By Ndungu Gachane
Tea farmers have told off Kenya Tea Development Agency telling them that they are on their own and that they dont support the petition against the implementation committee by Agriculture Ministry.
The farmers led by Mr Macharia Karugu and Mr Arthur Mark Gitundu said the implementation committee sanctioned by Agriculture Cs Peter Munya will deliver poor tea farmers from the yokes of KTDA accusing it (agency) of fighting what is good for farmers to protect their punitive regime that has seen thousands of farmers suffer.
They disowned the petition lodged at the High Court by the agency saying it lacks their blessings.
“We are in support of Cs Munya’s implementation committee since we believe it is God- sent, there are so many positive measures which includes and not limited to the downscaling of the management fee and scrapping the Mombasa auctioning a move that will see farmers get more money,” they said.
They alleged that KTDA was hellbent in blocking all the measures that will help tea farmers so as to continue sacking them blood.
KTDA through their counsel Ben Milimo has objected the gazette notice dated June, 25, where Mr Munya appointed a 10-member committee to look into reforms in the tea sector.
The committee’s mandate includes to manage and coordinate processes and implementation of the tea sector reforms, including changes in the role of KTDA in the management of small-scale tea growers.
In an affidavit Dr John Kennedy Omanga, KTDA’s Company Secretary said the agency is a private company and Mr Munya has no legal right to make changes in its business operations.
Mr Millimo further said that some of the persons appointed by Munya have publicly pronounced themselves adversely against KTDA, while others have cases pending in court on matters relating to the operations of the agency. Others, he added, have broken contractual relationship with KTDA.
Justice Pauline Nyamweya ruled that KTDA Holdings, though lawyer Benson Millimo, had met the threshold for an arguable case against Agriculture CS Peter Munya.