The Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) has been accused of transacting business with Kiru Tea Factory without a legitimate management contract.
A management faction of the factory led by Chege Kirundi has alleged that since the expiry of the contract between the factory and KTDA in June 2019, the agency has not bothered to renew it.
Kirundi accused KTDA of working with a group of the factory directors who are in office illegally.
He said the court had found guilty of some directors whom KTDA is using them to run the factory illegally.
Kirundi termed the board of directors who signed renewal of management contract with KTDA as illegal.
The six KTDA directors who included Managing Director, Lerionka Tiampati, Francis Macharia, Company Secretary, John Omanga, Stephen Githiga, Eston Gakunju and Peter Kinyua were jailed for seven years or pay fine of Sh.400, 000 each for disobeying court orders in a suit filed by Kirundi’s faction.
Kirundi said police have been protecting the ‘illegal board’ by ensuring members of his group don’t access the factory management.
He spoke as he met tea farmers at Kiamuturi Village of Mathioya Sub County on Saturday.
“We have been blocked by police to take over management of the factory after KTDA failed to renew management contract with us. The other board being recognized by the Agency remains illegal as per court ruling,” stated Kirundi.
“The court had vindicated my board and the office of company’s secretary bears the name of Bernard Kiragu but Omanga has illegally continued to act as the company secretary, which is against the law,” he added.
The leadership wrangles at Kiru Factory started two years ago when Stephen Githiga was elected chairman of the factory forcing his competitor Kirundi move to court protesting the election on grounds that Githiga was serving as Chief Executive Officer of Kakuzi ltd.
“KTDA and any other person should understand that court orders are never issued in vain. They are issued to be followed. You can’t hold a civilized society where individuals disobey court orders, judicial authority is the hallmark of any civilized society,” Kirundi told the growers.
In a rejoinder, Githaga speaking to KNA, stressed that he is the bona fide chairman of the factory.
He said the renewal of the contract between the factory and KTDA was signed on February 2, 2018 with an effective date of July 1, 2019.
“There is a procedure when the contract ought to be signed to ensure there is no vacuum in the management of the factory and the contract has been duly renewed,” he said.
By Bernard Munyao