The loan amnesty was announced yesterday 2nd July 2020 by Agriculture minister Peter Munya after Western Kenya leaders met with President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The amnesty will also come with a tax revenue worth Kshs 4 billion owed to Kenya Revenue Authority by sugar companies. The minister also announced the beginning of a process to lease 5 government owned sugar mills to private investors in order to revive the industry.
Kakamega Governor and Chair of Council of Governors (COG) H.E. Wycliffe Oparanya and Minister for Devolution Hon. Eugene Wamalwa have been spearheading discussions with the government in regards to reviving stalled economic projects in the Western region of Kenya. Others in the committee include the five Governors from Western Kenya plus Cotu S.G. Francis Atwoli.
Immediately after the announcement, Governor Oparanya congratulated the government for the gesture, saying that it will help the reviving of the sugar industry in the region and empower the community economically.
Whereas the gesture has been hailed by some leaders from the Luhya Community, others have advised the region not to celebrate so early in fear of it being a 2022 campaign ploy to hood wink the vote rich community. The pessimists led by former Senator Dr. Bonny Khalwale have cited similar announcements having been put forward by various governments before the 2013 and 2017 general elections.
The optimists have however maintained that the amnesty is a bold gesture that needs to be lauded and taken advantage of by the region to boost its economic standing.