The High Court on Tuesday ordered the Office of the Auditor General to carry out audit on accounts of Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) for period between 2018 and 2019.
Justice Kanyi Kimondo issued the order after Murang’a county government filed a petition seeking for a fresh auditing of KTDA to establish the reason behind poor payments of tea bonus this year.
The Judge granted the application of the plaintiff, saying the cost of the auditing will be met by the county government of Murang’a.
He directed the respondent to be supplied with copies of the petition as day for interparty hearing was scheduled on October 28.
Team of counsels representing the county government argued that the matter is of public interest and should be put under certificate of urgency.
The counsels led by lawyer, Charles Njenga said this year’s bonus payment dropped by 36 percent compared to last year’s payments subjecting farmers into sufferings.
Njenga told the court that KTDA which manages produce of small scale tea farmers has not given a clear reason for minimal bonus thus the need to have the agency’s accounts be audited by an independent body.
In the petition, the county government applied for the court to order the Office of the Auditor General to carry out audit of KTDA accounts to establish truth concerning reduced bonus rates.
“My lord some of small scale tea farmers are considering uprooting their cash crop and this may affect the economy of the country considering tea is among major foreign exchange earner,” noted Njenga.
Reduced tea bonus, the lawyer said has sparked an outcry to thousands of farmers across the country who depend on the cash crop for livelihoods.
He requested for an independent auditing of the agency, saying the accounts reports given by auditors of KTDA casts some doubts and does not give clear information on what occasioned reduced bonus.
The county government led by the governor is in fore front to find the truth concerning tea bonus being paid by KTDA.
By Bernard Munyao