Mumias Sugar Company Receiver-Manager Ponangipalli Venkata Ramana Rao has revealed that Devki Group of Companies had not officially filed its bid to lease the western Kenya sugar miller.
Appearing before a virtual Senate sitting on Wednesday, 9th June, Rao told the Committee on Agriculture that no investor, including Devki, has/had been awarded any contract to run the troubled giant sugar miller.
Rao said that they were still receiving bids and Devki was one of the investors that had tabled its interest. He also told the Senate that Devki had not communicated officially withdrawing its bid to lease the company.
Rao said that Devki’s withdrawal “remains a rumour in the media”. He also said that the company does not owe workers any dues.
The Senate committee directed Rao to advertise the bids in the media within the next 14 days and carry out an evaluation of the company and provide credible estimates of what is needed to revive it.
This comes a few days after Devki Group of Companies announced that it had withdrawn its offer to lease Mumias Sugar Company.
In a statement issued on Friday, 4th June, Narendra Raval (Guru), the Devki Group chairman, said that the company had decided to take out its application following the public interest that the matter had attracted.
“As a local investor with deep understanding of the local operations, we had expressed interest in reviving the miller, following an invitation by the receiver-manager.
However, Raval, noted that Devki would express interest, “should the exercise be conducted in consultation with all stakeholders”.
He added: “Our interest in the company is to revive it and ensure that it is running for the benefit of all stakeholders, including the farmers and the local communities.”
Before pulling out, Devki Group had reportedly entered a Ksh5 billion private deal to revive the collapsed miller.
Mumias was placed under receivership by the KCB Group in September 2019 after it failed to clear loans amounting to Ksh545 million.