SUGAR PRODUCTION: Workers at Kakira Sugar Works in Jinja, Eastern Uganda

After Kakira Sugar Works shelved plans to lay off 4000 employees, the workers have now turned to government urging it to ensure that Parliament passes the Sugar Bill now gathering dust in the shelves of the august house.

Henry Dramadri, the Kakira Sugar Works Jinja Branch manager, said the workers are not willing to vacate their jobs and instead want the sugar bill to be passed to save their jobs.

If the bill is passed, Dramadri said, it will  give room for Kakira Sugar Works to expand its sugarcane plantations as any sugar mills within the radius of 25 kilometres from the big factory will be given money to relocate on top of enjoying a five-year tax holiday. This will also be line with the sugar zoning policy that is advocated by President Yoweri Museveni, and KSW top managers say it operates at 50 percent due to lack of enough sugarcane to crush.

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However, should the Bill be passed, the factory will be saved from the other smaller ones that have encroached on its territorial operation in terms of sugarcane, a key ingredient in the manufacture of sugar.

The dialogue between the Kakira Sugar Works managers and members of the National Union of Plantation and Agriculture Workers (Nupaw) in Jinja last week saved the workers from being sacked.

The company has 7500 employees, and is the largest manufacturer of sugar in Uganda, producing an estimated 165,000 metric tonnes of sugar annually, accounting for about 47% of the national output.



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