KTDA fires senior employees as wrangles intensify
The invasion of Kenya Tea Development Authority (KTDA) headquarters by former directors has seen several employees sent home after the chairman cracked the whip.
Last week, a fight over the control of the agency erupted after former board members and employees forcefully gained entry into its headquarters premises and started executing orders. The officials led by former KTDA chairman Peter Kanyago were kicked out last year as part of State-backed reforms.
David Ichoho (pictured), the new KTDA Chairman said in a statement that the agency has since sent home eight senior employees said to have colluded with the former directors.
“The former directors and group company secretary of KTDA Holdings converged at the headquarters office. They obtained access to the boardroom through intimidation of the security officer manning the premises and proceeded to purportedly convene a board meeting where they attempted to conduct company business including summoning of employees,” KTDA said in a statement. KTDA, which has 54 factories under its control, has for decades represented smallholder tea farmers, initially as a government agency and later as an entity owned by the farmers through the tea factory firms.
However, things changed in the recent years characterised by complaints from farmers about reduced earnings and mismanagement claims, which saw the government order fresh election of KTDA-affiliated factories as well as the holding company.