Disquiet over appointment of Sony Sugar Chairman

Sharp division has emerged over the appointment of former Migori MP, Charles Owino Likowa as the Sony Sugar Company Chairman.

Local leaders led by Migori County Governor, Okoth Obado and Uriri Member of Parliament, Mark Nyamita, have opposed the appointment of Likowa terming it a recipe for mess at the milling company.

The two argue that the post requires a person fully aware of the current predicament facing the factory that has left cane farmers to wallow in poverty due to poor performance of the facility.

They also stated that the position should have been given to a young and experienced person who knows the dynamics of cane farming.

However, a number of Sony staff and some farmers have dismissed those opposed to the appointment as malicious people out to politicize the whole issue.

They said Obado should be the last person to point a finger at anybody regarding competency since he has himself failed to drive any meaningful development agenda for the county.

I can remember Obado as a director of Sugar Authority sometimes back but there is no good record we can attribute to him in the cane industry, said Joel Otieno, a senior staff at the factory.

Instead, we can vividly remember him for fertilizer scandals that the authority was entangled in during his stint at the body, he added during an interview at the factory.

But farmers were also bitter with the governor whom they accused of doing nothing to fight for their interests when he was a director.

At the moment, Obado is the chairman of agriculture docket within the Council of Governors (CoG) but there is nothing good coming out of his leadership concerning the sugar sector. What we are hearing are illegal sugar importations posing a risk tolives of Kenyans, said Wilson Midawa, a sugar farmer within the Awendo Sugar-belt.

But other local residents were even more scathing in their attacks, as they told the governor to shut up, accusing him of killing devolution spirit in the region.

They said Migori as a county had nothing to boast of since there was no tangible development that can be singled out since the inception of devolved units.

I am wondering what legacy Obado will leave at the end of his term, when there is no good hospital, no medicine for the sick, towns are dirty, no clean water, the agriculturalsector is at its lowest ebb besides potholed roads, said Patrick Okello, a teacher in Rongo.

They also reminded Nyamita, whom they described as a tenderpreneur, that Likowa was once a banker who was able to steer his financial institution to the highest level of performance and should be given a chance to lead the Sony board .

Source: Kenya News Agency