19 Nov

A section of tea directors from Embu have told their predecessors who were ousted last year following reforms instituted by the government in the sector to keep off factory affairs. This was after the former directors during a meeting in Murang’a yesterday threatened to storm KTDA factories countrywide from next week and take over leadership claiming the new directors were in office illegally. Former directors led by ex-chairperson Peter Kanyago last week invaded the agency offices in Nairobi and some factories across the country but their takeover was rebuffed. Led by KTDA Board Member representing the zone, Enos Njeru, the directors asked them to stop interfering with operations of the industry that was recovering from their years of bad governance and corruption. He said in just one year that the current management has been in office, farmers have been able to enjoy improved earnings and timely payment of dues. “We took over office when the price of a kilo of tea was 1.6 dollars in the international market and in just one year the price is heading towards 3 dollars,” Njeru said as he dared them to make good their takeover threat. He said if they want to take over leadership, they should follow the right channel of calling for an election which was not possible at the moment following the ongoing court case filed by them. The board member said they were committed to making tea farming a profitable venture and going forward, they were looking for ways to value add the commodity so that it can fetch better prices as well as train farmers on crop diversification to increase earnings. Mungani Tea Factory Chairman Mwenje Njeru said no amount of threats or intimidation will dampen their spirit of improving farmers’ livelihoods by enabling them produce better quality tea and expanding tea export markets. The officials accused the former regime of running down tea business in the area forcing many farmers to abandon the crop in favor of other profitable ventures. 

Source: Kenya News Agency