Leaders and residents of South Mugirango have roundly endorsed the proposed establishment sugar complex at Nyangweta.
Led by MP Sylvanus Osoro and six MCAs from the area, the residents who braved a heavy downpour were unanimous in their support for the sugar complex and urged the County Government to expedite its establishment.
On Friday, the Senate Committee on Land, Environment and Natural Resources, which is considering a petition by Governor James Ongwae to hive off part of Nyangweta forest to avail land for the project, was in Kisii County for a site visit and meeting with stakeholders.
Led by Marsabit Senator Eng. Godana Halgura, the committee visited Insaria Hill in Bonchari, cane-growing areas in South Mugirango and the proposed site at Nyangweta forest.
“We need this factory like yesterday. Some of those opposed to its establishment come from other areas but we are the ones who know our problems. Once it is established, it will be a dream come true for the constituency,” said area MP Osoro.
MCAs James Ngisa (Bogetenga), Apepo Ombasa (Tabaka), Joseph Chweya (Boikanga), Samwel Nyambeki (Getenga), Evans Mokoro (Moticho) and Andrew Kimonge (Chitago/Borabu) all supported the project.
“In South Mugirango, we grow sugarcane but for years we have only produced jaggery which is used to brew changaa that is illegal. If you cannot approve the establishment of this factory, then please allow us to sell changaa,” Mokoro told the senate committee.
Governor James Ongwae dismissed critics of the project saying majority of them didn’t come from the sugar growing areas.
“We have met a lot of opposition in our quest to have this factory set up but we are committed to see it happen. The MoU we signed with the investor is watertight because he cannot use the title of the land we shall lease to him to acquire loans. Our next venture will be in the soapstone sector,” said Governor Ongwae.
Kisii Senator Prof Sam Ongeri thanked the people of South Mugirango for the endorsement saying the voice of the people was the voice of the constitution. “We are working hard to see this project through because it is what we agreed during the campaigns. Ignore social media propaganda because the cries of a frog cannot stop a cow from drinking water,” said Prof Ongeri.
On his part, Senator Godana said the committee was satisfied with what they had witnessed on the ground saying it was the job of the senate to protect counties.
“Such a petition by Governor Ongwae is a show of faith in the role of the Senate. We shall sit and do a report that will be tabled in the Senate which shall be put to vote as per the law. We are leaders and human beings so we believe the right thing shall be done,” he said.
Senator Halakhe said the committee would ensure a balance between the environment and development. Deputy Governor Joash Maangi, Speaker David Kombo and several CECs were present at the function.