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Court cases blocking reforms in the Tea sector

Tea directors drawn from zones 5 have expressed concern on court cases that are affecting reforms in the tea sector.

Speaking after a meeting in Kerugoya the directors singled out the case stopping various tea factories from conducting Annual General Meetings(AGM) pending in Embu Law Courts.

Directors in the zone, which comprises Ndima, Kimunye, Thumaita, Mununga, and Kangaita tea factories said that all the factories should have conducted the meetings by 10th December.

They said the existence of a court case barring some factories from conducting the Annual General Meeting has put nearly everything on hold. They said the cases are preventing full implementation of reforms, which could be the only way to ensure tea farmers benefit.

Led by Ndima tea factory director John Mithamo, the directors said some former directors had gone to court to stop various factories in their zone from conducting meetings.

Mithamo said the judge who acted on the case is not genuine and the chief justice should follow up if the judge has personal interest in the tea sector.  

He said they will hold tea buying center committee meetings on Friday to deliberate on the way forward.

“How can a judge stop farmers’ meetings, if he has interest in tea sector let us be told,” he said.

“Stopping AGM is simply stopping operations of the factories, and it is wrong and we cannot accept,” he added.

Richard Magu, a director at Thumaita tea factory, said they are expecting more bonus next year but the current cases are messing with tea reforms. He added that former directors are still stakeholders in the tea sector and they should not stop the rest of the tea farmers from conducting affairs of the tea sector.

“Last year bonuses weren’t good enough but this year we expect higher prices as witnessed in the market,” Magu said.

“When former director who doubles up as a shareholder in the tea sector stops AGM, then it is selfishness, they don’t want other farmers to benefit,” Magu said.

He said they will hold tea buying center committee meetings to come up with the resolutions on the existing cases.

John Mithamo, Director Ndima Tea Factory and Kenya Tea Board Member representing zone 5, addressing the media

They lauded government Sh1 billion subsidies on farm fertilizers as a great effort to boost the farmer which will increase production. This is a clear confidence in the new tea management and reforms by the government.

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