The former Transport PS has been putting up a spirited fight with the Kenya Tea Development Agency Holdings Limited for a longtime in what now seems to be headed to the courts after being served with a demand letter from the board over his endless attacks.
On Saturday the PS on his Facebook page on 19th October had posted, “Yesterday Wambugu Nyamu and I received a love letter from KTDA and their lawyers. Last week John Kamau received a similar letter from the same lawyers for reporting about KTDA and their crooked ways. Why is KTDA using farmers money to intimidate people while they could well be using the same money to improve farmer earnings. There is no apology coming. LET’S MEET IN COURT If that’s what it will take for KTDA to respect farmers and start working for them.”
With no one backing off, it’s obvious where next this war goes.
During his weekly address on the state of the nation, Govt Spokesman Oguna came to the defense of KTDA over the low bonuses to farmers. He said tea prices decline are influenced by global market forces and warned against politicising the issue.
In a rebuttal to this, the former PS Nyakera in a lengthy post posted;
It’s very unfortunate that the government spokesman can speak the way he did about KTDA and cautioning Kenyans not to talk about tea.
In my view, government should engage KTDA on why the two task force resolutions have not been actualized; on why greenfedha is impoverishing farmers while KTDA is holding their monies; on why KTDA is starting numerous white elephant projects with farmers monies including buying pieces of land at exorbitant prices; on why KTDA is tightly controlling elections belittling them to KTDA preselection exercises rather than fair elections; on why there is a lot of insider dealings between directors and KTDA and factories; on why senior management at KTDA has overstayed with no requirement to follow mwongozo -now that I heard him call KTDA an authority and not an agency; on why KTDA lost farmers money with the collapsed banks and on allegations of price fixing and manipulations at EATTA.
Then the spokesman should then have articulated government position on why Chai Trading has offices in Dubai under the justification that Kenya’s tax regime is too punitive; on why there is no fertilizer subsidy for tea farmers; on why there are 42 different taxes for tea including ad voleram levy and lot charge fee; on why brokerage fees at the auction are extortionist and way above global levels; on why the tea packaging and other cottage industries related to tea collapsed due to lack of government support; on why Kericho Gold Tea packaging company is looking to move operations to Egypt leading to a loss of employment to over 400 staff!
That’s what we should be hearing from government and not threats to anyone who wants to hold KTDA accountable. I repeat – KTDA owes small scale farmers a livelihood; it does not owe the world tea.