- Romana Rao sold scrap metal to Devki Steel Mills Limited
- Decski mislead the people of the western region that it had won the leasing bid
- Rao has been asked to re-advertise the leasing bid in 2 weeks
Conflict of interest and corruption have emerged at the top of the ongoing battle to save Mumias Sugar.
In a damning admission, Mumias Sugar Company Receiver Manager Ponangipalli Venkata Ramana Rao has admitted to selling scrap metal to Devki Steel Mills Limited, when he was then Kwale Sugar Factory receiver manager.
Devki Steel Mills Limited is the giant metal company that had expressed interest in saving the sinking sugar factory.
Rao admitted to selling scrap metal to Devki Steels Mills Limited while he was at Kwale Sugar Factory but denied having sold a commercial project to Devki.
“There was a time I was the receiver manager at Kwale Sugar, I sold scrap metal to Devski, but it was just that no commercial dealing,” said told Senate Agriculture Committee, investigating the botched Mumias Sugar Company Leasing Bid.
Kakamega Senator Cleopas Malala who sought clarification from the Senate Committee on the failed Devki leasing process blamed Rao for the confusion over the leasing process among politicians and cane farmers.
The Committee which is probing the failed leasing bid by Devki also faulted Rao for failing to publicly advertise the leasing process of the troubled miller.
The senate committee accused Rao of openly helping Devki to declare that it was on the forefront to take over operations at the Kakamega-based miller.
At the same time, Devki has been accused of misleading the people of the western region that it had won the leasing bid before the process was completed leading to demonstrations witnessed in Mumias town.
The receiver manager has now been instructed to re-advertise the bid for Mumias Sugar in the next two weeks.
A few days ago, Devki Group had allegedly entered a Sh5 billion private deal with the miller before pulling out last week citing public outcry.
Chairman of Devki group Narendra Raval, cited the ongoing public interest which “the matter” has attracted and the call for a publicly run bidding exercise.
“We have found it worthwhile to take out our application. We will however express interest, should the exercise be conducted in consultation with all the stakeholders,” Raval said in a statement.