Tea farmers of Mogusii tea farm in Borabu Constituency in Nyamira County are demanding for an overhaul of the farm’s management allegedly for mismanaging the farm’s proceeds.
The over 600 acres’ tea farm company has faced many financial challenges in the recent past and could be headed into bankruptcy if swift measures are not taken.
Addressing the press on Wednesday, over 200 angry farmers claimed that the current management had run the company into debts estimated to be over Sh 150 million.
They urged the government and relevant authorities to come to their rescue and salvage their only source of livelihood from collapsing.
Mr Meshack Ochengo, one of the founding members of the estate told KNA that that over Sh13 million compensated for the road that ran through the farm was not equitably shared among its 200 members.
He said that there was no clear accountability on how the money was utilised and majority of members were kept in the dark and never compensated at all.
According to him, every member was to be compensated a sum total of Sh 65,000 but to his shock, only those with that information were compensated and were given Sh 25,000 only at the discretion of the farm’s managers.
Billiah Matara said that the farm’s manager Erastus Nyamwaya had impoverished the farm’s financial kitty by running it like a personal family enterprise.
She revealed that the manager does not consult on key decisions and accused him of nepotism in employing staff at the farm.
“Over 150 workers in the tea estate have been not been paid for the last seven months and social security monthly remittances not paid for them to the respective firms an intolerable scenario that has angered us to demand for the manager’s exit,” Ms Matara decried.
The manager in his defence claimed that farmers have not been doing any inquiries from him and that the company has been servicing huge loans inherited from former office bearers.
However, the farmers vowed not to pluck their tea until the farm manager Mr Nyamwaya resigns. “His resignation will give us room to conduct a fair and just audit of the accounts of the farm to establish the true problem ailing the farm,” said Matara.
Earlier on Tuesday morning, irate farmers burnt tea bushes and tea weighing centres as a sign of dissatisfaction with the management and police were called in to disperse them.