Someone said that Kenyan politicians are those kind of people who will promise you hell in such kind and sweet words in such a manner that you will keep on looking forward to the trip. They are at it again. Always seeing an opportunity that works to their favor and capitalizing on every loophole. They are always out to take every credit even where it is not due.
Ever since President Uhuru Kenyatta announced plans to revive the collapsed Webuye Pan Paper factory, politicians have stated taking credit about it. This article tries to point out who is fooling who and who is being fooled by who? First, let us ask ourselves these questions:
Who is reviving Pan Paper? Is it the government or a private investor? The truth is that the government is not reviving Pan Paper. This what most politicians don’t want hear but it is the truth. Pan Paper has been sold to an investor called Rai and who has offered to revive the mill at a cost of six billion shillings. Attempts by the government to try and revive the factory in 2010 failed terribly with the mill only managing to operate for two weeks. The government then managed to inject in one billion shillings. Among other reasons why the factory went down was debts as well other issues such as the change of the name.
What is the role of the government in reviving Pan Paper? The fact that the government has played a major role in making sure that Pan Paper comes back to its feet cannot be underestimated. This however, does not mean that the government is owning shares in the mill, maybe at a future stage. The main role of the government for the ongoing resurrection of Pan Paper lies in policy formulation, overseeing the sale of the assets the current administrator as well as facilitating the licencing.
Have politicians played any role in reviving Pan Paper? The answer is yes but that does not mean that they are responsible for the recovery. Politicians, especially from the larger Western Region have been making noise about the grounding of the factory. This noise somehow maintained the attention of the authorities concerned on the issue. 2017 is around the corner. The hunting expedition for votes long kicked off. The reviving of Pan Paper is timely and all that goes to the politicians.
Pan Paper was sold for 900 million shillings. Questions are however being asked as to how the value depreciated from 18 billion in 2012 to 900 million in 2016.
Article by Juma Fred.