Government to facilitate new tea factories officials to take charge

Agriculture CS Peter Munya. Photo by Kilimo News

The government is moving in to ensure that the newly elected smallholder Tea Factories’ officials take charge to replace current KTDA employees in running the factories.

The Cabinet Secretaries Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives Peter Munya and his Counterpart from Ministry of Interior Coordination of National Government Dr. Fred Matiang’I recently met the newly elected smallholder Tea Factories’ Chairs and Vice Chairs from East of Rift.

In his address, Munya said that he is aware of the challenges the newly elected officials are going through as they take over leadership in their respective factories. He mentioned some as resistance by KTDA employees and in particular the factory unit managers, political interference, Interference and sabotage by KTDA and former directors, existing court rulings in particular the Kiru case and more significantly the fact that some of them may be taking up corporate responsibilities at the board level for the first time.
In order to facilitate smooth take-over as well as secure the assets belonging to the shareholders/farmers, the CS said that the ministry of Agriculture & that of Interior will be working together in the execution of the relevant steps and actions.

The two Cabinet Secretaries agreed, with immediate effect that security agencies will facilitate enforcement of the CR 12 registration of the newly elected boards.

The enforcement process will entail the following actions:

  • The former directors should keep off the tea factories premises and be prevented from undertaking any activities in the factory or engaging tea farmers in any way as directors;
  •  The newly elected directors to be given access to all properties of their respective tea factories;
  •  Surrender of the Company’s seal and other instruments of ownership to the newly appointed Company Secretary;

  •  Availing a register of fixed assets and documents of title;
  • . Provision of a status report on all bank accounts, current signatories and signed forms for change of signatories;
  •  Provision of financial reports for the last nine (9) months indicating both performance and position of the tea factory;
  •  Provision of an inventory report indicating stocks at the factory on transits and in all warehouses;
  • Minutes of the last Board meeting to be availed;
    In the event that the current managements fail to cooperate, the CS directed new boards to take the following actions:
  • Engage an experienced and capable person to oversee production if the Production Manager is unavailable;
  • Engage an experienced and capable person to oversee the collection of green leaf in event the current FSE is unavailable;
  • Develop a system for payment of tea growers in case KTDA does not give access to the current system;
  • Engage an alternative service provider for security services.

Noting that KTDA (MS) Ltd and KTDA Holdings Ltd are institutions that belong to tea farmers, who are also shareholders of their respective companies, the CS said that the process of electing new directors to the new outfits needs to be undertaken immediately. This is the responsibility of the newly elected factory boards, who should proceed to replace the current KTDA zonal directors, the CS added.

In order to build the capacity of the newly elected boards, The CS directed the Tea Board of Kenya to immediately commence a programme to sensitize the board members on the ongoing tea reforms, best practices in corporate governance and the expectations of the boards in the implementation of reforms for the industry. Similarly, factories will be expected to organize for in-depth training and capacity building programmes for their respective tea factories Boards on corporate governance and orienting the newly elected directors in taking over their roles in the companies.

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