Kapsara Tea Factory ex-officials to be investigated over the loss of millions

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya

Cherang’any MP Joshua Kuttuny said individuals who are behind the misuse of the funds must be held accountable for the mess which has seen farmers experience losses despite having spent a lot on production costs

By Sirengo Namasaka

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya has asked the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) officers in Trans Nzoia County to launch investigations into alleged misappropriation of funds meant for development at the Kapsara Tea Factory.

The factory is managed by the Kenya Tea Development Authority (KTDA) and both former county and regional officials of the agency are accused of inappropriate usage of loan funds totalling to KSh. 379 that was secured to boost the factory’s operations.

“I am directing the County Commissioner to see to it that investigative agencies get to the bottom of the matter to have all who are behind the misuse of funds be put to task to account for every single cent,” said Mr Munya. The officials are said to have secured KSh. 103 million in 2018 and KSh. 276 million in 2019 that was meant to acquire modern factory machines and to install an automated power line. All the machines and the power lines are non-functional.

Former nominated MP Dr Zipporah Kittony asked the government to give tea farmers better prices for their tea during the weekly auction

The cabinet secretary said the debt owed to a lending firm contributed to poor operations of the factory and negatively impacted the prices of its tea owing to its low quality that resulted from faulty machines. Cherang’any MP Joshua Kuttuny said individuals who are behind the misuse of the funds must be held accountable for the mess which has seen farmers experience losses despite having spent a lot in production costs.

Kapsara Tea Factory

“The perpetrators are walking scot-free yet their actions have undermined services of the factory whose productivity has been compromised as a result of the poor decisions that were made initially,” said Mr Kuttuny. Area Deputy Governor Dr Stanley Tarus said boosting tea farming is critical to the county government’s diversification policy that has seen residents urged to deviate from over-reliance on Maize farming which is not profitable.

“We appreciate the reforms that were initiated by the national government that is geared towards ensuring farmers get better returns out of their venture. We support this noble idea to boost Agriculture,” said Dr Tarus. Former nominated MP Dr Zipporah Kittony asked the government to give tea farmers better prices for their tea during the weekly auction instead of paying them less.

She said tea farmers in Kapsara were the lowly paid, terming the less than $2 as abuse to farmers. “Anything below two dollars is not good for us farmers’‘, Dr Kittony said and asked the CS to announce better prices this year. Trans Nzoia county commissioner Samson Ojwang warned against corruption saying those responsible will be dealt with accordingly.

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