarcane for their economic well-being.
Through the deal, Uganda will be able to sell its cheaper sugar in the Kenyan market. Sugar factories in Western are reeling from cheap imports from Pakistan by well connected mafia, and this deal with Museni just complicated their predicament.
This is the same sugar sector that the president tried or pretended to bail out barely two months ago, in a move that hailed by his supporters as a manifestation of the Presidentâ€™s concern for the people of the region. Was the President sincere or he was simply playing cheap politics.
Residents saw the â€˜too little too lateâ€™ gesture as a ploy to silent Western Kenya when the President puts his real intentions to the fore. The Mumias KSh 1b bailout was nothing but a smokes screen!
Now, cheap sugar from Uganda and other countries using as a proxy will flood the Kenyan market and erase any possibility of the Kenyan sugar sector ever rising up.
On this, President Uhuru should be called out for what he is, a selfish businessman, not the caring President he projects himself to be on Social Media.
In exchange for Museveni flooding the Kenyan market with cheap sugar imports, “Brookside” gets to export more milk to Uganda.
That deal only serves to advance individual business interests. Is Museveni sabotaging Uhuru, by making him sign deals that are purely to the disadvantage of Uhuru’s political interests?
A weak negotiator for president is a massive disaster that is quickly eroding our leverage, pride, and power in the East and Central African region. Tanzania and Uganda are outsmarting us in all aspects. We are a laughing stock. Our stature is diminishing.