Rivatex requires Shl bn to recover

MOI University requires Shl billion to rehabilitate the Rift Valley Textile Company (Rivatex East Africa).

The firm, which the university bought from the government at Sh205 million, is now operating at only 10 per cent of its capacity with 400 workers. The varsity has already spent Sh300 million to revive it.

University Council Chairman Evan Mwai now wants the government to provide capital for the institution to use in rehabilitating the company, whose operations are expected to boost cotton growing in Western Kenya.

Industrialization minister Henry Kosgey toured the company where he said the government was already reviving cotton farming after providing Sh500 million to support the sector this year.

Mwai said the university acquired the company to use for research and training of textiles technology students apart from operating it on a commercial basis as an income generating activity. "The potential of the firm is massive and although we are only operating at ten percent of our capacity, we have massive enquiries and orders which we can not meet due to lack of capital to help us install machines which were vandalised," said Mwai, who is also chairman of the company's board of directors.

Kosgey promised that the government would take up the matter urgently and help the company acquire new weaving machines.

Engineers are already at the company working to revive most machines, which ceased operations after Rivatex collapsed and was put under receivership by its debenture holders, who included the government through the then Industrial and Commercial Development Corporation (ICDC). Rivatex had a wide export market in the Middle East and the United States and the company was also producing garments and uniforms for the military and police.

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