The newly elected Kenya Tea Development Authority (KTDA) directors under new tea reforms on Monday reported to their various factories to cold receptions as senior officials were conspicuously missing.
All the six factories in Nyamira County held their elections on Friday 30th April according to the government’s directive.
All the immediate officeholders were not allowed to vie according to the reforms which are aiming at cushioning the tea growers from exploitation from the former directors who had overstayed in office.
Spot checks in the various factories across the county on Monday, Found police officers armed and could be seen strolling within the factories ready to counter any resistance from the former office-bearers.
All senior managers in the six factories were missing to receive the new office bearers.
A source intimate to the happenings in the sector hinted to us that the managers had received a command from the KTDA headquarters in Nairobi not to involve themselves in receiving the new directors.
“We were ordered from our head office not to receive the new office bearers until a case filed by the company is heard and determined or until when we receive further directives,” said the source, who sought anonymity.
Nelson Onduko, chairman of directors in the Kebirigo factory, said they were ready to salvage the farmers from cartels who had been determined to impoverish them.
He said that tea growers had been made slaves of few individuals who ensured no returns to them.
“We have reported to our factory today and ready to work from now. We are determined to work for the farmer and ensure that they realise the value of their farming.
Our farmers have been impoverished by few cartels who have made them desperate and we are determined to bring back the glory in the sector”, said Onduko.
In the reforms, tea and coffee farmers will benefit from over 50% returns from the sales.
By Darlington Mose