Mwea Rice Farmers Oppose Gov’t Privatisation Scheme
Rice farmers in the Mwea irrigation scheme in Kirinyaga County have expressed their concern and opposition to the government’s decision to privatize the Mwea Rice Mill Limited.
The proposed sale of the mill has sparked frustration and confusion among the farmers, who question why their mill is being sold when other rice schemes like Ahero and Mbura have never faced such a fate.
“We have never heard them being put up for sale; why is our mill in Mwea being sold? Where are our leaders? Who is to speak on our behalf?” One of the farmers posed.
The residents say that the mill is deeply rooted in their history and was left to them by their elders and should thus not be sold.
“This mill was started by our parents so that their future generations will find work. Even God commands it that we work, do not take it away from us,” they continued.
The residents have called on President William Ruto to consider other alternatives for raising revenue instead of selling property that has value to all residents of Mwea.
“We are calling on Ruto and telling him that when a man is poor, his first course of action is selling his household stuff, so if the nation is going broke, let Ruto come clean and declare bankruptcy,” the farmers asserted.
The impending sale raises practical concerns for the farmers, such as storage for their produce and the inexplicably low selling price of the mill.
“We wonder where we will keep our produce when this mill is sold. Why is it being sold so cheaply? As farmers, we will be in distress because the government has not clarified the way forward,” they aid.
The farmers are appealing to their leaders for support, urging them to speak up against the privatization of the mill.
“We are calling on our leaders to defend us against the sale. This is a government and people’s investment at 55 and 45 percent respectively, and one doesn’t sell something that doesn’t belong entirely to you,” they stated.
Mwea rice farmers have vowed to block any privatization attempts, asserting that they need to be involved in the process.
“We need public participation if they want to sell our shares,” the residents declared.
The government has listed Mwea Rice Mill Limited among 11 parastatals for privatization to generate more revenue and reduce the demand for State resources.https://www.citizen.digital/wananchi-reporting/mwea-rice-farmers-oppose-govt-privatisation-scheme-n332252
Published Date: November 29, 2023