Agriculture Cabinet Secretary (CS), Peter Munya, has called on the judiciary to fast-track cases challenging tea reforms.
Speaking at Kionyo, Imenti, and Githongo tea factories in Meru County, during a meeting with the newly-elected KTDA directors and tea farmers, Munya called on the Chief Justice, Martha Koome, to ensure that the cases were heard hopefully in the next one month to give time for the reforms to be implemented.
He claimed that further delay of petitions filed in court by KTDA, has continued to block full implementation of new changes in the tea sector, thus disadvantaging farmers who are eager and ready for the changes in the sector.
“We are waiting for the court cases to end so we can implement the regulations that we believe are the cure to the problems that have been bedevilling the tea sector,” said Munya, adding that the Ministry was already implementing the reform regulations that were never challenged in court.
The CS said implementation of the reforms was not an easy task and will take time, considering that there were cartels, who were against the changes and some of them are behind the court cases.
“We are asking our farmers to give us time to bring in the reforms, that will save them from exploitation,” he said, adding that they will not be intimidated by some forces, out to detract them from their cause of instilling sanity in the tea sector.
Munya also warned tea cartels that their days were numbered adding the government is devoted to save the tea sector and boost the economy of the country.
South Imenti Legislator, Kathuri Murungi, who accompanied the CS during the visits said Parliament did its work of passing the regulations and what was remaining was the determination of court cases before tea farmers could cross over to Canaan.
“We are calling on the judiciary to give special preferences to the cases opposing the reforms, so that the families relying on the sector can benefit,” said Mr. Murungi.
By Dickson Mwiti