By George Busiinge
Kinyara Sugar Factory officials, the Resident District Commissioner (RDC) Masindi and the state minister for Bunyoro affairs, Ernest Kiiza, were last week grilled by the district leaders and the sugar cane farmers’ representatives over exploitation of farmers by Kinyara.
The trio was grilled on Wednesday during a stakeholders meeting that was organized by the Resident District Commissioner Masindi, Godfrey Nyakahuma at Kabalega Resort.
Speaker after speaker blamed Kinyara for failing to handle issues which oppress sugar cane farmers which include under paying farmers, delayed harvesting of cane, delayed payment among others.
Cosmas Byaruhanga, the chairperson LCV, Masindi district, accused Kinyara Sugar management for not being transparent noting that as leaders in Masindi have engaged Kinyara over many issues all in vein adding that Kinyara does this because state protects them.
Byraruhanga added that unless Kinyara comes and start protecting the farmers that is when the farmers will be relieved of the tribulations they are going through. He added that what is hurting them is the state to protect the investor at the expense of the farmers saying that the state is a 100% leaning on the side of investors.
Robert Atugonza, the chairperson Masindi district out growers Association, said that if Kinyara doesn’t style up its operations, farmers will cause a demonstration noting that is optimistic that this will cause scarcity of sugar in the country.
Atugonza added that they are going to organize a demonstration because Kinyara is paying cane farmers peanuts adding that when the time for the demonstration reaches, the RDC should grant them permission such that they can show the world the exploitation they are going through.
Jos wamara a sugar cane farmer from Bwijanga Sub County explained that farmers are being exploited because this matter might have not been brought to the attention of the president maintaining that what they want is timely harvesting and payment farmers.
He added that if these issues were addressed to the president, he wouldn’t have issued a directive stopping sugar cane from moving outside Masindi. One of the resolutions which were reached at was the RDC Masindi Godfrey Nyakahuma gave an ultimatum of one week to the haulage manager to have eliminated spillage of cane or be arrested.
Speaking during the same meeting, Visnu, the Finance controller Kinyara also who represented the General Manager accepted to look into the issues which were addressed to him noting that they are going to ensure that they improve where they have not been moving well.
Ernest Kiiza the Bunyoro affairs Minister promised to take up the issues distressing the farmers and also dismissed allegations revealed by Cosmas Byarruhanga the LCV masindi district that the state has done nothing but exploiting them at the expense of the farmers.