Devki Group has withdrawn its bid to lease troubled Mumias Sugar Company which is under receivership.
In a statement to newsrooms on Friday, Narendra Raval (Guru), the Chairman Devki Group of Companies, cited a call for a public bidding as the main reason for the withdrawal.
“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, given the ongoing public interest which the matter has attracted and the call for a publicly run bidding exercise, we have found it worthwhile to take out our application.”
He did, however, note that Devki will express interest, “should the exercise be conducted in consultation with all stakeholders.”
“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.”
The withdrawal comes days after leaders from the western region intensified calls for transparaency in the search of Mumias Sugar investor.
Speaking on behalf of the western leaders in Vihiga County recently, Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi said the struggling sugar firm is a strategic facility in the region and that locals must be fully involved in the process.
”KCB Group which placed the company under receivership must be careful how it picks an investor to revive it because the person or firm that comes in will require the goodwill of the leadership, farmers and other stakeholders,” said Mudavadi.
“Were hearing that someone put in a bid, others came in later. Accusations are starting to fly and that is why I am asking the KCB and receiver-manager to be clear,” Mudavadi said.
The Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) placed Mumias under receivership in September 2019.
KCB is one of the many creditors owed billions by Mumias.
KCB appointed Ponangipalli Venkata Ramana Rao of Tact Consultancy Services as the loss-making company’s receiver-manager.
This is after attempts by the government to bail out Mumias Sugar failed.
Most of the bailout money is said to have been misused by senior managers.