.By Dan Nyamanga.
Nyamira 04 october2020…….. Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Cabinet Secretary (CS) Peter Munya has termed the Kenya Tea Development Agency’s (KTDA) efforts to block the proposed tea reforms a waste of time and efforts.
While addressing thousands of Nyamira tea growers in Kebirigo Primary school grounds in West Mugirango, Munya said that the Ministry and the government will not relent on pushing for the reforms aimed at benefiting the tea growers.
“I want to tell the directors of the tea agency here that whether they run to court, the government is determined to end the cartels antagonizing tea growers and we have made our minds,the government and the Ministry are behind the changes to benefit the growers”, said Munya.
KTDA directors and brokers have already gone to court seeking orders to block the proposed tea reforms.
Among the proposed reforms is reintroduction of one farmer one vote from the current where the number of shares translates to votes.
Also, the farmers want the tea to be managed by the government as it was the case before it was privatized in year 2000.
Number of directors is to be reduced from the current six to at most three among others.
Munya also ordered that the workers at the tea agency be subjected to forensic audit.
“We will also conduct a forensic audit on all the workers and we shall recover all that has been taken from the straining farmers, we will ensure the farmers are the gainers in all this,” he added.
On the pending rotational elections of directors, the CS dared them conduct the elections at their own peril.
“I hear they (directors) are planning to conduct elections, I dare them to because as things stand now,they will be illegal.They (elections) postponed until the reforms are adopted”, he added.
This comes after the tea growers received their worst pay on tea bonuses countrywide.
Gianchore tea factory is paying their farmers a partly KShs.9.50 cents in this year’s bonuses, the lowest in the county.