Audit: Former KTDA bosses to know fate in January

Kenya Tea Development Authority (KTDA) Chairman David Ichoho. [Courtesy]

The results of a forensic audit on Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) and affiliate companies will be known by January next year.

According to the agency's chairman David Ichoho, the audit covers the five year period and involves factories, nine subsidiary companies and the KTDA Holdings.

Mr Ichoho said that besides determining the true financial status of the agency, the audit will further determine action to be taken against former directors, who were sacked on the onset of tea reforms being spearheaded by Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya.

“The forensic audit is ongoing. We are now waiting for the results. The Kenya Tea Development Agency's management and factory directors will lay bare the truth in January,” said Ichoho.

At the same time, announced that farmers would be paid their dues by every fifth day of every month, the bonus payment for next year will be released by October, two months ahead of the traditional payment period.

Tea farmers expect a boom after the government set aside Sh274.47 per kilo of made tea in July.

This has seen tea prices take an upward curve since President Uhuru Kenyatta signed the Tea Act 2021, which was mooted by Kericho senator Aaron Cheruiyot.

In the four months under KTDA review (July – November 2021), prices significantly improved by 53 per cent in the week before the introduction of the reserve price in July. 

“The Kenya Tea Development Agency's board will meet and declare the bonus payment two months ahead of the traditional period,” said Ichoho.

Speaking during the homecoming ceremony of KTDA's vice chairman Wesley Koech, held in Bureti constituency, Ichoho told farmers to take advantage of the subsidized fertilizer which retails between 2,500 -2,600 after the government provided Sh1 billion to the farmers.

The announcement came as small-scale tea farmers in four counties among them Kericho have begun replacing moribund tea clones with drought-resistant and high-yielding varieties.

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