18 Nov

Former tea directors claim the factories are indebted to the tune of Sh18 billion. The former officials from the Mt Kenya region alleged that the directors' expenses had risen in many of the factories from at least Sh8 million to about Sh12 million annually. In a meeting led by Prof Johnson Kang’ethe - former chairman Ngeere Tea factory, and Francis Macharia - a former KTDA Board member representing Muranga North, the tea ex-bosses resolved to regain control of at least 69 tea factories in a month’s time. They alleged that the planned annual general meetings, set to start on November 23 at the Ngere Tea Factory and end on December 14 at the Nyansiongo Tea Factory, have an agenda to do away with rotational elections. They also alleged that over Sh65 million have been spent to facilitate the forensic audit ordered by the former Agriculture CS Peter Munya at Sh800,000 per factory.  In a press statement, they claimed as the facilities are in debt and have been run down, they are likely to be taken over by receiver managers. “One of the factories is indebted to a tune of Sh400 million that was borrowed to assist in payment of the first bonus,” said Kang’ethe. He added that the farmers are awaiting the release of the final bonus payment to be able to facilitate taking their children to school in the new year. Macharia regretted that the introduction of the reserve price of tea in the auction market has led to the slow-moving of the commodity from the warehouses. They demanded the immediate reinstatement of KTDA employees who were sacked by the new management. KTDA Chairman David Ichoho when reached for comments said the tea sector was stable. He rubbished the statement by the former directors. 

Source: Standard Media