Police in Masindi together with the management of Kinyara sugar Ltd has impounded three vehicles ferrying sugarcanes from Masindi district to a new sugar factory in Luweero district called Ndibulungi Sugar Ltd.
The vehicles registration numbers UAX 209X, UAX 207X all TATA lorries and UAQ 486E a Fuso lorry were all impounded carrying sugarcanes on 17th October 2015 by police as they were moving towards Luweero.
By press time, the vehicles had been parked at Masindi police barracks parking yard.
When contacted, the agricultural manager Kinyara Sugar Ltd, Mathi Misimilani, said the vehicles were impounded following a complaint they lodged at Masindi central station because the sugarcanes they were ferrying belong to Kinyara Sugar Ltd since farmers have running contracts with them.
Misimilani asked police to investigate the matter but he could not specifically identify the farmer who was ferrying the sugarcanes to a sugar factory in Luweero district.
Speaking to our reporter, one of the prominent sugarcane farmers in Bwijanga sub county, Fox Kaheebwa, said that farmers are selling the sugarcanes to Ndibulungi Sugar Ltd because they are desperate and have loans as well as school fees to pay.
Kaheebwa says that, another reason as to why farmers could be opting to sell sugarcanes to Ndibulunyi Sugar Ltd is that they fear losing their sugar plantations during dry season due to fires that have always destroyed thousands of hectares.
Kinyara Sugar Ltd sometimes closes down the factory for maintenance hence delays in harvesting.
“Much as the farmers could be having running contracts with Kinyara since the company provides them with inputs like fertilizer, digging and advance them with loans, their money is not paid on time.
Kanaginagi Ateenyi, the district vice chairperson Masindi who is also a large scale sugar plantation farmer in Pakanyi Sub County is optimistic that with the coming of Ndibulungi Sugar Ltd, the management of Kinyara Sugar Ltd will be reawakened to behave well due to competition.
He accuses Kinyara Sugar Ltd of not allowing farmers to see the weight of their canes at the Weigh Bridge unlike their competitor who weighs the canes and pays promptly.
Kanaginagi said Kinyara does not harvest the sugar canes in agreed time of 18 months and yet they do not stop charging interest on farmers’ loan advances.
When contacted, the Albertine regional police spokesperson, Lydia Tumushabe said that she had no knowledge of the impounded vehicles.