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Leaders of a farmers cooperative narrowly escape lynch mob

By Stanley Ongwae | Published Wed, June 13th 2018 at 00:00, Updated June 13th 2018 at 10:34 GMT +3
North Mugirango MP Joash Nyamoko addresses coffee farmers at Magwagwa Cooperative Society grounds. [Stanley Ongwae/Standard]

Five officials of a local cooperative society narrowly escaped death as coffee farmers' protested reduction of their pay.

The members of Magwagwa Coffee Farmers’ Cooperative Society were unhappy that the society had cut their pay from Sh60 to Sh10 per kilogramme of coffee delivered.

The angry farmers tried to lynch the officials before the police whisked the latter away.

Some of the farmers stormed out of a tensed meeting called by North Mugirango MP Joash Nyamoko, Nyamira Woman Representative Jerusha Momanyi, Magwagwa MCA Fred Nyachae and Trade executive Omwanza Muga to discuss the matter.

But the society's chairman Nelson Nyamwaro said they reduced the payments owing to the challenges they were going through. He cited poor harvest, loan deductions, cost of fertilisers and chemicals supplied to farmers as well as high operation costs.

"Most farmers in our catchment do not care about the quality of their coffee. Some harvest their produce and deliver it to the factory two or three days later when quality has been affected. That kind of coffee does not fetch much, translating to reduced payments to farmers," said Mr Nyamwaro.

Nyamoko promised to follow up on claims that more than Sh20 million of farmers' money had been misappropriated and assured residents he would ensure the money is recovered.

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"We are calling on instigating agencies to move in and help recover the money and punish culprits," Nyamoko said.

Omwanza said: "Everyone will carry their cross. Heads must roll because we must recover an

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