Coffee growers welcome proposal to audit debt waivers

The petitioners address members of New Kyeni Coffee Society at Kathanjuri market. [Joseph Muchiri, Standard]
Coffee farmers support a proposal to audit all societies that have received debt waivers from the Government.

The proposal came from the Parliamentary Committee on Trade, Industry and Cooperatives that is investigating suspected malpractices at New Kyeni Co-operative Society.

The parliamentary committee said an audit would establish whether the Government had achieved its objective of relieving farmers of debt burden.

The committee chaired by Kieni East MP Kanini Kega also recommended that the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) investigate suspected mismanagement of assets and loss of coffee proceeds at the society.

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The committee also required the commissioner of cooperatives to audit the bylaws of all societies to ensure that they are in tandem with the Constitution and existing laws.

Human rights activist Taratisio Kawe and four farmers, Richard Kinyua, George Nyaga, Weru Kirutha and Erastus Nthiga had petitioned the National Assembly, on behalf of the other members, to probe the society.

The farmers claimed that the management could not account for a Sh5 million debt waiver from the Government.

The petitioners also accused the management of spending Sh14 million to construct the society's headquarters whereas members had only approved Sh7 million, and failure to account for expenditure and income.

The mismanagement, they said, was responsible for their low returns.

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Embu countyCoffee farmersKanini KegaNew Kyeni Coffee Society