Tea farmers affiliated to Kangaita and Thumaita tea factories in Kirinyaga County want the court to order for a forensic audit over the low payment of bonus this year.
The farmers through their Member of Parliament, Githinji Gichimu said they were petitioning the court for a special impartial audit by the government.
“I said I will not go to court without your consent but now that you have given me the authority, we are now going to seek for an order to enable the special audit you require to be done,” Gichimu said.
He said he would file the case on behalf of the farmers but added that they were not targeting any individual but the factories in the special audit.
“I am a lawyer, leave it to me now and I will deal with it, all I require of you is to get a few farmers, five or ten as petitioners who will sign the affidavit which we will take to the court,” he said while addressing farmers at Kimunye trading centre, Kirinyaga East sub county at the weekend.
The legislator said he would also be seeking an answer in Parliament why tea farmers in the country are not considered for stabilization funds like it was the case for coffee farmers.
On the mode of elections which the farmers demanded for one man one vote, Gichimu advised them to give a notice of twenty eight days to the company secretary for the agenda to be included for discussion during the factories annual general meeting.
“Be active and participate in the annual general meeting where you are able to address some of the problems affecting you directly,” Gichimu told the farmers.
The irate farmers had accused the management of the factories, claiming they were paid at the lowest rate compared to other farmers from other tea growing zones.
“We were planning to stage a demonstration with the aim of pushing for urgent investigations to establish how the money was lost,” said Muriuki Njoka, a tea farmer from Kangaita.
Different farmers who spoke during the meeting threatened to stop picking tea until their grievances are addressed, arguing that they received sh.30 per kilo bonus this year and not Sh. 50 that they expected.
They urged the government to investigate KTDA directors manning the factories stressing that no one should be spared in the war against corruption.
By Irungu Mwangi