The government has announced the clearance of long-overdue salary arrears for employees of four state-owned sugar companies.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development has confirmed the settlement of salary arrears for workers at Nzoia, South Nyanza, Muhoroni, Chemelil, and Miwani sugar companies.

In a statement on Friday, January 19 2024, Principal Secretary of the State Department for Agriculture, Kipronoh Ronoh, emphasized the government’s commitment to addressing the long-standing issue.

“The government concluded the audit of debts and is now ready to pay the arrears,” stated PS Ronoh, underscoring the government’s determination to resolve the matter. He also urged staff and farmers to provide their bank details to facilitate the prompt disbursement of the arrears.

This announcement comes after reports revealed that workers at several sugar companies had gone without salaries for extended periods.

According to a report by the Kenya Sugar Plantation Union and Allied Workers Union, employees at Chemelil Sugar, Nzoia, and Sony Sugar had gone without salaries for 53 months, 15 months, and 19 months, respectively.

The government’s decision to clear the arrears is a significant step towards addressing the financial challenges faced by these state-owned sugar companies. “The financial woes of these state-owned sugar companies are staggering, with a collective debt reaching a staggering Kshs. 128.06 Billion as of June 30, 2023,” noted Molo MP, Kuria Kimani, during a recent Agriculture and Finance Committee meeting.