How Raila Saved Multi-Million Govt' Company For His Family

  • ODM leader Raila Odinga. His family has been the owners of the Kisumu Molasses Plant for close to 20 years. File
  • It is without a doubt that Raila Odinga's political enemies' biggest weapon in the political circles is the controversial ownership of a molasses firm in Kisumu, known as the Kisumu Molasses plant.

    In his book Raila Odinga; The flame of Freedom, he came clean about how his family got gto own the controversial molasses company.

    He claimed that the process began after the death of Robert Ouko on February 16, 1990, who had been the only one agitating for the company to be rescued from its death bed and be put back in operation.

    Raila's company Kisumu Molasses plant. He claimed that his family had offered an initial bid of close to half a billion for the acquisition of the company in 1995.
    Raila's company Kisumu Molasses plant. He claimed that his family had offered an initial bid of close to half a billion for the acquisition of the company in 1995.

    Raila alleged that the company stayed in a state of decay and disrepair five years after Ouko's death until July 10, 1995, when a notice appeared in the press stating that the assets of the collapsing company had been put up for sale.

    Raila, claiming that he could see a future in the company despite its state, wrote in objection to the sale since the government was keen on breaking it apart and carting the pieces away at throwaway prices.

    For the next eight months, not much was stated concerning the sale of the company, until March 8, 1996, when another advertisement appeared announcing the sale by public auction.

    "The details of the sale were such that it was a public auction, and first consideration would be given to anyone who wished to buy the whole plant in total," he wrote.

    He stated that his family company Spectre International made a bid of Ksh570 million, which turned out to be the highest bid at that auction.

    He, however, stated that it was not as easy for the company to land in their hands as they had anticipated.

    The auctioneers, Panama Rovers, wrote to Specter International informing them that the bid for the company only involved the assets in the company and not the land.

    Raila's family-owned Spectre International. The Kisumu Molasses Plant was under the umbrella of this organization.
    Raila's family-owned Spectre International. The Kisumu Molasses Plant was under the umbrella of this organization.

    The Odinga-owned company took the battle to court, where they clashed for the next five years before the company was readvertised in October 2001, and the Odingas purchased it for Ksh120 million due to its state of disrepair.

    Odinga wrote that the company, at the heights of its operations, was producing close to 60,000 liters of ethanol a day, and remitting an average of Ksh 1.6billion to the taxman every year.

    The firm, which has been in and out of bruising scandals, was sold off in June 2019 to an Asian company. removing from the Odingas the woes of a company that has been in the family for close to two decades.