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New directors defend KTDA headquarters raid

Newly elected directors from Kirinyaga County have lauded the recent raid at KTDA offices in Nairobi by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).

Speaking to the press at Royswan in Kerugoya, the directors said the process of audit has just started and should continue to the end.

Led by John Mithamo from Ndima Tea Factory they said they are supporting the government reforms in the tea sector and the audit must be done so that all the people who messed with farmers’ finances be held accountable.

“We fully support the government in the process of tea reforms and even the raid done by DCI in the headquarters,” Mithamo said.

They also assured the farmers that all money will be paid amid the circulating information that due to the recent election of new directors the farmers may not get monthly or bonus payment.

“We are in office and I want to assure the farmers that they will get their monthly payment including bonuses,” he added.

The directors drawn from Kimunye, Thumaita, Ndima, Kangaita and Mununga zones reaffirmed that they have all occupied their respective offices and are working.

Detectives from the DCI Serious Crimes Unit on Friday raided the Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) head offices in Nairobi to get critical information regarding the tea sector.

On the Sh1.7 billion loan the embattled directors were said to have planned to take, the new directors said their predecessors had not specified how they were to spend it so it was a closed chapter.

“In fact, farmers lost over 5.8 billion in their tenure. Again, they wanted a 1.7billion loan in addition to this loss!  This is robbery,” one of directors said.

Most smallholder tea farmers have been demanding forensic investigations into KTDA’s finances. The raid came on the day the agency announced a Sh734 million dividend payout to tea farmers as profits from KTDA Holdings for the financial year ending June 30, 2020.

By Mutai Kipngetich

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