Mununga Tea Factory staff in Ndia Constituency, Kirinyaga County, Tuesday, witnessed a rare incidence after the Factory Manager was thrown out of his staff quarters by new directors.
Things turned sour when the Manager in question, Franklin Kinoti, failed to attend the first boardroom meeting organized by the new factory directors that had brought onboard factory staff members and other stakeholders.
The meeting had been organized in the factory’s premises with an aim to welcome and officially hand over the instruments of leadership to the new factory directors as well as hold brainstorming sessions on how the new team would work with the staff for the well-being of the factory.
After failing to show up in the morning, the directors took it upon themselves the task to go look for the Manager at his home in the company of police officers.
It is at that point that they stormed into his home which is within the factory’s compound prompting the manager to moved, boarded his car and drove away from the factory’s compound. Thursday last week the new team through Mr Mwai Karani, notified the Manager about the itinerary and the date of the meeting but he seemed adamant to comply.
“He told us he cannot cooperate with the new team until he gets a go-ahead from KTDA bosses in Nairobi. That to us is insubordination and violating Tea Regulations. All directors elected by farmers have been granted permission by the shareholders to run the factory,” Karani said.
“When you fail to show up for a crucial meeting, that alone is demeaning the new team and as such we can no longer work with him. Let him be deployed to another station by those he chooses to obey,” he said.
Moving forward, Karani said they have unanimously endorsed the factory’s Production Manager to take over as the Manager in an acting capacity.
In addition, the Leaf Collection Service Officer, James Kungania, was not spared either from the new team’s wrath, as he too was shown the door. He is said to have angered many farmers for lacking transparency in his work.
The factory’s Vice-Chair, Stephen Muriithi, assured farmers that their assets and all factory records were well secured and work will go on smoothly as expected under their guard.
“Why the new teams across many factories are facing resistance from the old guards is because they know the teams are reformists who are willing to change the tea sector. The mission will be achieved as per the government’s wish whether they like it or not.” Muriithi told the media.
“We are not backing down on this assignment until we see to it that farmers’ hard work is genuinely rewarded with good pay,” he added.
One of the factory’s directors, Nahashon Ngari, said the dismissed workers would be required to vacate from the factory’s residential houses immediately and will not be allowed to go back to their previous offices.
By Irungu Mwangi