Bomet Governor Prof. Hillary Barchok has said he will not antagonize tea companies operating in the County over the mechanization of tea plucking.
Unlike his other counterpart governors within the Ekaterra and Finlay-owned tea belt zones who have dared the companies to vacate the county, Barchok said he would engage the companies in talks on the way forward.
Speaking at Kipsonoi in Sotik, Barchok said they have agreed with three multinational companies operating in Bomet on the formation of a committee to steer talks.
“I want to be clear on the raging debate over multinational companies, personally I will not antagonize them or ask them to leave since that will portray a bad image of our country and the Kenya Kwanza government on foreign investors,” he said.
Barchok said they have outlined issues among them increase of revenue remittance on land lease and Cooperate Social Responsibilities and employment of locals.
The Governor said there was a need to guard investor confidence.
“We should not in any way antagonize investors. Demands will always be there and we should approach issues soberly,” he said.
Barchok said he was foreseeing an agreement on some of the demands saying his administration was already hitting the ground running with talks.
“My intention is to see an increase in revenue so that we can get money to work on our development needs and there we should talk and that is my stand and that of my administration and I will advocate that across the region,” said Barchok.
Governor Barchok becomes the only leader in the South Rift region who has taken a soft stand on the Mechanization of tea plucking by multinational tea companies.
Since these companies resorted to mechanization, many cases of theft of green leaves have been on the rise.
By Lamech Willy