Tuesday, 20 September 2011


The country is facing an acute shortage of sugar perhaps the worst in the history of Kenya. First it was fuel shortage then unga now it is time for sugar to take the center stage. It has come at the worst time when mwananichi is grappling with high inflation rates of about 13% and which is expected to continue  rising. The high cost of living has already caused enough stress for Kenyans and when coupled with shortage of this sweet product, it becomes too much for one to handle. The price of sugar have hit all time high prices.1kg packet of branded sugar like Mumias/Sony goes for a whooping Ksh.250 while those that are not branded go for about Ksh.190! Things have become thick even for the working folks. Families have been forced to cut back on expenditure on luxurious items just for them to stay afloat in these difficult times. Here in campus we have not been spared either the prices have been adjusted just like ‘outside there’. Am trying to imagine how we are going to survive here in campus since the weather is not so favorable-it’s damn cold and we need to keep ourselves warm at least with a cup of tea/coffee/cocoa. I guess we will have to reduce the number of cups of tea we take and visitors will have to accompany themselves with a packet of sugar if they want tea. Take no offence, it’s just that things are thick and we need to survive in this harsh economic times.
Seven sugar companies…
It’s absurd to say that we have sugar shortage yet we have not one, two or three but seven sugar companies in the country! Kenya has seven sugar companies .They include Mumias, Chemelil, Muhoroni, Sony, West Sugar, Nzoia and Kibos Sugar and Allied Industries all located along the Sugar Belt in Western Kenya. With all these companies and some in process of being set up the million dollar question is where is the sugar? The sugar shortage is alleged to have been caused by close down of Mumias Sugar Company for maintenance. The sugar companies are claiming that the farmers are not delivering their produce to the factories which has been downplayed by the farmers so it’s not clear who is telling the truth. Although Mumias is the largest producer of sugar among the seven, its closure cannot leave the country in acute shortage of sugar!
Unscrupulous business people
I tend to believe that the sugar is there in plenty but somebody is hiding it. There are unethical business people who are hoarding the sweet product making the situation worse than already is. They are hoarding sugar in order to create an acute shortage which in real sense is not there! They then increase the price and reap super normal profit. The high cost of living caused by high prices of oil, extended drought season, and the selfishness of some business people have led some individuals to abject poverty. What gratification does one get by hoarding goods? You can exploit people for now but don’t forget they will be your customers even after the crisis. Profit making is the primary motive of any business organization but it should be done in most legal and ethical manner. Just remember don’t burn the bridge you may need it on your way back.
Bleak future…
The current high cost of living being experienced across the country has been largely attributed to high prices of oil in the world thanks to turmoil caused in Libya by Col.Muarmar Gaddaffi. Libya is among the largest producers of oil though the prices are expected to come down since dictator has been removed from power. It will take time since the country’s infrastructure was destroyed during the war. Ladies and gentlemen lets brace for tough times ahead; the future is bleak. The prices of virtually all commodities have sky rocketed and it is expected to continue rising and on the other hand, employers are not increasing salaries for the employees. I guess for us students we will have to engage in fresh negotiations with our parents to adjust the subsistence fund and those folks from HELB to increase their disbursement.