Kenya: Mumias Sugar gets a new CEO

sugarreutersKenya’s cash-strapped Mumias Sugar has named a new chief executive officer after receiving a 1 billion shilling ($9.93 million) bailout from the Kenyan government, the company said on Thursday.
Mumias said Errol Johnston, who previously headed the company from 1998 to 2001, would take over from 1 August.
Late last month, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta authorized the bailout and said managers who ran down the firm would be investigated for corruption.
Kenya’s struggling sugar industry has been protected against cheaper imports by trade barriers but has faced years of decline caused by mismanagement, outdated farming methods and corruption.
Kenyatta ordered Mumias, Kenya’s biggest miller, to use the cash to pay off debts to farmers who supply it with cane and asked Finance Minister Henry Rotich to ensure cheaper imports did not get across its borders.
It is not clear how many people are directly employed in the sugar sector but experts estimate it supports about four million people, including farmers, transporters and traders.
Kenya was granted a one-year extension of sugar import limits from the regional trade bloc Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) to revamp the ailing industry, officials said in March.

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