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Munya suffers setback in enforcing new tea regulations

By Paul Ogemba | October 9th 2020

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya (pictured) has lost a bid to stop Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) from holding elections for new directors.

Mr Munya had filed a case in court challenging the planned elections on grounds that there were no legal frameworks to guide the polls, but High Court judge Antony Mrima dismissed the suit.

The Ministry of Agriculture argued that since the court suspended operationalisation of the tea regulations published by the CS, there are no adequate legal frameworks to guide the elections and any outcome would be null and void.

Justice Mrima however said the CS and the ministry would not suffer any prejudice should the elections proceed, and that it is in the interest of thousands of tea farmers across the country to have their representatives in KTDA.

“Allowing the Cabinet secretary’s application is likely to give rise to more litigation given that operations of the Kenya Tea Development Agency Holdings Ltd will be grounded,” the judge ruled.

According to the judge, the tea farmers had previously held elections under the old regulations and the new rules as proposed by the ministry would have no bearing on the outcome.

“I find that the ministry will not suffer any damage should the elections proceed as planned,” said Justice Mrima.

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“Their opposition to the elections must be weighed against the fact that the farmers have previously held their elections under rules and procedures existing in their constitutions.”

He agreed with tea farmers who are members of KTDA that they have systems under their articles of association which they have been following to hold elections every year in the absence of the regulations proposed by the Agriculture CS. 

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