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Arrested Chemelil Sugar Workers Released On Cash Bail

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Twelve out of 29 Chemelil sugar Company workers arrested have been released on Ksh.10,000 cash bail.

The 29 workers were arrested on Tuesday during a violent confrontation with a group of rowdy youths at the factory.

The workers had attempted to stop Managing Director Gabriel Nyangweso and head of Finance Mr. Emmanuel Ngala from reporting to office.

The incident then led to a conflict between the workers and the youths purporting to be supporting the company.

James Omondi, Assistant county treasurer Kenya Union of Sugar Plantation and Allied Workers (KUSPAW) Says that Mr.Nyangweso and Mr Ngala had been sent on compulsory leave to pave way for investigations into the alleged mismanagement of the state -owned miller.

During an interview with Ghetto Radio, James Omondi  condemned Tuesday commotion which left several people injured with twelve out of the twenty nine released on cash bail of sh. 10,000 each.

“Twenty nine workers were arrested, 12 released yesterday evening leaving a total of 17 of them in custody. As we speak the remaining workers are being taken to court. As a result of commotion, several company properties were destroyed too,” said James

Muhoroni Sub County Police Commander David  Muniu also confirmed the incident adding that the MDs office window panes were broken and ceiling damaged as the workers tried to escape arrest.

James told Ghetto radio that the management officials have been embroiled in a standoff with workers who are demanding to be paid their full salary arrears for  42 months amounting to sh.875 million.

“From 2017 July, employees have never earned anything called a salary. These people have been subjected to payment of some advances at the end of each month,” he added.

Loan deductions

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Other grievances raised by the workers include failure to buy the miller to remit statutory and loan deductions to banks and savings and credit societies as per existing memorandum of understanding between the company and the respective financial institutions.

The workers complained they had been listed with the credit reference bureaus for defaulting on their loans.

Last week, the government warned the workers against taking part in activities that would disrupt operations at the factory.

Agriculture Administrative Secretary Ann Nyaga wrote to the union, asking the workers not to take part in protests.

She said there was a need to enhance communication between the management and the workers to resolve disputes at the factory.

 “All workers are expected to maintain discipline and commitment at their places of work at all times and desist from activities that can lead to any losses such as switching off machines,” she said.

Ms Nyaga said the government will not hesitate to take action against those found culpable.

Company losses

Chemelil sugar Company Managing Director Gabriel Nyangwrso says the mill has lost Ksh.20 million as a result of ongoing impasse created by the workers strike which he term illegal.

According to mr. Nyangweso, for the two days of industrial action, the state mill has l9st Ksh. 10 million per day, an equivalent of 4000bags of sugar.

By Jacob Oluoch.

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