Sacked Mumias staff to get Sh20,000 advance payment
More than 400 employees of the Mumias Sugar Company who were dismissed after the firm went under, will be paid Sh20,000 as advance payment.
Receiver manager Ramana Rao told a Senate committee that he has not been able to access the payroll due to lack of power at the facility.
“It has been our wish to settle the payments as required by law but the process has been hampered by lack of power supply,” Rao said when he appeared before the Senate Labour Committee.
Asked by the committee chair Johnstone Sakaja why the workers have not been paid for two years, Rao said as the receiver manager, he has no details of how much workers are owed since the facility has had no power supply for the past six months and hence he cannot access the payroll.
“We have no details of how much workers are owed because we didn’t have power for the past six months, payroll was done through their banks, and all these things are done through the computers,” Rao told the committee.
He was, however, put to task by Sakaja who asked him how he came up with a figure of Sh20,000 while he had no access of the payroll.
“You claim that you have not accessed payroll because you don’t have power, surely even a generator will do,” said Sakaja.
Rao said the payments to the workers, which will be funded by the Kenya Commercial Bank, will be finalised next month.
The rest of the claims Rao said, will be payable in accordance with the law as an unsecured debt and is payable in liquidation of the assets.
The receiver manager, however, assured that all the employees will have their jobs back and arrangements will be made to ensure that all the outstanding dues are paid, from the available surplus funds from running of operations.
Rao assured that the employees who have remained unpaid for between seven and two years, will be allowed to continue residing in the company’s staff quarters without any charges.
He added that the employees enjoy, among other amenities, free water supply.
“We have assured the employees that they will be given first priority in the recruitment process upon opportunity arising in the company depending on the expertise and skills of the employees,” Rao said.
The receiver manager, however, cautioned that the revival programme will be subject to positive results of technical evaluation on cane availability and possibility of plant rehabilitation at reasonable cost as the receiver is comfortable about the financial viability.
“Further, it is also mainly subject to the power reconnection by Kenya Power Lighting Company (KPLC) and availability of funding,” Rao said.