Livestock traders in Garissa now want the Kenya Meat Commission (KMC) to pay their outstanding bills for livestock supplied to the commission.
The traders have demanded that the payment must be done before the proposed privatization of the parastatal.
Led by the Chairman of Kenya livestock marketing council Dubat Amey the traders said they have been suppling their livestock to the Commission on credit following an agreement between them and the Commission.
The commission is going through tough times with its outstanding pending bills said to be at Ksh 490 million, Ksh 195 million of which is owed to livestock suppliers.
The Commission also owes other suppliers an estimated Ksh 82 million, Ksh 122 million for statutory obligations and Ksh 92 million for off take programme.
The Commission is now unable to meet its obligations on a timely basis due to the high cost of operation.
Livestock farmer are now reluctant to to supply their animals to the Commission for fear of losing their money.
In spite of these challenges, the Commission has signed contracts with customers estimated to be at Ksh 1 billion which if fully serviced will help the Commission stabilize its cash flows and become profitable.
The report further says to enable the commission to stabilize and win back the trust of livestock farmers, the Government through the ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries should support the Commission in settling the pending bills.
Amey blamed mismanagement of the commission and rampant corruption for the downfall of the giant government parastatal.
“Where did all the money that KMC gets from the slaughter of the animals go to if not to the pockets of greedy and corrupt government officials,” Amey said.
“We have no problem with the parastatal being privatized. Our main concern is the money KMC owes the supplies of livestock,” he added.
Amey said Garissa traders alone are owed over Ksh 100 million by the commission.