BY JOEL OKWAYO

Kenya Sugar Board chief executive officer Solomon Odera says plans by some directors to have their term extended is null and void.

Mr Odera said the elections would be held in 2011 since the Sugar Act says directors serve for three years.

"The Act is clear and those who want to use the State Corporations Act to extend their term to five years will be going against laws of the sugar industry," said Odera.

He said pressure from cane farmers to have the polls held was intensifying and the board was making arrangements for the polls.

He insisted the board was ready to have election this year.

Farmers from Mumias and Planning minister Wycliffe Oparanya have petitioned Agriculture Minister Sally Kosgey to dissolve the board.

Mumias Sugarcane Growers Association boss Simon Wesechere and Oparanya said it is wrong for the directors to remain in office beyond their term.

Directors Billy Wanjala and Mohammed Mukhwana said the State Corporation Act allows them to serve for five years.

The directors have differed with board chairman Saul Busolo over the matter, saying the board was experiencing leadership wrangles that need to be resolved before they face the ballot.

Mr Wanjala and Mr Mukhwana, however, said they ewere ready to face the farmers.

Wesechere and Oparanya accused directors of colluding with millers to frustrate farmers. Wesechere claimed some KSB directors have tenders with milling companies.

Busolo, however, said there was nothing wrong with the directors having tenders with milling firms.

He said the directors were free to engage in business with millers so long as they declare their interest.

Mumias MP Ben Washiali said he was against the board getting additional two years.

"I am with the farmers. Let us adhere to the Act," said Washiali who spoke in Kakamega.

source: standardmedia

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