Members of a coffee cooperative society in Murang’a have formed a special committee to end troubles that have rocked the society for a long time.
Coffee farmers allied to Kangiri Cooperative Society in Kigumo Sub County on Friday formed a seven member committee which was also entrusted to sell their coffee to millers.
Three weeks ago, farmers of three factories allied to the society blocked the sale of their coffee citing poor leadership.
More than 500 bags of coffee were detained at New Irati, Kangurumai and Kanguya factories’ stores after farmers blocked lorries designated to transport the coffee cherries to millers.
Only produce from Gatumbi and Kanjathi factories were transported for milling.
Farmers have been accusing management of the society of financial mismanagement, saying a lot of money has been misappropriated leaving them without payment.
During the special meeting, farmers appointed Mr. James Kibugu as interim chairman of the society to replace Mr. Absolom Mwangi who has been chair of the society for several years.
The interim chairman was entrusted to spearhead marketing of the farmers’ coffee and end the leadership rows which have marred the society for long.
Kibugu on his part stated that there were some individuals who were out to divide the society for their own personal benefits.
He promised to lead the society to regain its glory and help in production of quality coffee and also fostering unity of all farmers.
“The prosperity of this society will depend on unity of farmers and production of quality coffee. That will be my core mandate to ensure the society prospers,” added the interim chairman.
The farmers held the special meeting despite the ousted management of the society terming it illegal.
The outgoing chairman had dismissed the meeting saying it was convened against the constitution and procedures of the society.
Ousted members of the management committee and also the Kigumo sub county cooperative office did not attend the meeting, as farmers pleaded with Murang’a Governor Mwangi wa Iria to assist them in auditing the society.
When reached for comment, the County Cooperative Chief Officer Bernard Wanyoike said the meeting was illegal but stated that the farmers concerns will be addressed urgently.
He said the county government had conducted an inspection at the five factories affiliated to the society and a report will soon be read to farmers.
“Kangiri is one of the best run societies and the county cooperative department will ensure its operations are not affected by mere leadership wrangles,” said Wanyoike.
By Bernard Munyao