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Lusaka convenes meeting to end tension between MP Chikati and sugar millers

Bungoma Governor Kenneth Lusaka has called for a meeting to end the tension between Tongaren MP John Chikati and two sugar millers in Kakamega county.

The MP has been accusing West Kenya and Butali sugar companies of destroying roads when transporting cane.

Kakamega Deputy Governor Ayub Savula said the meeting, to be held on Friday, will be chaired by Lusaka. Officials from the two millers and two representatives of the Kakamega government will attend.

On Tuesday, Savula claimed Chikati had closed down Butali offices and threatened to burn down tractors belonging to the two millers if found in the constituency for allegedly destroying roads.

But Chikati denied the claims, saying he was interested in a solution to the destruction of roads in the constituency by tractors ferrying cane to the factory in Kakamega.

“It is not true at all that I have closed any office here. Butali is operating as usual. What we want is a solution to the continuous road destruction,” Chikati told the Star on the phone on Tuesday.

Savula said the problem the MP is seeking to address is the responsibility of the governor since the cess levy paid by the millers for road maintenance is paid to counties, not constituencies.

“This is a matter that shouldn’t have arisen. The MP should have contacted his governor to establish whether cess has been paid by the two companies or not, before stoking unnecessary tension between the two counties,” he said.

The Cess levy is paid by the two companies to both counties as they transport cane to their respective factories for crushing.

The two millers have contracted out growers in Kakamega, Bungoma and Uasin Gishu counties.