“We hope that from today going forward, it (the milk factory) will benefit our farmers especially milk farmers…Even those who are talking about us, they should tell us what they did to revive this factory. Because, we’ve not gotten it from heaven. It was just here…from 1999, inactive. Now they’ll come and say they dreamt about it. Rivatex was also here. It is us who have come and revived it. And from next year, there will never be a bigger textile industry than Rivatex,”

-President Kenyatta while opening the New Kenya Co-operative Creameries (KCC) Milk Factory in Eldoret on June 12

Were KCC, Rivatex dormant before Jubilee revived them?

The Kenya Co-operative Creamery (KCC) Ltd was founded in 1925 with Hugh Cholmondoley as its chairman. The company later introduced the famous school milk programme, in 1979 which provided free milk to pupils in schools.

According to a report by the National Assembly published on April 8, 2003, the company was closed in 1999 due to financial mismanagement and placed under receivership on August 5, 1999.

However, in 2003, the Narc government, through the Ministry of Cooperatives, bought it back from KCC 2000 Ltd at a cost of Sh547 million and named it New KCC. From then the company was operating but not making profits.

In February 2009, the then managing director Francis Mwangi (currently Governor of Murang’a County Mwangi wa Iria) said that the company had recorded a turnover of Sh2.5 billion since its reopening and had paid Sh8 billion to farmers.

Deputy President William Ruto said during a tour of the firm that the government had set aside Sh500 million to pay the dues of milk farmers who had not been paid when the firm closed down in 1999, and also launched new machines which would boost the company’s productivity.

CEO Nixon Sigey had told the Business Daily in March this year that the move to pay the dues would motivate farmers "to have confidence in the processor". While the Jubilee government has indeed been making efforts to improve and modernise the factory, it is incorrect to state that the factory has been dormant since 1999.

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